The more I read about our human body and ecology, the more evident it becomes that Bacteria is such a crucial part of our life, our well-being.
First of all, all living things are organized into three domains: Bacteria, Eukarya, and Archae.
Just by looking at this, we can see the prominence of bacteria in our environment.
Secondly, there’s something called theory of “Endosymbiosis,” which suggests that free-living prokaryotes took up permanent residence in larger prokaryotic cells for mutual benefit, resulting in an appearance of Eukaryotes (cell that makes up plants and animals). This suggests that our primitive form was in fact bacteria, and that all organisms should in fact be living in symbiotic relationships with bacteria.
Third, we have “flora” (beneficial bacteria in our guts) that live in a mutualistic relationship with our our body. In fact, we have much more bacterial cells in the body than our own body cells. These bacteria play a critical role for our immune functions, as well as for synthesizing essential vitamins/nutrients such as Vitamin B12 (yes, B12 is synthesized by bacteria, not animals), and Vitamin K2.
The dead matters of the flora is also what bulks up our stools. This means it’s not only “fiber” (cellulose) that will help for bowel movement, but also a healthy inner flora.
Fourth, bacteria play a critical role in converting atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates, which plants use to produce plant proteins (eaten by animals).
Finally, bacteria, along with fungi act as decomposers, recycling nutrients back to the soil to nourish plants. Without bacteria, there would be no food chain and no life.
So what is the purpose of this post?
Just to show everyone that bacteria is not our enemy.
Of course, some bacteria cause deathly diseases and kill many organisms. However, it is a part of natural cycle to keep everything in balance and we should not be so obsessively weary of bacteria. All we are doing is in fact, creating “super-strains” of bacteria that are antibiotic resistant.
We tend to get overly frightened by bacteria, now producing more “anti-bacterial” soups and all sorts of pesticides. This not only creates a disrupted ecosystem, but also a disrupted health. The antibiotics we orally take is often what cause Candida issues as well as a weak immune system.
We need to get more probiotics into our body and allow them to thrive in our guts. Foods such as kimchi, natto, tempeh, Dwen-jang, sauerkraut, yogurt (although dairy), and naturally-fermented pickles are examples of probiotic rich foods that we should be eating in regular basis. I believe it is also important to eat enough “prebiotics,” such as fruits and vegetables, which become the food of these healthy bacteria.
I believe it is also very beneficial to eat organic vegetables straight from your garden, with minimal washing (you do wash, but not with all the chemicals and stuff) to get the beneficial bacteria from the soil. I firmly believe these practices are what allowed our ancestors to live healthfully back in the days when our soil was not so depleted of nutrients and these beneficial bacteria.
Hope you enjoyed my quick post!