In order to optimise your health you need a deeper and more current and cutting edge perspective on how the foods you eat feed your microbiome (bacteria etc.), mycobiome (fungal community) and even parasites and viruses that all have very specific functions and effects on you health and wellbeing.
In other words; the foods you eat will, over time, become your “medicine” or your “poison”.
Lets take a deeper dive into some new studies and research about this:
We’ll begin with how we used to think – the old way of thinking about food and how that way of thinking limits our perceptions and is a very real “invisible obstacle” when we’re seeking to optimise our health. And then we’ll compare it to our current scientific understanding of the complex and intelligent way our bodies actually function and cooperate with nature in order to gift us with real and sustainable health.
The Old Way of thinking is that food is simply energy and calories – very similar to how we fill our cars with gasoline. We’ve been used to looking at macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) using the “dinner plate model” (around 0,5-1 g. of protein, 2-4 g. of carbs and 1-4 g. of fats per kg body weight – depending on diet and needs).
We have also been taught that our energy levels and how we use our bodies by walking, working out, thinking etc, is directly and solely measured in the calories we burn and how we refuel our bodies with new calories.
This old model is not incorrect per say, but today we know that it’s very simplistic and does not take into consideration the multitude of ways that foods can and will affect our physical bodies as well as our mental and emotional state.
The New Way of thinking about this dynamic embraces the Old Way, but expands on it – utilizing many amazing scientific discoveries of our modern world; how our foods have epigenetic effects (in particular micro-RNA in plant fibers) and can have a strong influence on how our genes express themselves by, simply put, turning them ON or OFF.
Also, food provides energy(ATP) but differentiates a lot from our human different needs and adaptions. As an example; forced fasting in order to lose weight (body fat) can have negative long term consequences. Fasting triggers various survival mechanisms of our body, which means we need less calories after the fast (until we balance our metabolic set point), and furthermore – fasting can improve the bioavailability (nutrition uptake) of the foods we eat, so we need to be extra mindful of the quality and quantity of our food/nutrition.
Our Lifestyle matters!
Food provides us with energy to function in our lives, but other things provides us with energy as well. Our daily mood, whether we get enough sunlight and exercise, the amount of positive social interaction we have, the composition of our microbiome and just generally how much we enjoy life – all these things give us energy to function in our lives.
So even if two different types of diet have the exact same amount of calories – they can have very different results. If you eat a diet with lots of organic vegetables, organic eggs and olive oil and compare it to a diet with a diet of conventionally grown vegetables (sprayed with pesticides), non-organic classic breads (grown from sprayed grains), industrialized/GMO meat and cheese, you will find that they give you very different results – particularly in the long term.
Sources of Energy /ATP
A positive and self-encouraging state of mind will give you more energy compared to a stressed out, depressed, anxious and self-critisizing state of mind – which will deplete the energy right out of you.
Food provides information to our microbiome and fungal community. The various things we eat send different signals for very specific functions in our bodies – like whether to store fat or not, shrinking fat cells versus reducing fat or maintaining muscle mass and healthy elastin in your fascia (connective tissue). And changing your diet without awareness can
also have long term consequences – such as how effective our bodies will burn fat and many many other different functions.
Turning ON & OFF Genes
Some of the most fascinating research gets into how our food gets broken down into signalling molecules that will affect the coding of our RNA and the regulations and expressions of our DNA/genes. Such as how processed fats increase the risk of cancer and heart disease by turning cancer cells ON – or how blueberries (especially when mixed with cardamom) will trigger your body’s cancer fighting cells. Of course, there is much more to this equation in regards to cancer, but these are just two interesting examples.
The Unnatural Problems
A diet with many processed and artificial nutrients not only lower the amount of helpful species of our microbiome, but feed the “wrong/bad” species that produce more unhealthy substances. As an example; if we lower the amount of the helpful Bifidobacteria, our energy production will be lowered and we typically end up storing more body fat.
If we look at unnatural foods that are 100% man-made, such as artificial sweets, processed and overheated fats from fried food, GMO foods – sprayed with chemicals like Roundup (Glyphosate) and more – these will over time help an unfavourable microbiome to thrive inside of us, and even make our cells produce more exosomes and make it easier for various viruses to infect you and cause harm. (More about Exosomes and Viruses)
Dr. Zach Bush even tells us how viruses are not like bacteria since viruses are not alive in the same way as bacteria, but function as advanced information carriers to the body – delivering different messages and triggering various functions. Dr. Zach Bush also explains how most viruses aren’t bad at all, but in fact simply allow the body to learn and upgrade the lack of connection with nature and the viruses and bacteria that naturally exist in the soil, in the air and all around us.
He also shares how too much glyphosate will inhibit certain important amino acids from being produced that will be devastating for the body long term. A negative effect from viruses is simply informing the body that something is not OK – that our microbiome and immune cells are not in balance with nature, and hence lack the strength and resilience needed for optimal health. (Check out Ben Greenfield’s latest interview with Dr. Zach Bush
explaining this and more)
Many studies of children (kid’s behaviour and gut bacteria) who have been raised on natural farms or with parents living naturally and eating from nature, have shown the children to have a rich and diverse microbiome, a stronger immune system and having more physical and psychological resilience.
Just like the traditional hunter/gatherer societies of Tanzania who possess a rare (compared to most modern cultures) and more natural microbiome, as they live healthier lives and are more adaptable and resilient due to living off the land and changing their diets according to the seasons. They eat more plant fibers during one season and more meat in another season. This way of life also balance the available natural resources in a very sustainable way and is very healthy long term. All humans and most animals are designed by nature to eat a changing diet – in accordance with the produce of the local seasons.
