We spend a lot of time making sure we’re clean — scrubbing ourselves with harsh soaps, sanitizing our hands and environment with chemicals, and eliminating any trace of dirt from our homes and lives.

But more and more, the evidence points to germs as being essential for our well being, so it may be time to rethink our approach to health and disease.

I have talked about gut health before but wanted to revisit this issue because I really believe it is the center for controlling many diseases.

Your gut plays a huge role in breaking down foods, absorbing nutrients, keeping out toxins, regulating our immune system and producing nutrients. That’s a lot of work!!

No wonder your Microbiome (gut bacteria) comprises nearly 2 million genes with about 300 to 500 bacterial species!

The number of bacteria within the gut is approximately 10 times that of all of the cells in the human body!

So it is important to maintain a healthy gut and there are several factors that affect our microbiome…(some we can control)

  • the environment we live in
  • the mode of delivery into the world (vaginal or cesarean);
  • diet during infancy (breast milk or formula feeds) and
  • adulthood dietary habits (plant based or meat based, processed or raw)
  • use of antibiotics (medications), birth control pills, steroids, NSAIDs, acid-blocking drugs

Many diseases could be caused by gut problems.

  • allergies,
  • arthritis,
  • autoimmune diseases (IBS, Crohns, Acne, Chronic Fatigue)
  • mood disorders,
  • autism
  • dementia
  • cancer
  • obesity 1

**Less childhood exposure to bacteria and parasites in affluent societies like Australia and the United States actually increases susceptibility to diseaseby suppressing the natural development of the immune system.

So what can we do to maintain a healthy gut?

  • Eat cruciferous vegetables (kale, cabbage, and cauliflower)
  • Avoid Processed Foods
  • Eat Green Bananas and/or green banana flour, green peas, lentils, uncooked rolled oats, white beans, sweet potatoes (resistant starches and high in inulin)
  • Avoid Conventionally Raised Meats
  • Prepare your food by lightly steaming, sauteing or eating raw (best option)
  • Avoid Fried Foods
  • Eat Fermented Foods (Kimchi, Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Tempeh, and Kombucha) and Fungi (mushrooms)
  • Avoid Antibiotics (unless absolutely necessary)
  • Take a quality probiotic that provides digestive enzymes & good bacteria
  • Avoid using antibacterial soaps and other antibacterial household products
  • Wash your Hands with Soap and Water

This is a small list of things to do but hopefully gets you thinking of ways to improve your gut.

The bottom line is our societies love affair with hand sanitizers and antibiotics is not all good.

Antibiotic therapy is incorrect in 30% to 50% of all cases! 2

Have a great day and let me know if you have any questions 🙂

– Brian

P.S. Join our Private Get Lean Facebook Community for more tips and to get your questions answered 🙂

Curr Oncol Rep. 2016 Jul;18(7):45. doi: 10.1007/s11912-016-0528-7
P T. 2015 Apr; 40(4): 277–283.