Building the Foundation of Good Health – Part 1
You’ve seen them: the internet websites with long scrolling pages filled with testimonials, smatterings of scientific jargon (that actually say very little), and large buttons urging you to Buy Now! that litter up every few inches of text. If these high pressure internet sites (created especially to push all your “must have only this product” impulses) are to be believed, then spending enough money on health supplements will lead us to a long happy life. Moreover, we’ll all look 25 years old (and be thin!) until our 92nd birthday too!
But, what do we really need to support a long and healthy life? Believe it or not, ‘real food’ immediately springs to mind; that boring stuff we used to eat once upon a time.
No, not the “improved”, “healthy”, “natural”, the-picture-on-the-box-looks-like-yummy-food-but-its-not-really-food-anymore that we find in thousands of varieties in any grocery store aisle these days. I mean real food; the kind that doesn’t require an ingredient list on the label because, oh yeah, it’s just food! The kind of food that hasn’t been “improved” with genetic modifications (herbicides and pesticides right inside the plant, oh yum) and doesn’t have “improved sugar content” that removes it from any resemblance to the fruit it came from decades ago, and food that isn’t pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Real food is amazing stuff! It’s filled with proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibers, and not too much sugar and starch. Real food is organic eggs, butter, cheeses, meats, walnuts, almonds, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, kale, oils, etc. Real food doesn’t need an ingredient list. And it doesn’t have to be labeled “natural” because we can tell all by ourselves that leaves are usually natural. We’re bright that way. :D
However, what if you can’t metabolize or absorb the nutrition from all that lovely real food?
Are you ever constipated? Do you get gas? Diarrhea? Acid reflux? Indigestion? Stomach ulcers? Bloating? Cramps? IBS? Do you have lots of colds and flu? Is depression a problem? Do you have allergies? Eczema? Psoriasis? Bladder infections? Yeast problems? Is your immune system behaving wonky? (That’s the scientific term.)
If you’re answering yes to any of these issues it’s entirely possible, even probable, that your gut bacteria are in need of some help.
We’re all carrying around 4 or 5 pounds of bacteria in our gut (30% of what you flush down the toilet daily is not food waste, its discarded bacteria). If we’re doing well we’ve got 80-85% good or helpful bacteria inside of us and the remainder will be made up of the bad stuff we just have to live with. The good guys are engaged in an ongoing battle with the bad stuff and all is well in our world. We’re healthy.
But then we put chlorine in our water supply to kill bacteria, we subject our “meat production” to millions of pounds of antibiotics (to kill bacteria), we take things like pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, cold medications, antibiotics or other prescriptions; we have toxins in our environment, pesticides on our food, and stress levels that change our chemistry and destroy those little good guys that would so love to help us stay healthy. Over our lifetime we make it really hard for beneficial bacteria to grow and flourish in a healthy and happy environment inside of us. Moreover, we love to lavish the bad bits (such as yeasts and fungi) with an endless supply of the food they love best: carbohydrates.
While it doesn’t happen in a weekend, most of us are steadily changing our ratio of gut inhabitants from a happy good/bad ratio of 80:20 to just the opposite. And then one day, "out-of-the-blue" we say to ourselves, we have a health problem and wonder why.
Look for Building the Foundation of Good Health – Part 2 in the next issue.
-Mona Sims CNPA