When we don’t have this inner balance and diversity, we can experience unbalanced satiety and hunger, a lot of gas, intestinal problems, inflammation, high acid levels, hormonal imbalances – such as low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels which increases fat storage and the list goes on from there and is too long to put into a blog like this.
I hope by now you have a clearer picture of how unnatural foods – that were never designed by nature – are everywhere around us and they are often advertised as being healthy, when in fact they cause a lot of harm, diseases and problems long term.
The Natural Solution in colors
If we look at natural foods that are grown, farmed or harvested naturally, they are rich with nutrients and have a diverse amount of healthy bacteria. And these foods will never cause any unnatural problems in our gut, on our skin and autoimmune issues etc, as long as we have a natural inner ecosystem (microbiome & mycobiome) within.
For example blueberries, strawberries, various vegetables – among other natural foods – are rich in color and balance out our hunger and satiety, provide a calming effect, balance
hormones, increase testosterone, improve metabolism, provide better sleep cycles and energy/ATP levels and therefore also an improved state of mind.
These color pigments are called phenols and phenols are interesting and useful because they are actually a food source for very specific bacteria.
Bacteria are everywhere in nature and are always inside of us and follow the natural rhythm where we live. They have a daily, weekly and seasonal plan with everything they do. In other words, bacteria affect virtually all life forms on this planet, and they follow cycles and adapt to their environment in such thoroughly genius ways that we bare scratched the surface in our understanding of them, of the multitude of ways they affect us and how our inner ecosystem is connected to the ecosystem of the outside world.
What the bacteria produce from the food we eat, is actually synchronized with our human genes and affect how our genes express themselves.
This is actually also part of the reason why you get jet lag when you travel – because there is a disconnection between the intestine, head and your body. The inner clock of our gut gets of sync.
But let’s get back to phenols – as well as flavonoids from plants, berries and natural foods. These compounds provide a basis for bacteria that create heal, well-being and vitality for us.
Phenols and flavonoids also have a strong antioxidant effect that can neutralize free radicals, they are beneficial to the health of our blood vessels, they protect our connective tissue (collagen) and they even enables us (as well as plants) to better absorb and neutralize harmful UV rays from the sun.
Eat what feeds your good bug`s!
Bifidobacteria love these color pigments. They are a great food source for Bifidobacteria which in turn affect all other health factors for us. There is indeed very good research that shows that when we are young, the majority of our gut bacteria are Bifidobacteria.
Bifidobacteria produce energy – as one can clearly see with most healthy children. They also produce a lot of B-vitamins and provide various other benefits.
In today’s modern society, most adults have around 5% of this bacterial family, but when that percentage drops to 4%, then 3, 2 and 1%, extreme health problems tend to occur
for most people. With each percentage drop more and more can go wrong.
At 4%, research sees a lot of overweight. With 3% we see cancer. With 2% a lot of general inflammation and 1% often death occurs (which is also said to be “the last” disease). So your overall health and Bifidobacteria are very closely linked together.
For example, Lactobacillus Reuteri is a strain of the genus Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus Reuteri attenuates inflammatory signaling molecules such as Tumor Necrosis Factor by converting L-histidine to histamine.
Lately there has been speculation that histamin overload from eating certain foods is the cause of everything bad in your gut flora, and that you should therefore reduce histamine producing bacteria. I would, however, suggest that the truth is probably that we simply need to recolonize our guts properly – which in turn promotes the health of the digestive tract and intestinal mucosa. This also will provide you with the ability to digest many foods that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to digest sufficiently.
What we call allergenic foods can simply be a lack of diversity in our gut flora, and if we simply focus on recolonizing our gut flora our amazing microbiotic friends will help us digest and absorb a wider assortment of foods and enable us to absorb nutrients we otherwise wouldn’t be experiencing the benefits from.
The world “allergy” comes from Latin and literally means “too much energy” or “ too much energy to handle properly”. And there are different foods that are linked to specific genes that have developed due to migrations of our ancestors and how they ate and how lived their lives. So just as we’re affected by our ancestors – how we eat and choose to live our lives will quite literally change the future of humanity and how their genes will express themselves long into the future.
Some people do very well on plant based foods and others need more meat (of course not from industrial farms) to function optimally. Some people need less food than others and some need more food than most others. And it’s important to remember that changing
diets, fasting, going keto can mess up the body’s natural cycles. Forcing unnatural starvation like calorie restriction and intermittent fasting can be healthy if done correctly – in accordance to how nature designed it and if we eat in accordance with the changing seasons.
A quick fix is never the entire solution, due to long term consequences. I have personally made errors with various diets and exercise experiments and have learned to become more in tune with my body using my intuition and cutting edge scientific research. This has enabled me to better know what, how and when to eat in order to reap specific benefits – without any negative long term consequences.
Hope for the Future!
I hope this information inspires you to eat more naturally – not just for the benefit of your own personal health, but also for the benefit of the animals who also inhabit our planet and for the benefit of our entire planet’s fragile ecosystem – which needs humanity to work with it and not against it.
Furthermore, ultimately it could also help alleviate some of the many problems our human societies face at the moment – problems that will only get worse if we don’t do anything about it and get back on the natural track.
Thank you for reading, please do share and comment and I wish you all the best of Health, Happiness and Joyful Personal Growth!