Our bodies are created to interact with bacteria and viruses every day. When the microbe was discovered, we realized just how many of them existed around and inside us. Not all of these are deadly or even make us sick – some work in tandem with our body to help increase resistance to viruses and bacteria.
Meet the Microbiota
Our gut is deeply connected to our immune system. As a matter of fact, almost 80% of our immune system is located in the gut. Some of this is within the structure, but the microbes that live in our gut are also stars of the show. Sadly, when we began to rely on antibiotics to treat illnesses that simply didn’t warrant their use, we started creating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria as well as destroying the friendly microbes that live and thrive in our gut.
When antibiotics are prescribed for conditions that don’t warrant them, we are putting our immune system at a huge disadvantage. Rebuilding the gut microbiota after antibiotic use is extremely challenging and requires commitment.
It’s important that we eat and live in such a way that minimizes our need for antibiotics and builds the colonies of good bacteria in our gut; this will increase our immunity against outside invaders and create a hostile environment for those that may get through.
The Standard American Diet (not just American anymore) is a sure way to break down and destroy the microbiome. Highly processed foods do not contain the elements needed to feed healthy bacteria, and the addition of sugar can increase the growth of candida albicans and cause systemic candida overgrowth. This condition is wrought with serious symptoms and requires a very restricted diet to overcome.
What Can You Do?
- Eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Limit natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
- Drink purified water. Water with chlorine and other additives can be very damaging to the gut wall.
- Avoid non-organic coffee, which is heavily sprayed with glyphosates that damage the gut wall.
- Limit alcohol
- Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and legumes. These all contain fiber that feed and nourish the gut microbes.
- Add fermented foods such as kombucha or plain yogurt to your diet. You can choose to purchase these, but make sure they contain live cultures and NO added sugar.
- Add prebiotics to your diet. Chicory root, dandelion root, greens, garlic, onion and berries and great sources of prebiotics.
- If you eat grains, make sure you use whole grains and, even better, use traditional forms of preparation by soaking. A great book to reference is Nourishing Traditions.
- Take a high quality probiotic supplement like HMF Intensive from Genestra (follow this link to get a 20% discount on all professional level supplements)
- Reduce your stress by learning how to deal with it more effectively. Start each day with gratitude and visualize a healthier, stronger you ?
The Key Takeaway
Avoiding illness is impossible, but it is possible to build your immune system in such a way that if you get sick, it will be short-lived. Focus on building your immunity and the strength of your microbiota, and you won’t need to wear a mask or worry about social distancing. Your goal should be to create an internal environment that is hostile to bacteria and viruses!