The latest and greatest research regarding overall health is focusing more on the intestines these days. The “gut” (more specifically,) the small intestines is where food is reabsorbed and utilized for feeding the cells of our bodies. This has lead to the discovery of just how important the bacteria in our digestive tract really is.
We have over 30+ trillion cells in our bodies. Sounds like a pretty big number until you compare it with the 300+ trillion bacteria that reside in these same bodies! Without this bacteria, we would NOT be able to absorb the nutrients in food necessary to sustain life. Therefore, bacteria has a vital role in our existence.
Our diets determine the colonies of bacteria we house within our bodies. Vegetarians, Paleo followers, Mediterranean followers all have DIFFERENT FLORA (bacteria) in their intestines. Our bodies amazingly adapt to the type of diet we provide it when these foods contain good quality nutrients and come from good quality (preferably organic) foods. Interestingly, diets high in processed foods, preservatives, toxic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemicals and food coloring all cause extensive damage to the bacteria we rely on for good health. Damaging the good healthy bacteria weakens the immune system (approximately 70-80% of the immune system resides in the intestines.)
The other major culprit that damages our gut bacteria can be found in our pharmacies. Both over the counter and prescriptive medications (especially antibiotics) damage large amounts of bacteria creating an environment where “bad unhealthy bacteria can opportunistically grow and proliferate. This can lead to mild symptoms including diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and nausea or SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITIONS including ulcerative (bleeding) colitis, infections and cancer.
Feeding our bodies what they need is NOT an optional suggestion. It is a requirement for improving the chances for a healthier more productive life. Most people do not look at food critically and abuse its consumption. The damaging effects become cumulative. In most cases we are unaware of the damaging effects our food consumption causes because our body’s have great adaptive capabilities to withstand great levels of abuse. Only foolish people need to experience symptoms proving to themselves the damaging effects a lifetime of abuse causes. Our lifespans are relatively short. Does it make sense to live the last 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, in a bed, in a recliner or in a wheelchair because we didn’t want to ingest, vegetables, fruits, healthy starches, healthy grains, healthy beans, healthy meats, healthy fish, etc?… Should the quality of our lives be ruined because we refused to walk, swim, ride a bike, lift weights, participate in dance and other aerobic classes? Rarely do I talk with people that tell me they wish to live a life of misery as they age. So why don’t people change their behavior? The only conclusion I can reach is they don’t believe it will happen to them. Most people seem to believe that NOT FEELING BAD is basically the same thing as FEELING GOOD.
We need to stop making excuses. Stop blaming costs and the inconvenience of food preparation. The following picture illustrates what impoverishment in the United States vs other countries looks like.
There are certainly many people with eating disorders that are NOT self induced, but this article is meant for those who continue to sabotage their own lives. It is time for you to recognize the tremendous value you offer and the contributions you can make to improve the world you live in. It starts at home, however. You must learn to combat this destructive behavior and replace it with one that provides good health and opportunity to enjoy life. Maintaining the current course (with or without symptoms) will likely result in damage of the intestines that may NOT BE REVERSIBLE. The following pictures show some graphic reality that EVERYONE needs to see.
THE ABOVE TWO PICTURES ARE EXAMPLES OF INTESTINAL CANCER
Three of the four examples are common findings typically producing NO SYMPTOMS. If you tried guessing which picture was the one that produced pain, it was the inflamed ileum. That means cancerous colons (3rd most common cancer resulting in over 50,000 deaths annually) can be PAINLESS until the disease advances beyond the point of cure. How difficult would it be to receive a terminal diagnosis along with a recommendation to undergo aggressive chemotherapy (poisoning) and radiation (burning) to potentially extend one’s life by months without any quality of life. What food is worth this outcome? How much do we have to enjoy sedentary living to end our lives this way?
Are fast food and junk food diets really worth dying for? Isn’t an 80%-90% healthy diet, 10-20% comfort food diet a reasonable solution. Isn’t it reasonable to consume a healthy meal FIRST before any comfort style foods are ingested? This simple concept would provide the body with the nutrients it needs while providing the individual with the comfort food they desire. Implementing plans as simple as this can reverse the current dangerous course many people are traveling.
As graphic as this article has been, I hope it provides enough impact to help those needing a new direction. The intestines play a vital role in good health and must be provided the nutrients needed to develop and maintain a healthy gut bacteria. These healthy gut bacteria protect us from opportunistic infections as well as environmental toxins we can’t control. Please talk with a nutritionist or physician qualified to offer nutritional counseling. There is a compromise within each of us. Your life’s quality and longevity may depend on it.
Feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Everyone benefits from learning and implementing new strategies that result in healthier outcomes.