Friday 23rd July 2021
People often cringe at the word bacteria and frantically clean surfaces in the hope of eliminating it, but less than 1% is actually harmful and the rest is beneficial and actually needed by our bodies.
There's more bacteria cells in our bodies (about 100 trillion, mostly in the gut, and on the skin) than there are human cells. We not only live in harmony with them but they are essential to our survival. The bacteria in your gut breaks down food, helps the synthesis of important vitamins like B6 and aids your immune system. They are also involved in energy metabolism, regulating cholesterol and keeping hormone levels in balance.
Whilst we may want to keep the minority bad bacteria out, getting the good ones in is hugely beneficial to our health and well-being. Small amounts of bad bacteria help retrain our immune system to control them. It's no bad thing having some bad bacteria around and in a healthy person it'll be managed by all the good ones. Trying to kill the bad ones with cleaning isn't the answer. Even playing in soil has been shown to improve our bacteria diversity and can even help our mental health .
The best ways to boost and maximise your bacteria health are:
- Eat a diverse range of foods with lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains
- Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Eat plenty of healthy fats including olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds
- Reduce or eliminate processed food and those with refined sugar
- Sleep well
- Go outdoors in nature and touch the plants/leaves
- Do the gardening with bare hands
If you feel you're deficient in certain vitamins, taking supplements isn't necessarily the best option. Enhancing your gut health is certainly a much better way of accomplishing it.
 Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant
Eat Dirt – Dr. Josh Axe (Amazon)
Gut – Giulia Enders (Amazon)