Every day new scientific studies are published about the human immune system and its fascinating relationship with the gut – especially through the food we eat and the gut microbes that live there.
We have 10 times more bacteria in and on our bodies than we have human cells. Clearly we have evolved as humans along with these bacteria viruses and parasites and could not live without them.
Until recently we were not aware of how important this symbiosis is and we have not always taken the best care of our flora. Antibiotics for example which can be life-saving during bacterial pneumonia or meningitis have been overused and prescribed for colds caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and do not help overcome a cold but they will destroy the bacteria living in our gut on the skin and on our mucous membranes – where they are needed to protect our body from illness.
Over 70% of all antibiotics are used to make animals raised for meat fatter faster so they will produce more meat in less time. So every time we eat meat we also consume a dose of antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics has been associated with an increase in allergies and auto-immune diseases. The numbers are staggering: Almost 20% of the Australian population suffer from at least one allergic disease. More than 20% of babies suffer from eczema; more than 10% of teenagers suffer from asthma; food allergies are on the rise and children become allergic to more and more different kinds of foods. Many people fear bacteria so much that they try to disinfect their house and their bodies. Not only are they using toxic products which may cause cancer and other illnesses but they also wipe out the very flora we need to be healthy.
Fiona Stock has written a beautiful book in which she explains in clear terms how our immune system works and how you can support it through healthy nutrition and life-style. Her charming illustrations make her lessons in biology internal and external immunology and nutrition fun and entertaining. She presents us with an eating guide to help our children’s immune system to mature optimally. By reading this book you will learn about the fascinating connections between our environment and good health.
I highly recommend this detailed yet easy to read book to anyone who is interested in learning how the immune system works and what we can do to support it in its vital work by eating a healthy diet.
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