Updated: Jan 16
My niece has a little sign in her kids’ bathroom that says, “Wash your hands and say your prayers ‘cause God and germs are everywhere.” A healthy fear of germs is instilled in every child. GERMS = BACTERIA = DANGER! Are germs, or bacteria, really the enemy of health? Since the invasion of COVID 19 we see hand sanitizer everywhere we go. Is the goal to be germ free, inside and out?
Certainly, cleanliness in kitchens, bathrooms and hospitals has saved lives through the years, but current research is showing that we can be too clean. In our righteous efforts to protect ourselves and our families, we are killing off the good bacteria along with the bad. “Let kids play in the dirt!” Balance is the key.
Dr. Will Bulciewiscz, in his book Fiber Fueled, talks about the complex interaction of microorganisms in our gut that have been hidden to researchers until recent advances in technology have allowed us to see and understand the vital roles played by bacteria, fungi, viruses and archaea in our gut, on our skin and throughout our bodies. Healthy bacteria in our gut help to reduce inflammation and promote health throughout our bodies. Actually the gut microbiota is the Command Center for human health. We want to feed the good gut bugs with lots of fiber-rich foods and starve the bad bugs by avoiding highly processed foods and animal products.
According to Dr. B, “Your gut microbiome is just as much of an ecosystem as the Amazon Rainforest. It thrives on balance and harmony.” One bite of food immediately affects our microbe balance. We have control over what goes into our mouths and that shapes every aspect of health. Eating a broad diversity of colorful plants strengthens immunity, metabolism, hormonal balance and gene expression.
“So powerful are the organisms in your gut that even in their ‘waste’ forms they can heal someone who is deathly ill.” Our forks can be stronger than the sword for fighting disease and protecting wellbeing. If we feed the bad bugs with junk, they hijack control and foster leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, obesity, Coronary Artery Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Alcoholic Hepatitis, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Osteoarthritis. We want to destroy the bad bugs and empower the good guys! We really can train ourselves to like foods that are good for us.
You matter! Never give up.
About the author!
Will Bulsiewicz, MD MSCI, (a.k.a. Dr. B) is a board certified gastroenterologist and gut health expert. Every day, he helps patients and members of his #plantfed community bounce back from restrictive and over-hyped diets, and into a whole new way of living and eating that produces the results they really want… permanently.
At the core of his philosophy is what he calls “lifestyle medicine”, that uses food, exercise, and other lifestyle factors to optimize your gut, get you back in control of your health. Through his upcoming book and free tools, Dr. B break it all down for you, piece by digestible piece, so you can take the simple steps that will help you create incredible shifts in your digestion, symptoms, and life.
About your moderator!
Kathy Taylor loves to learn and share! She earned a Masters’ Degree in Integrating the Arts, M.Ed., from Leslie University, Cambridge, Mass., and completed her Plant Based Nutrition Certification from The T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University. She has taught for many years in Middle School, Elementary and College classrooms. During two years of concentrated study, effort and twenty-six weeks of training at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA, Kathy was able to lose over 200 pounds using medically supervised water-only fasting and WFPB eating. She is a proud member of The National Health Association.