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The Microbiome is Still #1 Strategy in Retaining and Regaining Health

have followed scientific literature and read thousands of papers, books, and articles over my 40 year career, trying to keep up with "the latest" in health trends and advice.
But this past year has delivered more information than I ever could have envisioned. Because of the onslaught of Covid 19, the scientific/health community has been working round the clock to elucidate the most powerful tools to protect immunity and prevent severity of disease.

We now know a lot more than we did 12 months ago.  Studies have been done on the blood of those deceased and many things have come to light.  First and foremost is that Vit D levels are of immense importance.  And Vit D levels in the USA are universally low.  (as well as in most other countries)  Having that blood test performed twice a year is one way to safeguard our status.  

We have also learned that Quercetin, zinc, NAC, and Vit C play an oversized role in immune defense, esp against viruses in general and Covid 19 specifically.

But the granddaddy of them all, the trophy winner, the blue ribbon "nutrient" isn't a nutrient at all - it's the billions of bacteria, viruses, parasites known as the "microbiome" that live in our gut that determines whether we will live or die from just about anything.  It is now known that 80% of our defense system lies in this biome-mass that lines our gut from mouth to anus. (as well as on our skin!) And it turns out that Americans and Brits house just about the most unhealthy set of bugs on the planet. (If you're thinking "diet" you win the jackpot today!)

The crazy thing is that this can be changed without spending a penny - well, you just spend your pennies on other things than chips, sodas, sugar, packaged lifeless food, fried foods (b/c of the vegetable oil used) and instead start buying and eating things that actually nourish our bugs instead of wiping them out.

Enter prebiotics:
Prebiotics are the kinds of food that nourish the microbiome.  They are high fiber foods that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber that these happy little critters just love to feast on - things like:  asparagus, jicama, leeks, onions, garlic and sunchokes.  (search:  prebiotic foods for a longer list)  Our gut also manufactures happy probiotics if we eat a few Tbsp of fermented foods every day:  fermented carrots, beets, kim chee, sauerkraut, etc (pickles don't count as they are not fermented, just "pickled" in vinegar).  Also whole milk yogurt with no sugar/flavor, just the white stuff with probiotics added after pasteurization.  Kombucha fermented "juice" is also a good source.

Next probiotics:
If you want to get turned around more quickly as you are adding those kinds of foods, my go-to in probiotics is the Dr Ohhira professional probiotic.  It's a product from Japan with a few decades of research behind it and it contains dozens of prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic critters that have been fermented  for five years.  This particular probiotic product gives your gut the food it needs to grow the good guys, gives you the actual good guys, and then gives you the postbiotic food to get them implanted into your gut to keep them alive.

There are other good brands out there and some of them are specific to an issue, like sinus infections, weight loss, post-antibiotic therapy, etc, but the goods in Dr Ohhira just can't be matched for restoration of the microbiome.

But wait, is that all?  It's not good enough just to eat a few Tbsp of fermented foods and take 2 Dr ohhira at bedtime because there are some things that will make it very difficult to keep a healthy microbiome thriving:  alcohol, sugar, and stress are the top three.  So, keep alcohol on the low/no side, eliminate sugar, and manage stress with meditation and other techniques.  If it appeals to you, sign up for a "mindfulness" class to learn how to lower blood pressure and get off the worry treadmill and use an actual treadmill, bicycle, rebounder, yoga, other stress management protocols to reduce and learn how to manage stress - it will always be there - it's just whether or not we let it take over our brains and therefore our health.  A generous spirit and a happy heart also go a long way to further our health.

It's been a heckuva year but I know that there will be a wealth of information for us to ingest when "this is all over" or even if it isn't ever over:  Nutrition scientists are working hard to find more ways to give us the keys to our own health.  Big news has recently been shared about the microbiome effect caused by Kyolic aged garlic and a brand new product called HTB Rejuvenate.  Google both to read about them.  I've recently added both to my own regimen.

Good health to you!