So much is now being written that connects many of our modern day health issues with changes in the microbiome, the hundred trillion organisms that live within us. Indeed, this was the impetus behind the human microbiome project that began in 2008.
What scientific research has clearly identified is a dramatic shift in the makeup of the population of gut bacteria living within individuals who reside in Western cosmopolitan situations, in comparison to people living in more rural environments. In addition, more recent research has revealed that the bacterial populations living within the gut of individuals from non-urbanized areas, with less emphasis on sanitation, much more closely emulate the good bacteria of our ancestors.
Now, you might wonder how we could possibly know what the gut bacteria were like in our distant relatives. As it turns out, scientific research has developed techniques that can actually fully characterize the gut bacteria from humans living thousands of years ago. Though it may sound somewhat distasteful, researchers are able to analyze the genetic signature of bacteria in fossilized human fecal material called coprolites. Continue reading
What my work, in Brain Maker and Grain Brain, boils down to, is giving you a lifestyle plan that you can follow to cause optimal health. Why do these factors matter? Why are these the choices you should make? Simple: because this is the best way to fight and reduce inflammation, the cornerstone player in diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.
These days we all seem to be pushing as hard as we can to meet our ever-increasing demands. I found the following verse by Eknath Easwaran to be instructional:
Today’s mania for speed strikes right at the root of our capacity for an even mind. How often we find ourselves locked into behavior and situations that force us to hurry, hurry, hurry! By now, most of us are aware that compulsive speed – “hurry sickness” – can be a direct threat to our physical health. But hurry has another alarming repercussion: it cripples patience.
When we lack patience, even a few moments’ delay, a trivial disappointment, an unexpected obstacle, makes us explode in anger. We are not hostile people; we are just in such a hurry that keeping the mind calm is impossible. Without peace of mind, how can we enjoy anything, from a movie to good health?
When we go slower, we are more patient, and when we are more patient, we are capable of enjoying life more. All these benefits can come from just learning to slow down.
On the day we launched Brain Maker, I thought it would be fun to get to speak to you all in real-time and be able to answer some of your questions on the book, the microbiome, gut health, and more. Utilizing the tool Periscope, we were able to having a dynamic discussion on a number of topics, but important to me is that these were the topics you all wanted to know about. We saw lots of questions on subjects such as probiotics, coffee/wine consumption and C. diff.
You can watch the recording of my Periscope here now, and I encourage you to leave your thoughts. Should we do this again?
It’s well-documented that children begin building a microbiome that influences the state of their health from the moment of birth, which is why a choice such as method of delivery (C-section vs. vaginal) is so important.
Breastfeeding is equally important for building your child’s microbiome AND brain. Did you know breast milk is nature’s richest source of DHA? Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding in this video.
I always look forward to Sunday mornings, and one of the things I like to do each Sunday morning is to write for this website.
And as I was preparing to choose a topic for this week’s blog, the doorbell rang. I was pretty sure who it was because almost every Sunday morning I get a visit from a very pleasant gentleman who is a Jehovah’s Witness. I look forward to our discussions each Sunday as we are very respectful of each other’s opinions.
This morning, when he asked me how my day was going, I told him that I was trying to find a topic that I could write about. At that point, he handed me the monthly Jehovah’s Witness newsletter as he stated, “Perhaps you’ll find something to write about in here.”
Ahead of the release of Brain Maker, there’s an important question I want to answer: why did I write this book?