Crown Point, IN


Dirt is Good

Dirt is Good

Last week I wrote about Forest Bathing—immersing yourself in nature and using all your senses to benefit your health in every way.

This week, I’m heading outdoors to play in the dirt.

Dirt is good. Keep reading to learn WHY.

Your gut houses at least 70% of your immune system. It is loaded (hopefully) with good bacteria (bugs) to fight off disease.

It may also (probably) be home to some bad bacteria.   

All the bacteria in your gut are known as the microbiome.

Any imbalance, whether too few good or too many bad, is not ideal. Gut disturbances can lead to a variety of issues such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, brain fog, weight issues, arthritis, dementia, cancer, and pretty much any undesirable health condition.

Gut imbalances may be caused from:

  1. Poor diet
  2. Medication overuse
  3. Infections
  4. Toxic overload
  5. Inadequate digestive enzymes
  6. Stress

The process of determining the current state of your gut health requires testing to learn which bacteria are out of normal range. Specific treatment is based on the results.

If you’re not feeling quite up to par, or are experiencing some chronic health conditions, testing may be a path you’d like to pursue. (If this is you, let me know and I’ll refer you to a gut health expert.)

In the meantime, here are some ways you can begin TODAY to improve your gut health. (Maybe choose ONE to start.)

  1. Get in the garden. Put your hands in the dirt instead of always wearing gloves. This will help improve the diversity in your microbiome. We’ve gotten a bit crazy with antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. It’s good to play in the dirt. No pesticides.
  2. Vary your diet, eat whole foods, and add a new fruit or vegetable each week.
  3. Find a way to relax, especially when enjoying your food.
  4. Exercise—in moderation. Too much is as problematic as too little.
  5. Get plenty of sleep.
  6. Take time to de-stress.
  7. Kick out added sugar and processed foods.
  8. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits instead of pasta, bread, and sweets.

I’m working on improving my microbiome as I write. This week I’ve been eating dandelion greens. They have a slightly bitter taste; however, the health benefits include improved digestion, increased bone density, body detoxifier, reduced inflammation.

And no, I did not pick them from my yard. I went foraging at Whole Foods. No chemicals allowed on the greens.

Add dandelion greens to a salad, sauté or braise them, add to soups, stews, or smoothies.

Have fun feeding your “good” bugs this week!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“All Disease begins in the gut.”—Hippocrates

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