Your Gut Microbiome Is Connected To Nature, Says An MD

The work becomes twofold: First, according to Hanaway, you still need to focus on strengthening your own gut microbiome, so your body is well-equipped to handle invaders. That said, take the necessary steps for optimal gut health—i.e., pre- and probiotics, fermented foods, and the like. “You have the ability to upgrade your microbiome wherever you’re at,” Hanaway notes. 

However, we also need to focus on strengthening our environment’s microbiome—aka, doing what we can to foster a healthy relationship with nature. As Hanaway adds, “COVID and other pandemics that will come are a reflection of this unbalanced relationship we have of trying to control nature rather than being in a relationship with it.” 

It’s a notion immunologist Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and White House health adviser, agrees with, too: “The COVID-19 pandemic is yet another reminder, added to the rapidly growing archive of historical reminders, that in a human-dominated world, in which our human activities represent aggressive, damaging, and unbalanced interactions with nature, we will increasingly provoke new disease emergences,” he writes in a recent paper. “We remain at risk for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 is among the most vivid wake-up calls in over a century. It should force us to begin to think in earnest and collectively about living in more thoughtful and creative harmony with nature, even as we plan for nature’s inevitable, and always unexpected, surprises.”

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