It was only recently that scientists have been able to classify the microbiome living in your body. It is a non-trivial task as there are several trillion cells with over 9.8 million microbial genes. The type of microbiome varies from person to person and also between races.
Microbiome uses the fiber you eat, commonly found in plants and vegetables, as a source of energy. It pays for you to feed them, as the microbiome in your body is linked to a host of benefits. The benefits include digestion of your food including nutrients that would otherwise be indigestible. For example, xyloglucans, if found in lettuce and onions. You would not be able to digest it, were it not for the microbiome in your body. The microbiome is also linked to your the ability of your body to maintain homeostasis, a vital function that keeps you alive. Another interesting link was made between the microbiome and cardiovascular disease. In people who were mostly vegetarian diets had higher TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) which was a marker for reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
You might be wondering by now if there is anything you can do to ensure good quality microbiome. First, you can cut back on antibiotics and take them only when necessary. Antibiotics destroy the microbiome in your body. Next, avoid living in artificially sanitized conditions. Instead, play in the garden and let your child do the same. Exposure to good bacteria in the soil helps build good gut bacteria. The same goes for continually sanitizing your hands to kill bacteria when washing your hands will do. Ensure that you eat foods rich in bacteria such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi at least once a day which will replenish lost bacteria. Finally, some good news. Moderate amounts of alcohol seem to help build gut microbiome so drink a glass every once in a while but do drink responsibly.