Recover and maintaining one’s health through fermented food
We feed ourselves from light, water, energy, information and food, as well. We eat to nourish ourselves. We are what we eat and what our intestinal microbiota assimilates from the food that we eat. Food is the main factor influencing our body’s health, and the assimilation of this food is made by our intestinal microbiota, which is normally unbalanced due to the constant environmental aggression and the toxic elements that we ingest. Symbiotic nutrition seeks to alert us to this fact and rebalance our intestinal microbiota through the food we eat, so that, in a natural way, we can recuperate both, balance and health.
We have a visible body, but we also are a combination of invisible microbial groups that dwell in us, complement and help us to evolve in order for us to be able to adapt ourselves to the continuous changes that the environment exerts on us. There is no division between human and microbial; between cosmos and microcosmos. We are a unity. Bacteria populate our cells and organs thus complementing metabolic functions so as to keep the balance in our body. Viruses act reprogramming the DNA of the cells, whereas the bacteria do to let us constantly adapt ourselves to the environmental variations.
Microbiotic is a new scientific branch that studies the evolution of the visible life in its relation with the invisible microcosmos. Its application to health is made through a Symbiotic Nutrition which is, at once, a new nutrition system itself intended to find a balanced diet focusing on the nourishment of both the human cellular metabolism and the microbiota that dwells in us.
The term “Microbiótica” (Microbiotic) does not exist neither in the dictionary of the Real Academia Española nor in any other Spanish language reference. Sometimes, the term Microbiotic is taken as a synonym of microbiota (a group or organisms that live in us). We emphasise this term in order to broaden its significance so as to encompass both, the study of a microbiota in a given ecosystem, as well as the rectification of any imbalance occurring in such ecosystem through the action of regenerating microorganisms. This is a holistic and interdisciplinary vision interconnecting lovingly and gratefully the microcosmos to the macrocosmos of life upon Earth.
We must become aware of the fact that we are more bacteria than human cells. Furthermore, we are bacteria even in our own cells and neurons. Our emotions and thoughts originate in a global consciousness ‘field’ that focuses itself on the intestines (the emotions) or the brain (the thoughts). So has been proved by the researches that demonstrate how cellular mitochondria (that generate the energy of the cell) as also the neuronal dendrites both descend from ancestral prokaryotic bacteria which, at an uncertain point in their evolution, decided to integrate themselves in a more complex organism as it is a cell.
We are not the kings of this creation. We could rather see ourselves as a newly arrived species that has as its function to support the microbial life, which accompany us in a mutual interdependence — in symbiosis. Nevertheless, we neglect this fundamental fact which would give us another perspective of our role in life. The scientific community is responsible for totally disregarding the microbial world; furthermore, there is such a level of bacteriophobia in the scientific, medical, and social contexts that we have created an antibacterial world in which antibiotics (anti-life) and the toxic cleaning products and bactericides we use to keep ourselves clean are a warlike armament that makes us feel proud.
Recently probiotics (pro-life) are becoming fashionable, but it is mostly a media trend being misinterpreted by the food industry. In many cases, it has been proved that the alleged probiotic qualities of some food items were indeed a deceitful publicity to sell more yoghurts or drinks. Actually, food that has been already pasteurized or irradiated can never contain any beneficial probiotics. But little by little, things are changing. In this way, we can expect that citizens and society slowly become aware of the importance of the regenerative bacteria and thus shift their paranoid vision to a more integrative and loving one.
We must acknowledge the fact of the existence of ten microbes per each cell in our body, and 98% of them are in the intestines. While the DNA of our cells (the ‘genome’) is built up of 23,000 gens, the DNA of all our microbes (the ‘microbiome’) is built up of more than 2,500,000 genes. The intestinal microbiota is the last organ that has been discovered by medicine, and the only one not being human. It is constituted of 100 billion fungi, yeasts, bacteria, and numberless beings with a life of their own that all together total up thousands of species, many of which are still unknown to science. This group of microorganisms behaves as if it were a sole being when it comes to interacting with our body, and it has itself multiple functions:
- Constitute the basis of the immune system;
- Assimilate the nutrients of the food we eat;
- Eliminate the toxic substances and chemical residues reaching our intestine;
- Keep the pathogenic microbes under control when they grow exceedingly in number;
- Produce a great deal of the neurotransmitters that will be travelling to the brain and the whole body via the blood.
Dr. Michael Gershon, when defining the intestine, was the first one in mentioning the “Second Brain”. In the intestinal dynamics, more than 95% of serotonin, 50% of dopamine, and at least some other 30 neurotransmitters are produced. Symbiotic nutrition studies the interaction of the intestinal microbiota, the diet, and its relation with the brain and the emotions.
A great deal of the psychic diseases, such as depression, anxiety, autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), they all have a single common cause: a chronic intestinal inflammation due to the wrong alimentation and the unbalance of the intestinal microbiota.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is especially recognized as a pioneer in this field for her method “GAPs” used to treat autistic children, as well as the already mentioned pathologies.
Due to the environmental and food contamination, as well as the junk food that is increasingly consumed by our society, most people suffer from a generalized intestinal inflammation from which come a great part of the diseases that plague us: obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, degenerative and autoimmune diseases, etc.
In all cases, there is a common denominator: the decay of the intestinal regenerative microbiota and the proliferation of pathogenic microbes in our intestine. We should not forget that the intestinal microbiota behaves as a single organ and that the emotional language that we associate with our sensory human consciousness is shared with and generated by such microbiota. This is the reason why stress and disappointments cause serious inconveniences to the regenerative microorganisms of our intestine.
