Monday, March 25, 2013

Changing Your Diet Series: Probiotics

When we plant a garden, we don't just add dirt.  We add soil, and the difference between dirt and soil is life.  Microbes in our soil break down nutrients and make them available to the plants.  The microbes in our gut act the same way.

Doctors are paying more attention to the microbes in the human gut and how they interact with us and our food.  Antibiotics and hormones in our meat and milk, pesticides in our produce, antibacterial soap...all of these combine into a lethal cocktail for this important system in our bodies.

The microbiome - the microbial population in your body - is so important, it's actually being treated as a new organ, and it's not just for digestion.  These microbes impact your immunity, mental health, sugar metabolism...they are seeing major connections that could lead to breakthroughs in how we treat disease and promote health.

To better explain the importance of this microbiome, I've included this video that really gets to the heart of it. This is so important.  And we've overlooked it - no, tried to eradicate it - for so long!

So - now that we know how important this stuff is, how do we get it?  If you're going to spend money on good food, you want to be able to absorb as much nutrition from it as possible. Jonathan Eisen talked about a fecal transplant.  That's a pretty radical treatment in my book.  I personally prefer kombucha...

There are numerous less invasive ways to introduce beneficial microbes and bacteria into your body. Gardening is one - and I recommend that you garden without gloves.  Get your hands in the dirt and let those microbes play in your sandbox.  Food is another. I try to eat some yogurt and drink some kombucha every day. We drink raw milk.  And if you can add lactofermented vegetables such as traditionally prepared sauerkraut to your diet as well, you will be light years ahead in terms of the nutrients your body will be able to absorb.  

Here's your assignment.  Find these three things and use them daily for a month.  
1.  A plain, whole milk organic yogurt (no sweetener - you can add a little raw honey to it if you need to)
2.  A kombucha that you like (even Tom Thumb carries it these days)
3.  Some form of lactofermented vegetable that you can eat a small amount of here and there. It packs a punch, so you don't need much.  If you're interested in learning how to ferment your own veggies, we'll be scheduling some classes in May in the Dallas area.

I'd love to hear what effect this has on you.  It's really made a difference in my energy levels and my ability to concentrate.  One last thing - go through your house and get rid of anything that says antibacterial on the label.  Your body will thank you.

1 comment:

Trish Percy said...

Here's a great place to start if you're new to fermented foods: