Winter Wellness, immune system support

There are a few reasons winter brings sniffles or colds to some and not others.  It has been said, microorganisms rule the world.  This is somewhat true.

The body is like a country.  It has a civil defense, or the immune system.  The immune system is 80% in the intestines, or gut.  Your immune system is what “fights off” a cold or flu and even other diseases.  Your immune system helps you heal.  Think of when you were a child and got a scrape.  It made a scab and healed on it’s own.  The same way your body killed off the germs in that scrape on the  elbow is how your immune system in your gut helps heal many diseases.

What does your immune system, like your civil defense, use to kill off the enemy?  Good bacteria.  These good bacteria are the troupes defending against the newest tainted food scare source.  One reason the very young, and very old, and very ill people will not have as much ability to fight off the ecoli on the contaminated vegetables is because they do not have the intestinal bacteria (gut flora) to fight it off.  It is necessary to have enough good bacteria to protect against (kill off) the enemy germs that would cause sickness.

How is the gut flora changed?  The gut is sterile at birth.  It has no flora at all.  The gut is seeded from birth on.  Have you seen how a baby puts things in it’s mouth? It is seeding the gut with bacteria from the toys, the cat, everything it can put in it’s mouth.  With strength from the mother (her good nutrition while pregnant and nursing), the good bacteria usually win.  For you and me, it is practically the same.  We eat food that feeds the types of bacteria that eat what we eat.  This can be a problem.  Some foods feed the bacteria that harvest more energy (tend to gain weight) or the bacteria that allow overgrowth of illness causing bacteria.  Other foods feed bacteria that reduce the harmful bacteria and promote wellness.

First, feed the bacteria that are more desirable.                                                                       Second, introduce more “troupes” that are desirable, lots of them over time.    Third, starve out the “bad” bacteria.

A basic plan such as this has been shown to work for most people.  Specific needs can be addressed, like allergies or conditions, in another post.

Adopting  the SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a lifestyle is known to have  the effect of changing the gut flora to a more desirable balance. For the person used to eating sugary foods or bread or drinking soda pop, it may be a challenge for the first days.  This is due to cravings and side effects of sugar withdrawal.  Typically clients will begin to loose a few pounds if they are overweight.

The second step is to provide good bacteria to the gut. This is done by consuming probiotic foods and or supplements.  Raw fermented foods contain large quantities of beneficial probiotics.  Recipe links are available here. Probiotics are also available in supplement form.  Many are sub standard quality or completely useless.  There must be sufficient quality and quantity to travel to the intestines and form colonies.

Lastly starving the “bad” bacteria is also accomplished by living an SCD lifestyle.  The reason this works will be explained in a future post.