When you say “I” you are referring to a massive community that lives within you. And when I say “You” I’m talking to everyone in you. Without the approximate 2lbs of gut bacteria in you, the 50 trillion cells, and the 2000 mitochondria living in each of those cells, you wouldn’t be here reading this. Millions of microorganisms colonize you; it is estimated that ten times as many non-human cells as human cells populate the average human body. Some microorganisms that inhabit humans are commensal, meaning they co-exist without harming humans; others have a mutualistic relationship with their human hosts. Certain microorganisms perform tasks that are known to be useful to the human host but the role of most of them is not well understood. Those that are expected to be present, and that under normal circumstances do not cause disease, are sometimes deemed normal microbiota.
You are a diverse gardenThey exist everywhere, from your skin, to your gut, to your genitals etc. You give them a place to stay and in return they take care of the house. The skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells. They also produce antimicrobial peptides that defend against pathogenic bacteria, the skin bacteria is easily affected by the use of chlorinated water, creams and lotions with harsh chemicals, and sunblock. The bacteria in the nose fight against infections, and can be easily damaged with the use of antibiotics. The gut bacteria are responsible for the synthesis of various vitamins, like Vitamin K2, biotin, vitamin B12, folic acid, and B1 thiamine. The gut bacteria gets affected by the food you eat and the type of water you drink, including the type of water you shower since the skin absorbs a lot of it. Treated chlorinated tap water will do the trick.
A decrease in populationWith a decrease of your gut bacteria, your happiness hormone can be seriously affected. Also unwanted guests start to move in, like candida, and other yeasts, pathogens and viruses. Having an unbalance gut bacteria has the classic symptoms of a low immune system, colitis and chron’s disease, yeast infections among other diseases, most of which end with “is or es” like diabetes, multiple sclerosis etc. Mitochondria in our cells, which themselves evolved from bacteria, communicate with the bacteria in our gut. They are our mutualistic house guest, single celled living organisms that live tucked in within the human cell, they get to live in a cozy home and in return, they give us energy and produce water in our bodies. Heart disease and Alzeihmer’s have been associated with a decrease in mitochondria; electro magnetic fields (EMF’s) emitting from your electronics and wifi signals can interfere with the mitochondria ability to function properly. Free radicals, magnesium deficiency, lack of calcium are also some of the culprits.
You are a home to millions of speciesAnd so, you can now see how our internal garden is easily affected if we don’t continually tend to it. The garden for me is the best analogy to explain and give a visual perspective of what is happening inside. When I say the word garden, people usually imagine a place with lots of flowers, green, a more so relaxing place where they can go hang out and unwind. That’s what we should think of when we think about the internal community living inside of us; just a beautiful colony of guests that are trying to keep us alive. What happens when we don’t water the plants, we don’t take out the weeds, we don’t replenish the dirt? We look for happiness outside of ourselves. We want others and other things to give us all the happiness we need, but we hardly take a look inside of us. We hardly tend to our own garden that is holding the happiness we need. Being healthy, full of energy, having a positive mindset can make us live a very long time, and that inner drive, vitality and wellbeing, can translate to a long life full of joy. Cultivating that garden of happiness within. That’s what these millions of symbiotic organisms want -- they want you to be healthy, happy, stress free, so they can also colonize and live long. They are working as you are reading this to keep you alive, to give you the vitamins you need, to help you break down that food you ate, to fight off enemies. They-want- you-to-live! Let’s take some time to tend to this garden of happiness and to make it thrive. Let’s help them help you feel at your fullest.
These are some of the things you can do to start:
- Mediate, keeping cortisol levels in balance makes a big difference for the ecosystem in your body
- Stay away from preservatives, canned food, refined sugars, chlorinated tap water, the microbiota in your gut will thank you.
- Turn off your wifi at night, your mitochondria would send you a thank you card if it could. They are highly sensitive to constant EMF’s (Electro-Magnetic Fields) in wifi signals and electronics.
- Be naked in the sun for at least 10 minutes a day. All the organisms in your body need the nutrients of the sun to thrive. Exposing your face in the sun with clothes on, doesn’t count. The oils in your skin turn the sunlight into nutrients.
- Just be a plant in your garden, plenty of sun, water, and minerals.