Your body is not your own, you share it. You have a symbiotic relationship with nearly 3 pounds of bacteria! They nearly outnumber your cells 10 to 1. Don’t lose your lunch just yet though, you have to hear about how great this relationship is.
You can find bacteria primarily on the skin, mouth and gut, and it’s a major contributor to your overall wellness! On the skin, bacteria are more closely jam packed than a New York subway at rush hour. There’s no space for bad bacteria to “get on the subway” so they die off from lack of space and food. In the gut, bacteria pass the time during their short lifetimes killing their harmful cousins, indulging on undigestible food, and cooking up vitamin K for us. But this is a very fragile way of life that can be easily disrupted. In a world of junk food, anti-bacterial cleaners, and over-prescribed antibiotics, our symbiotic friends are getting the worst of it.
When we use things like hand sanitizer, or take antibiotics for a common cold, it kills the good bacteria along with the bad. This can lead to sickness, diarrhea, gas, irritable bowel syndrome and lots of other unpleasant things. So when it comes to staying healthy, you’d best keep your gut healthy too. Doctors especially are looking toward the gut to treat things from obesity, autism, and weakened immune systems.
The newest (and possibly grossest) way scientists are looking at treating some of these non-gut diseases (e.g. obesity and diabetes, autism, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis) is by taking a fecal (yes, poop!) sample from a healthy donor, taking the bacteria from the sample out, freeze drying it and inserting it into the lower intestine. It may sound gross, but it’s proved promising for treating all of the diseases I listed above. Would you try this to maybe shed a few pounds?
If not there’s no shame in that. In the meantime, try and eat foods like yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, tempeh and miso to support the growth of the good bacteria in your stomach. If you’re really ambitious, you can try making your own kombucha, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Instead, you can make this miso tempeh wrap with avocado that’s super easy to make and is super delicious. So next time you go to ask for antibiotics from your doctor, double check to make sure you really need them and you may be healthier in the long run for it.