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Have you thanked your microbiome today?

Field of mushrooms and a sword fern

Have you thanked your mushrooms today?


Not the psychedelic mushrooms, but the run-of-the-mill garden mushrooms.  Mushrooms are a sign of healthy soil.  Much like a healthy gastrointestinal system is full of good bugs, healthy soil is full of mushrooms.  They start appearing in the PNW fall when the rains start and stick around while they work hard.


From a local nursery 


The fungi that produce mushrooms live in your soil year-round, in the form of mycelium: a maze of root-like filaments called hyphae. You might have seen them around. If you’ve ever dug up a shovelful of mulch or rich soil and noticed it was shot through with little white hairs, you’ve seen the true shape of a fungus.

And hyphae are incredibly helpful! They help break down organic matter into nutrients that plants can use, hook up with plant roots to help them access water, and improve soil structure. They even help plants communicate with each other! In short, a healthy fungi population is essential for healthy soil.


We take a similar approach in treating the microbiome in humans.  We need a healthy diverse gut bacterial population to help us digest food and optimize physiological function.  The great news is that with some minor dietary changes we can modify our gut bugs to help our bodies perform better and more importantly feel better.  Inversely, incorporating poor dietary decisions over time can negatively impact your gut bacterial populations.

Changing your gut microbiome takes time and having a discussion with your health care provider about your goals and current diet can be helpful to determine the best nutrition choices for you and your goals.  There is no one size fits all diet plan.  


So, while you thank the mushrooms for making your soil healthy, take time to thank your gut bugs to make you healthy and feel better.


Sara Love, ND

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