How To Restore Digestive Health And The Immune System after antibiotic therapy, anti-viral drugs, laxatives, excessive cleansing and involuntary exposure to drugs in food.
Detoxing, desinfecting, sanitizing became buzzwords, recently. We walk an extra mile to protect ourselves and our kids from germs and bacteria. Many spray ammonia all-around. Others clean with bleach and bleach-containing products. Hand sanitizers are available in all shapes and sizes and sell like hotcakes. Many are so self-conscious, they believe that they can’t live without drugstore-bought deodorants. We are bent on detoxifying our bodies inside and out. We’ve taken the whole concept of being germ and bacteria-free to the extreme.
As if we forgot that the human body is an ecosystem populated by germs and bacteria: germs and bacteria we need, gut flora we can’t do without. Hello: this huge push to disinfect everything – ourselves included – is dangerous to your health. Drugs that kill harmful bacteria, kill the beneficial bacteria, too. Products designed to disinfect your surroundings, sanitizers that disinfect your hands and detox protocols to cleanse your body, do the same! Living in symbiosis with beneficial bacteria ensures good health. Being “cleaner” and without the balance of beneficial bacteria means also being miserable and more vulnerable to disease.
Our internal flora gets decimated by antibiotic therapies, anti-viral drugs, excessive use of laxatives, heavy metals, dental amalgam, antibiotics’ overload in meat and milk, toxic chemicals in household cleaners, personal care products, antibacterial soaps, etc. There are actually medical terms for the decimated internal microflora, they are “disbacteriosis” or “disbiosis”. The terms describe drastic imbalance in the quantity and composition of the internal ecosystem.
Why is it a big deal? Your digestive health determines not only your digestion but your overall health: 80 percent of your immune system is located in the digestive system!
Out of whack microflora in the digestive system may lead to a multitude of minor complaints, significant inconveniences, health problems and serious diseases. Among them are:
- wide range of digestive problems
- increased susceptibility to infections
- yeast infection
- hair loss
- premature aging and gray hair
- compromised immunity
The emphasis shouldn’t be on eradicating all and any microorganisms in and around you but on rebuilding intestinal microflora and mucosa (intestinal lining).
The following foods support the restoration of beneficial intestinal bacteria:
Garlic known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties (which is quite unprecedented and remains a feat today’s pharmacology is unable to match, yet) seems to be also selective. It protects us from harmful agents and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Papaya renowned for its many healing properties contains digestive enzymes, flavonoids and antioxidants. It regulates bowel movement and protects the digestive system from parasitic infections.
LIVE Probiotics – like those found in Milk Kefir Grains, sauerkraut, or kombucha – help balance intestinal flora.
Intestinal bacteria flourish in – and feed on – intestinal mucosa. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps restore damaged intestinal mucosa. The richest natural sources of L-Glutamine are: lean cuts of beef and cottage cheese.
On a final note, don’t overreact! Here in California there was a lot of talk recently about chickens “contaminated” by Salmonella. There was an outbreak of Salmonellosis followed by many hospitalizations. The public demanded a recall. The producer accused of distributing the “tainted” chickens declined and didn’t recall the chickens explaining that the Salmonella virus is naturally found in the digestive system of chickens.
The outbreak of Salmonellosis wasn’t the chickens’ “fault”, but the consumers’ who didn’t handle and / or prepare their food correctly. Overreacting would mean never eating chicken, again. Common sense? Keep your kitchen clean and don’t eat raw or undercooked poultry.