During high school, I was responsible for a group of 20 kids at an outdoor environmental camp. Aside from the typical antics of 12 year olds, I led the group in a participatory song and dance in which they followed my lead. We chanted, “Soil isn’t Dirty, It’s ALIVE!” while moving our arms and legs to the naturalistic beat. Mom would be proud.
Okay, maybe I wasn’t the best lyracist at the time, but sometimes we take for granted what the true foundation of life is.
- Single celled organisms
- Ubiquitous (omnipresent, everywhere) in every habitat on Earth
- Necessary for nearly all functions of the human body
- The average human body consists of about 10,000,000,000,000 or about ten trillion human cells. Multiply that number by TEN to find the amount of Bacterial cells in the human intestional system alone!
Why is Bacteria so important to life on this planet?
Keep in mind that there are many species of bacteria, some of which is detrimental to humans, but most is necessary for processing and nutrient recycling. Soil bacteria recycles a fundamental nutrient, Nitrogen, allowing plants to grow and feed off of the life force of millions of years.
Bacteria is often a TEAM player. Other bacteria in the soil works alongside fungus in to recycle Carbon — the base of all life (both Trees and Humans are carbon based). Inside your intestines, Bacteria breaks down carbohydrates (especially Fiber which we cannot digest), and the more HEALTHY bacteria we have, the less BAD bacteria we have. Get it? Good bacteria PUSHES OUT bad bacteria, both physically and by producing antioxidant compounds.
One of the best ways to AVOID every single infectious disease known to man is through healthy intestional flora.
The broad spectrum of bacteria has implications from everything to Waste Management to Human Health. Let’s focus in on Human Flora for now because this IS a health blog afterall.
First, What factors contribute to UNHEALTHY human bacterial flora?
- Poor diet: eating lots of processed foods, GMO foods, etc
- Lack of Fiber in the diet: Bacteria ferment dietary fiber and can reproduce from the food. Fiber such as Inulin are known as Prebiotics, which actually feed the healthy bacteria in your intestines.
- Caffeine, alcohol, etc. you name it.
- Poor pH balance in the intestines
But what does it REALLY mean, if you have unhealthy flora in your body?
- Increased likelihood of inflammatory diseases in the bowels and intestines like Crohn’s disease.
- More viral outbreaks, especially all forms of Herpes and the Flu.
- Greater chance of vaginal bacterial infections AND vaginal yeast infections (healthy bacteria keeps Candida at bay)
- In fact, when your personal human flora is unbalanced, you’re at risk for nearly every digestive, inflammatory, and infectious disease known to man…even cancer.
ENOUGH with the Negativity, What can WE do to keep ourselves healthy?
Fortunately, there are many ways to influence proper balance of human flora. We do know that the health of human flora is directly linked to the health of the host (you) so as we put more effort into keeping our flora happy, we will be happier too. Literally.
Top 10 ways to keep Our Own Personal Bacteria Healthy:
Coming up in the next installment Tomorrow…