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Better Diet, Better Microbiome, Better Health

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ach of us carries around trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit virtually every part of our body. And, this includes those tissues that were once thought to be sterile. Together, these organisms make up the human microbiome. In the last few years, researchers have discovered something surprising about the 10 trillion microbes we carry around: they affect our health, and they do so profoundly.

Recent studies suggest that our microbiome is related to our risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a host of other medical conditions. A favorable constellation of microbes seems to protect us from disease while an unfavorable collection predisposes us to a variety of conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, autoimmune arthritis, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

A healthy microbiome

Study after study shows that eating high-protein/high fat foods such as red meat changes our microbiome in a way that predisposes us to chronic, inflammatory diseases that can cause great suffering. There seems to be a direct link between a healthy microbiome and our gut’s immunity to disease. People who eat a diet high in red meat tend to have a microbiome that predisposes them to a variety of serious and even deadly intestinal diseases.

“Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is critical to human health” trumpets a 2017 article in the Journal of Translational Medicine. From T-cells critical for general immunity, to heart-healthy HDL cholesterol production, to cancer prevention, eating a plant-based diet — as opposed to a diet of animal products such as red meat — helps us to live a long, disease-free and energetic life.

So, for a healthy microbiome and a chance at optimal health, maximize your intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and legumes and minimize your intake of saturated fats and animal products such as red meat.

A good place to start: take the Red Meat Pledge!

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