Get Friendly with Bacteria

Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.

Indulge in sick-free days this season by bolstering your immune system now. Popping an extra 500 milligrams of vitamin C a couple of times a day and choosing natural sweeteners in lieu of refined sugar is good insurance. Refined sugar, stress, and sleep deprivation weaken our immune response. So make sleep a priority, take time to decompress...and get friendly with bacteria! Sounds creepy, I know, but get comfortable with good bacteria and you may save yourself from a great deal of discomfort during cold and flu season.

Beneficial bacteria are as much a part of our bodies as our skin and bones, and are vital to keeping the bad bugs that make us sick at bay. But our “probiotics” (as the good guys are termed) are generally under attack by the food we eat and the medicine we take. If you’ve taken antibiotics in the past, your healthy bacteria may be depleted. This leaves room for troublesome bugs to overwhelm and infect, especially when you are exposed to them in concentration (like the associate who sneezes on his hand before shaking yours) or when you haven’t had enough sleep for a few days.

The great news is that you can help restore your good bacteria by taking “probiotic” supplements, available at nutrition stores, drug stores, and groceries, and by indulging in foods with “live and active cultures”—check the label (think creamy, fruity yogurt). Also, bacteria found in healthy soil originally helped protect the plants in the soil (before pesticides came to reign) and likewise, they protect humans who eat those plants. These live organisms, called HSO, can be supplemented too. My best expert sources like Primal Defense Ultra with HSOs—well worth the investment, especially if you’ve had to take antibiotic medication recently.

Another beneficial and pleasant practice is to buy your produce seasonally and locally from small farms locally from small farms. Get to know the farmers in your area by browsing farmer’s markets and support the ones who practice sustainability and organic farming. These practices protect the health of the soil and the good bacteria in it. In turn, the HSO and nutritious, organic food help protect your body!

To promote local, organic education (and healthy school lunches) for our kids, look into supporting an "Edible Schoolyard" in your community. Choosing meat and dairy products raised without antibiotics not treated with antibiotics will also save your friendly bacteria from unwarranted attack.

Another indulgent strategy to bolster your good bacteria is routine exposure to healthy skin, via close physical contact with others. “Snuggling, hugging and kissing are important for more than emotional well-being. It is a way to share good skin bacteria!” says infectious disease specialist, Ian McMillen, M.D. of Atlanta Clinical Care.

So embrace those magnificant mibrobes with a daily organic yogurt or probiotic supplement. Friendly bacteria will help give you real protection against colds and flu, along with other healthy lifestyle indulgences. If you have trouble sleeping, take action— there are many natural remedies, like aromatherapy, that can truly help, without side effects. Remember to laugh, play and have fun at some point every day, no matter what is going wrong! This helps keep a handle on stress, which can make you more suseptible to that contaminated hand shake. Snuggling and kissing can’t hurt, either.

To learn more about the paradigm that feeling good is good for you— and boosts your immunity, check out the Mind/Body department of AI magazine. And remember, indulgence is the key to wellness and good health is the ultimate indulgence.

Stay Well!


Click here and check out Angela's other healthy tips.

*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer

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