Symbiotic Nutrition encompass our relation with food and environment
Among all factors contributing to our health (light, air, water, emotions, thoughts, physical exercise, rest, sleep, work, beliefs, genetic heritage, environment…), food is the most important element that influences us both, positively and negatively. In only two months, we replace all our blood plasma. Here, food is the most powerful external force there is to determine the quality of our blood.
On account of the environmental degradation, the chemical contaminants, and the loss of nutrients in the food we eat due to their farming methods and industrial processing, all human beings are suffering from an alarming oxidative stress. We all have a chronic antioxidant micronutrients deficit (vitamins, enzymes, minerals…). We also suffer from a shortfall of the intestinal bacterial microfauna and flora due to the external contaminant factors that we ultimately ingest.
Symbiosis is the collaboration between two or more beings in order to survive. It is the main force of the evolution of life beyond that of competence or fight for survival. Symbiotic nutrition contemplates food from the dual perspective of nurturing the human body and the microbial body that we equally are and have. It is a priority to raise the vitality of our cells and our mood, as well, taking in more micronutrients in our diet and regenerating our intestinal microbiota. For this, the contribution of the technologies employed in symbiotic nutrition could be decisive.
Symbiotic food has the double ability of being a great source of antioxidants in itself and of favouring the capacity of the body and its microorganisms of progressively producing chemical reactions that generate continuous emanations of antioxidant substances.
Symbiotic food is the future
When we speak of Symbiotic Nutrition, we refer to the appropriate balance in our diet between prebiotic food (fibers that do not provide us with nutrients but do increase the intestinal microbiota) and the probiotic food (fermented foodstuff that carry microorganisms similar to those that populate our intestine). This integration of fermented food (probiotics) with the fiber of some fruits, vegetables, and cereals (prebiotics) allows us restore the balance of our intestinal microbiota and finally our health.
Symbiotic nutrition is a new branch of dietetics that becomes indispensable to solve those health problems derived from our modern way of eating. The contribution that prebiotic and probiotic food that symbiotic nutrition offers us can be decisive. In those countries where there is the habit of taking fermented food, we find quite no endemic diseases (cancer, autoimmune, diabetes, obesity…) that characterize our Western society.
Our society barely has the tradition of taking fermented food (solid and liquid) in a conscious manner. This is the reason why nowadays in pharmacies and herbal shops probiotics proliferate in the form of capsules which we take as if they were one more medicine. This way to enrich our regenerative microbiota is not the most adequate one, for these probiotic bacteria are generally artificially cultivated in laboratories, lyophilized, and encapsulated, so that when they come into our intestine they travel strangely, not generating the best of the synergies. In naturally seasoned olives or in a spoon of choucroute or kimchi, or in a glass of kombucha, we find many more living microorganisms which are in a vital resonance with our inner microbiota than we can find in probiotic capsules being sold in the market. Moreover, these fermented foods are much cheaper and we can even produce them ourselves.
In Symbiotic Nutrition great importance is given to fermented food. The technology for food fermentation has been with humanity since thousands of years. At each given time and step by step, in every corner of the world, humanity has found ways to increase the nutritional value of some food and to prolong its conservation using regenerative microorganisms that arrest the process of putrefaction and transform the original foodstuff to become much tastier and more nutritionally valuable. This is how beer, miso, different kinds of cheese, coffee, chocolate, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, etc. came to be.
If we want to get our health back into harmony, we must go responsible for the habits we choose to have, discriminate which ones do benefit us, and leave out those which harm us, considering not only our human constitution, but the microbial dimension we also are. Through food, we both get ill and healed alike. We are what we eat as well as what we assimilate and excrete. A great deal of our balance depends on the microorganisms that inhabit us, especially in our intestine. To be able to cleanse the digestive track from all the litter accumulated and to regenerate the microbiota that colonises it, we shall have to incorporate new eating habits. Symbiotic Nutrition advocates a diet based on some fermented solid and liquid food, which we can prepare ourselves. The progressive results will be astonishing.
Symbiotic Nutrition is reviving traditional technologies of food combining them with more efficient adaptations to produce an enhanced nutritional effect: new super-food, revitalizing elixirs, fermentative phytotherapy, and a long etcetera, such as we can prove in our laboratory or in the courses we teach. We envisage the dawn of the fermentation technologies to help us to improve our life quality and give us the needed tools to increase our health’s autonomy through the food we eat. On the one hand, fermented food is increasingly in fashion nowadays, starting by the haute cuisine, going through the healthy food industry and the “bio” trends coming from the US and the Northern European countries. On the other hand, probiotics are being paid more attention to by the multinational pharmaceutical companies and the laboratories that produce dietary supplements. A great boom of these tendencies is expected due to the crisis that antibiotics are going through as a consequence of the increasing resistance that bacteria and germs have developed to them.
It seems that our prognosis for the year 2014 that we made on the introduction of the book “Microbiotica” is being accomplished: the power of the symbiotic nutrition will even impact in the haute cuisine, such as has already been the case with alternative medicine and sustainable construction methods. A revolution is awaiting us ahead, that is already coming, to heal the Earth and the human being alike.
We encourage you to take action: turn yourself into a producer-consumer of fermented food. Get back the great forgotten power to produce your own food with your own hands! Ferment your life and cook your health, so that the joy of being alive impregnates your day-to-day. Let us be yeasts and bacteria sporulating all around in our society, thus regenerating our surroundings and our inner world: a whole new and unknown world for us which is at the reach of our hands.