Americans harm themselves with junk foods; through the benefit of probiotics, they can get back to health.
The saying “You are what you eat,” might be trite and tired, but it couldn’t be more true. The foods we take in build our body’s cells and systems. The better we eat, the better we function.
That’s not just true for individual people—it’s true for the human race, too. Changes in the types of food we eat helped us evolve from tiny-brained, hunched-over beings, to the smart, upright citizens we are today. However, the plentiful processed foods and sugary snacks we as a species have taken a liking to, could be taking us backwards, turning us into a herd of overweight, slow-thinking miserable beings. How can we get humans back on track?
A History of Hungry Humans
You might have heard of the Paleo Diet, which promises weight loss through eating like a caveman. The low-carb, high-protein and high-fiber diet is modeled (loosely) on how our ancestors ate in and around the Stone Age—namely, what they could find while they foraged; fruits, berries, greens and the like. Then we moved from scavenging for plants to hunting for meat. We discovered fire for cooking it. These two bits of progress boosted the amount of protein in the human diet, which fueled our species’ evolution—bigger, more efficient kidneys and other vital organs, for example.
More importantly, though, the influx of meat and the discovery of the fire needed to cook it helped us grow leaps and bounds in terms of brain power. An increased amount of protein in our diet likely helped us develop bigger brains, giving us an advantage over the smaller-brained critters that served as supper. This led to a shift in the physiology of our head and neck, which helped make speech a physical possibility—we could communicate better as we hunted and, eventually, share thoughts and ideas necessary for progression of culture and society.
Marching Forward and Stepping Backward
The Industrial Revolution presented a huge step forward in the evolution of humans—the myriad technological advancements made it possible to build machines and factories, harvest vast crops more rapidly than ever, and turn the foods we grow into edible commodities in a highly efficient way. Mass processing of food, however, erased some nutritional value, while adding sugars and other harmful chemicals. The discovery of pasteurization made milk, cheese and other foodstuffs safer, but the process also depleted nutrients and helpful bacteria.
Fascinatingly, our country’s need to keep the Army fed and fit for fighting shaped the face of food for the entire world. To keep soldiers’ rations edible and safe to eat for long treks in the field, food technologists added large amounts of salt, preservatives and unnatural chemicals—likely necessary to keep the food from going bad, and the troops from going hungry between battles. This technology expanded to processed food for consumers—and the preservatives and chemicals stayed, more for profitability than necessity.
What’s On the Table Now?
Humans have evolved to be smarter and more efficient animals than from the Stone Age, but the food we feed ourselves just might be taking us backwards. The standard American diet (SAD) is low in fruits and vegetables, and high in processed junk. Much of it offers little to no nutritional value, and actually causes more harm to our bodies due to high concentrations of chemicals, sugar and other undesirables. We’ve also cut out a lot of the fiber we need in our diet to keep our digestive processes running smoothly, and to keep our gut health in tip-top shape.
While cheese puffs and bacon burgers might deliver delicious instant gratification, a daily diet of such junk takes its toll. The SAD way of eating can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other deadly ailments. Research indicates that, in the same way the evolution of the human diet shaped the evolution of the human, the impact of our poor diet could be affecting future generations, especially when it comes to the balance of good, helpful bacteria in our guts.
Let’s get back to the Paleo Diet, which is based on how our early ancestors fed themselves but doesn’t quite hit the mark of good health. Paleo proponents tout the weight-loss wonder of loading up on lean meats and shunning carbohydrates. This menu gets points for cutting out refined sugar and other harmful things common to processed products. However, it still presents several concerns. True, cutting carbs might be a quick path to weight loss, but humans have evolved to the point that we need carbs to survive, and pounds lost quickly at the outset likely will creep back.
Marching Forward and Stepping Backward
Recovering from the damaging health effects of a bad diet starts with a simple first step: start eating well again. World-respected food writer Michael Pollan says we can increase our understanding of, and appreciation for, healthy food by taking a hands-on approach—literally. His overall path for improving our diet includes three simple steps:
- Eat real food
- Don’t eat too much
- Eat mostly plants
According to Pollan, walking through the produce section, touching and looking at fresh foods, and taking the time to cook a healthy dinner for ourselves, he suggests, makes us more aware of the path our food takes from the journey from the farm to our bellies, and more appreciative of the importance of eating right. His Netflix series Cooking, takes this exploration of understanding food even further, giving us (in his words) an “enlightening and compelling look at the evolution of what food means to us through the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us.”
Pollan’s deep understanding of how healthy food makes healthy people reaches to the human microbiome, which is the world of organisms living inside each of us and helping to keep us healthy. When we feed ourselves, we are also feeding this collection of hard-working bacteria—and when they’re off balance, so are we. Eating a poor diet and throwing our gut bacteria out of whack can lead to obesity, chronic diseases, infections and other horrible stuff.
Regain Your Good Gut Health
As the sage Pollan points out, eating healthy foods (fresh fruits, lush vegetables, lean meats, lots of fiber and the like) is a good start toward getting your healthy gut to prosper. Probiotics can greatly help as well. These mighty microscopic marvels are vital in helping humans attain top health. For starters, they can help alleviate some of the digestive challenges we brought on by loading up on processed sugar, artificial sweeteners and other fake stuff.
You can bring more probiotics into your life by adding several foods to your diet—many easily found in restaurants, at your neighborhood grocery store or made at home. Stroll down the yogurt aisle and you’ll find dozens of probiotic-rich options (just check the labels so you can avoid yogurts high in sugar). Enjoy dinner at a Japanese restaurant and fill up on probiotics with a steaming bowl of miso soup. Top your lunch salad with a few olives, which can be rich in probiotics. The options are nearly endless!
Taking it Higher
While probiotic-rich foods help improve gut health, popping probiotic supplements can lift your microbiome to the next level. LoveBug Probiotics worked with a team of renowned doctors, scientists and medical experts to come up with the best possible blend of probiotics to boost gut health. What’s more, these supplements harness proprietary BIO-tract© technology to help them survive the rough-and-tumble rigors of the digestive process so that the good bugs reach your gut and do their work.
Because every human being has their own unique needs and physical makeup, we’ve made specialized products to target them. Here’s the Skinny is designed to help improve digestive health and aid in weight management by restoring the balance of good gut bacteria. For those prone to the sniffles, Colds Suck helps boost immunity, with added minerals to boost the benefits. Yeast is a Beast, with probiotics and cranberry extract, helps fight against recurring yeast infections and urinary tract issues. Then, we offer two kid-focused products—Tiny Tummies in convenient packets for children 6 months to 4 years, and Little Ones in easy-to-swallow spheres for kids 4 and up—so you can give good gut health to the most important people in your life.
*The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents of this website are not medical advice and are intended for general knowledge and informational purposes only. Consult with health care professional before using products based on this content.
*BIO-tract© is a registered trademark of Nutraceutix.