What soil erosion, probiotics, and sauerkraut have to do with your health:

Topsoil supplies are being depleted at an alarming rate. Industrial agricultural practices like mechanized plowing, mono-crop planting, and enormous farms deplete the top soil and leave remaining deposits vulnerable to erosion by wind and water. The majority of land used for agriculture today doesn’t actual contain a healthy amount of top soil. Soil is living – it contains organic matter, bacteria, and other living organisms. The bacteria in soil suppress harmful funguses, affix nitrogen to the soil, and break down organic matter into useful material. By contrast, most food today is grown in dead dirt. Dirt requires fertilizers and pesticides to make it fruitful. Yet, while all this may sound interesting or even alarming, you might be wondering what it has to do with human health.

Actually, the state of soil has a lot to do with health; In fact, the very future of food depends on healthy soil. More immediately, however, topsoil also impacts another area of health: your intestines. Every gram of healthy soil is filled with millions of bacteria. In a previous time, people used to grow or harvest their food from healthy soil, lightly wash it, and eat it along with a mouthful of healthy bacteria. As a result of soil erosion, it turns out we are consuming a lot fewer healthy bacteria than we used to. There are over twenty varieties of bacterial strands that serve various functions in the digestive system. Intestinal bacteria help prevent infections, bolster the immune system, prevent disease, promote healthy digestion, and can help preserve critical nutrients. Much of these benefits are lost, however, if the digestive system isn’t regularly replenished with healthy bacteria, a task that is becoming increasingly difficult in our modern, sterilized age.

There are a number of food sources, however, from which healthy bacteria can be obtained. Yogurt is a well known source of the probiotic (bacteria) acidophilus (learn how to make your own yogurt by clicking here). Ingestion of acidophilus supports the immune system, prevents infections, and aids the digestion of vitamins K and B, as well as calcium. Sauerkraut is a lesser known source of probiotics but contains a plentiful amount of bacteria known as Lactobacilli Plantarum.  Sauerkaut’s probiotics help the body fight irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and colitis. Kefir is another excellent probiotic source, as it contains a variety of bacterial strains not found in yogurt. Outside of fermented food sources, the best way to replenish your digestive system’s flora is by taking a probiotic supplement. Affordable supplements are available that provide upwards of ten different bacterial strands in convenient pill form. For more information on probiotics visit: http://probiotics.org

The human dependence on microorganisms for optimum health speaks to the complexity and amazing symbiosis of God’s creation. The degradation of top soil and the resulting effect on human health is another example of how human efforts fail to procure a better life on earth. God created everything to work together in the best possible way – human pride and self-reliance only result in destruction of the good things God provided to keep us healthy and happy.

Originally posted 2011-07-31 10:29:00.

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