By Donna Gates, as seen on:
I paused for moment. This isn’t a question you usually hear, especially while standing at the meat counter of a supermarket!
Of course, I told him the first thing that came to mind.
Something that I consider both a fun fact and a valuable life lesson.
I told him that the gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria. These bacteria help with digestion and influence the immune system. They can lift your energy. And they can even alleviate things like depression and anxiety.
Leaving the supermarket that day, I marveled at the treasures that are available to us with every encounter and in every moment, like an exchange of words that can unite two strangers in an instant.
So often, these small treasures are lost to us. They slip past untouched and unnoticed as we race from one place to another, worried about things that are beyond our control.
In the body alone there are miracles happening left and right.
And you don’t need to be a biochemist or have microscopic vision in order to appreciate the trillions of bacteria that are invisible to the naked eye.
The bacteria that live in the digestive tract help to make up our inner ecology. These microbes have evolved with us over time. Because of this, the relationship that we share with them is synergistic and mostly beneficial.
In fact, our inner ecology is even referred to as a “forgotten organ” by some scientists.
It is that important.
To give you a better idea about what the bacteria that make up our inner ecology do, consider how they:
- Help us digest and absorb certain forms of sugar and fiber that we would otherwise be unable to use.
- Manufacture essential nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2.
- Metabolize toxins, so that we don’t have to!
- Keep opportunistic and disease-causing bugs in check.
- Relay messages to and from the immune system.
But this is not all that gut bacteria do.
The most recent research has found that they both create and transmit high-profile neurochemicals, like GABA, serotonin and dopamine. One key trait that all three of these neurochemicals share is that they make us feel good.
Beneficial bugs can talk to the immune system, cool down an inflammatory response and have been found to help seal a permeable or “leaky” intestinal wall.
In some cases, the difference of one person’s gut flora to another’s is the difference between life and death. This is the case for those infected with Clostridium difficile, which can be serious and debilitating. The solution to C. difficile is a matter of numbers: once the gut of the affected person is inoculated with enough good bacteria, the infection disappears.
It’s miraculous - the magic and the gifts that Mother Nature tucks away beneath our skin!
Miracles, as Marianne Williamson teaches, are "tiny shifts in perception." The fact that the earth is suspended in space, or that you were conceived against all probability are miracles.
What miracles have you noticed today?
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