Dr. Joseph Mercola is a controversial figure in the wellness community; and for good reason. At times his insights and counsel can be on point and worthwhile, and at other times he seems like an opportunistic supplement pusher out to make a buck. However, a recent article that I caught was a really good distillation of the importance of a healthy digestive system and the role that friendly bacteria play in keeping us healthy. I’m talking probiotics people.
I have posted about probiotics before, but it’s been a while and I thought it worth a quick mention for those who may have missed my previous post. So what are we talking about here? In a word: bacteria. There’s the good kind that we find in fermented foods (yoghurt) and there’s the bad kind that end up making us sick. According to Dr. Mercola, “your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria — more than 10 times the number of cells in your body.” WTF? That’s a little disturbing. But the good news is that not all of that bacteria is bad. In fact, it turns out that the good bacteria is like a legion of super heroes kicking ass all day long to keep your system firing on all cylinders; turns out the majority of this ass kicking is taking place right in your gut, aka GI tract, aka digestive system.
So how do we keep the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria on point? If the sound byte, “80 % of your immune system is in your gut,” is in fact true, then we ought to be focused on doing what we can to keep our GI tract loaded with these friendly bacteria. Good news: it’s really easy. First, find a really high quality plain yoghurt (no added sugar, fruit crap) and eat some every day. You hate yoghurt you say? Ok, option 2: take a really good probiotic supplement that is loaded with billions of these guys. Click here for a good option. You hate taking supplements? Ok option 3: sauerkraut, natto, kim chee, tempeh, or any other fermented food taken on a regular basis will continue to add troops to your army of good bacteria in your gut and keep your immune system strong. You hate all of that fermented food crap? Option 4: drink raw milk. Those are your four options people; and if you really want to be a bad ass, and keep your immune system peaked, do all of them…I do.