There’s a good chance you know the name Dr. Josh Axe. If you have not read his book “EATDIRT-WHY LEAKY GUT MAY BE THE ROOT CAUSE OF YOUR HEALTH PROBLEMS” it’s certainly worth an afternoon read. His book describes one of the greatest missing nutrients in our modern diet-DIRT!
For most of the history of mankind, we lived in close contact with the Earth. The majority of our diet consisted of foods and water that had soil clinging to it. This soil was a dynamic mineral rich, probiotic infused source of electrochemical energy. The unique soil based probiotic organisms were one of the key components that gave the soil its powerful nutritional benefits.
Humans are the only species on the planet that does not intentionally consume soil. Our ancestors always had soil in their diet through picking produce out of the ground and drinking from lakes, rivers and streams. Many original doctors and medicine men would use soil in their various healing concoctions. Unfortunately, in our highly medicalized “clean” society, with phobias of all things “dirty/unclean” we intentionally look to sterilize everything in our environment, especially our food and physically avoid the consumption of soil.
For years, antibiotics and chemical based anti-microbial agents were the norm and used everywhere. Today, we are facing a huge health threat with anti-biotic resistance as these microorganisms have outsmarted modern medicine. As a result, many of us are “dirt deficient”-missing the key microorganisms and healthy bacteria that we should be getting in our food consumption. The result-Digestive Damage, Leaky Gut and poor health.
Here are my best recommendations on ways to incorporate more “dirt” into your diet:
Stop Washing Your Organic Produce
One way of increasing your dirt consumption is by not heavily washing and sanitizing your fresh, organic produce. (Note: you absolutely do need to wash conventional produce to remove as much pesticides/herbicides and toxins as possible). When buying organic, opt for the loosely arranged items at the grocery store or, better yet, the farmers markets. You are far better off simply rinsing these organic items under running water than scrubbing them with a brush and soap, produce wash or other chemical cleaners. With this one change you can begin to consume an average of 500mg of dirt daily, which is about the same amount the average child eats when playing outdoors.
Start Drinking Bone Broth
Animal stock bones contain a multitude of nutrients that enhance the immune system and reduce inflammation. They also have collagen protein and key amino acids such as glycine and proline that help to cleanse the body and heal the gut lining. Many of these minerals are the same ones found in dirt-so you can now literally drink to your health.
Start Eating Fermented Foods
These are foods that contain both probiotics and prebiotics as well as organic acids that help the microorganisms you currently have, and the ones you encounter with your “dirt foods” to survive and thrive. Fermented foods have incredible benefits and help to support the development of a healthy gut lining and improve our immune tolerance and thus, lower inflammation and auto-immunity. Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, grass-fed cow and goat kefir, coconut water kefir and pickled vegetables and roots. These can contain trillions of probiotics per serving and contain the “sour” taste of organic acids that provide a healthy environment for these microorganisms to thrive in our body.
Have you heard of SHILAJIT? Chances are probably not. Pronounced “shee-lay-jit,” it’s a supplemental nutrient that comes from dense, nutrient and mineral rich soil in the Himalayan mountains that border India and Tibet. It contains over 85 individual minerals-the most powerful being HUMIC and FULVICACID. These acids hep the body transport minerals from your digestive system into the cell wall itself-nourishing the cell for longevity.
Shilajit’s origin lies in the ancient, putrefied organic plant material preserved by the darkness and pressure of the Himalayas. As the sun warms up the mountain, the snow melts and a soft, heavy shilajit resin seeps from rock crevices and is collected by local farmers. This thick resin is then dried and ground into a fine smoke-flavored powder that’s high in iron and also has important nutrients like fluvic acid, calcium, selenium and magnesium.