Here is an interesting fact, we are 90% bug. Let me explain. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project, “the human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. Because of their small size, however, microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s mass but play a vital role in human health.” The civilization of bugs living on and inside the human body is called the Microbiome and if it’s healthy so are we. So, what are some of the best ways to keep your community of bacteria happy & healthy?
1. Eat bug friendly foods
Get to know your local farmers and start buying organic produce and animal products whenever possible. We want to focus on eating unprocessed food that goes bad within a couple of days (on the counter) to a couple of weeks (refrigerated). Make sure you’re getting plenty of soluble & insoluble fiber and don’t be afraid of some high quality fats.
2. Avoid bug killing products
Our microbiome is critical to our health and unfortunately it’s constantly under attack. Some things, the quality of our air and exposure to heavy metals for example, can be difficult to avoid. But there are areas where we have control. We need to support our bugs by avoiding products made with chemical additives, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, and hormones.
3. Good bugs like positive emotions
When we experience stress, anger, fear, and other negative emotions our good bugs get sick and our bad bugs thrive. On the flip side, when experiencing love, joy, happiness, and pleasurable emotions the opposite is true. Furthermore, the condition of our microbiome impacts our emotions, it’s a two way street. Cultivating positive emotions with daily exercise, gratitude journals, dinner with friends, and quality time with loved ones will help keep the happy bug population high.
4. Get a daily dose of bug
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting we go out and start slurping up worms and crunching on crickets. However, we should be eating probiotic rich foods every day. The good news is there are lots of yummy options; kefir, raw cheese, kombucha, and kim chi are some of my favorites. You might also consider a good probiotic supplement (one with strands that adhere to the gut wall).