Hello, health nuts. It’s post holiday weekend and I am feeling refreshed from a few extra days off. It’s amazing what a little extra rest and vitamin d can do for the body and soul. I just finished reading Dr. Axe’s Eat Dirt and was amazed by all the simple tips I learned to support gut and immune health.
As you may have gathered by the title, Dr. Axe advises to expose ourselves to dirt to build our immune systems and advises not to over sanitize.
By living in a squeaky-clean bubble and turning germs and dirt into villains to be destroyed or avoided at all costs, we’ve kept some of our most powerful allies for health at arm’s length – and the devastating ramifications are piling up all around us.
It’s time to step away from the hand sanitizer and bleach and expose yourself to some dirt. Dr. Axe suggests many lifestyle tips to expose ourselves to microbes on a daily basis. I’ve outlined my favorites below:
Swim in the Ocean
My absolute favorite suggestion from Eat Dirt was going for a swim in the ocean to get exposure to the microbes in salt water! This one is near and dear to my heart because I grew up close to the New Jersey coast line and will do just about anything to spend more time at the beach. I was excited to learn there is an actual health benefit to taking a dip in the sea. This is the perfect excuse to schedule more beach days. Plus, it does wonders for your skin too!
Consume Raw Honey
We all know honey is a great natural alternative to processed sugar but I learned what types of honey are best for your gut. Not all honey has the same benefits. Dr. Axe recommends incorporating raw honey or Manuka honey into your diet. Raw honey is not pasteurized. Many of the honey products you see in the food store are processed so stick with the unaltered versions.
Dr. Axe explains how bee pollen in raw honey contains natural microbes that help in modulating the immune response. Hey, that’s pretty sweet! Raw honey and Manuka honey (product of New Zealand) can be a bit pricey but the health benefits are way greater than the processed stuff. I’ve learned that good health is way cheaper than chronic illness so I indulge in the high quality products.
Exposure to Soil Based Organisms
Lastly, I learned the importance of increasing our exposure to soil based organisms. Dr. Axe talks about the importance of soil based organisms and refers to SBO’s as “the king of probiotics.” He explains, “Inside your gut, SBO’s devote themselves to killing off the harmful bacteria that would otherwise make you sick.” Soil based organisms are your own microbial army ready to take out the bad guys.
Many people (including myself) live in cities and don’t have a ton of access to dirt in nature. Dr. Axe suggests purchasing food from farmers markets to get fruits and veggies fresh off the farm still covered in a little dirt. While this might look gross, it’s a great way to increase your exposure to SBO’s and support your gut health.
Country folk, it’s time to get yourself to the park and roll around in some mud! City folk, head to your local farmers market and pick up the filthiest veggies you can get your hands on!
These are a fraction of the tips explained throughout Eat Dirt. I highly suggest this wellness read for anyone who wants to learn more about supporting and healing your gut naturally. There is also significant coverage on gut issues and what you can do for your gut type. Too much information to cover in one post!
Now go get dirty!