Marcel Proust once wrote, “We live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom: our body.” (3Quarks Daily, 5/30/2013) How right he was. Of the number of cells in our anatomy only 10% are human. The rest are microbes. (“Happy Microbes, Skinny Jeans,” by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, Mother Jones, July/August, pg 50) Most of these little critters inhabit the colon and came to us, courtesy of our mothers as we journeyed through the birth canal. Nonetheless, once they join us, we make these invaders our own, discouraging some and promoting others depending upon what we feed them.
Generally, microbes are not only friendly but vital to our survival. They work with white cell blood counts to bolster the immune system. But if we feed them sugar and fatty foods, the unfriendly microbes overmaster the friendly ones, promoting chronic inflammation. Inflammation degrades our bodies the way sugar decays teeth. Illness results, especially if the microbes find their way into the blood stream. Once there, they attack internal organs, destabilizing our systems with increased body fat. Diseases like diabetes and heart failure are examples of their work.
Seeing inflammation as the cause and not the result of disease is a new way of thinking about our bodies and our diets. We really are what we eat and recognizing this connection gives us a new way to heal ourselves. The first step is to avoid prepared foods and head for the fruits and vegetables aisle of the grocery store. Do that and a person can think less about illness and more about wellness. Including lots of stinky stuff like onions and garlic is an especially good idea. (Ibid, pg. 65)
As Shakespeare said, our fate lies not in our stars. It lies in our gut.
(Courtesy of www.soft.net)