When most of us think about what we can do to stay healthy and promote health and longevity, the solutions that society provides come to mind: bathing our bodies constantly with antibacterial soap, eating pasteurized foods, taking anti-biotics when we get infections and zapping our foods with microwaves.
All of these commonly-accepted practices cause great harm to the balance of good versus bad bacteria in your gastro-intestinal tract, tipping the scale in favor of the bad bacteria. This can have a drastic effect on overall health.
The human body contains 10 Trillion human cells and 100 Trillion bacterial cells, so a balanced culture of bacteria is important for health and well-being.
The term used to reference good floral balance is eubiosis, formed from the prefix eu- meaning “good, well, true” combined with the suffix -biosis meaning “life”. On the contrary, dysbiosis references an unbalanced situation, coming from the prefix dys- which means “impaired, difficult, bad”.
Before you were born, your GI tract was sterile. The moment you were born, colonization of bacteria began in your gut. The first bacteria to settle in were the immune-building ones from breast milk, increasing your level of health and favoring your survival.
In a sense, we spend the rest of our lives “trashing” it with bad stuff — like poor dietary choices and other lifestyle choices. Or sometimes our environment does it for us.
Yet gut flora, the microorganisms living in your gut, continually and dynamically affect your immune system.
Helpful bacteria prevent the growth of undesirable ones by competing for both nutrition and attachment sites in the tissues of the colon.
We can stop the damage by simply doing the opposite of what society suggests and avoiding: antibacterial soaps, pasteurized foods, anti-biotics, processed foods and microwaved foods. The damage can then be reversed by: eating whole foods (mostly fresh vegetables, cooked minimally), washing with organic soaps and shampoos, eating bacteria rich foods such as Kefir and taking good pro-biotic supplements.
Once the dietary balance is restored and the bacterial colonies are regenerated with pro-biotics, the body will be much healthier and our overall quality of life will improve dramatically. A carefully balanced diet and lifestyle can work wonders for individuals suffering from depression and other emotional problems.
I have found that negative emotions and cravings for junk foods are the result of a self-perpetuating cycle that can be broken by working to change our diet and lifestyle. In my experience, a water or a juice fast is one of the best ways to begin such a transition and assure that we continue to move in the right direction for optimal health and well being.
A carefully contrived diet and lifestyle can help the body, mind and spirit to retain its youth and vitality for many decades and avoid many of the maladies that have become so common in modern society.