I’ve never been what you would call  a “germaphobe”.  I let our children play in the dirt.  When I see someone cough or sneeze, I don’t swoop our children up and run the other way.  I don’t douse their toys in bleach products and antibacterial cleaners, chase them with hand sanitizer,  or concern myself with keeping a germ-free home. 

In these days of swine flu scares and antibiotic resistant illnesses, it seems that the demand for more germ killing products has exploded.  I saw a Clorox commercial where the catch phrase was “a cleaner world means a healthier you”.  Hmmm….I would have to disagree.

The truth is that our children MUST be exposed to bacteria in order to develop and strengthen their immune systems.  They need this exposure in order to build up antibodies and help the immune system to mature.  Preventing exposure to germs and bacteria when they are young will only cause them to get sicker, for longer periods of time, when they are older.  They will also be more susceptible to asthma and other allergies.

Accompanying this anti-bacterial craze, is the idea that all bacteria is “bad” bacteria.  Most of us know that there is “good” bacteria in our bodies, but don’t know or realize the importance of them.  There are something like 100 trillion bacteria living inside of our bodies ~ 80% of these should be the “good” bacteria.  If this 80/20 balance of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria is disturbed, your immune system will be compromised and a long list of health problems could occur.  There are a few things that we commonly do that can disrupt this healthy balance. 

*Antibiotics (unfortunately it cannot tell the difference between the “good” and the “bad” bacteria and just kills it all) 

*Birth control pills (and other hormonal drugs)

*Flouride (found in toothpastes and most tap water)

*Chlorine (used to kill bacteria in the water supply ~ and great for killing any and ALL bacteria in your body when consumed ~ NOT good)

*Caffeinated products (coffee, tea, soda, etc.)

*Preservatives

*Pesticides and fertilizers (don’t listen to the quacks that try to say that there is no nutritional difference between organic and non-organic foods ~ they are ONLY comparing their vitamin levels and are paying NO attention to the harmful effects of the chemicals themselves).

So for all of you who have been sucked into the claims of the false (but very lucrative) business of anti-bacterial products, stop!  I’m not saying that you have to throw out all of your anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer, but just take it easy and realize the dangers of overdoing it.  Expose yourself and your children to germs and bacteria to help naturally strengthen your immune systems, and make sure that you have enough good bacteria to keep those bad ones in check.  You can get good bacteria from certain foods, such as raw milk, yogurt (only those with live and active cultures), and sauerkraut ~ but it is just as important to be careful not to ingest products that kill this good bacteria as it is to get this good bacteria in your diet.

Well, I think that’s good for now…stay tuned for my rant on how AMAZING organic apple cider vinegar is for your health…:D

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