Bad Bugs, Good Bugs

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 | 8:01 pm

What do lettuce, beef, cookie dough, alfalfa sprouts and peanut butter all have in common? These foods have all been affiliated with foodborne illnesses in recent history. Many people get sick from tainted food and are never really sure how they got it. If you eat contaminated food, symptoms may show up within a few hours to a few days. Most people will experience some degree of one or more of the following: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain or loss of appetite.

So what can you do to prevent or protect yourself from food poisoning? For the food itself, you should wash your hands, surfaces and utensils between different food preparations. This will cut down on the spreading of the bad bugs. Keep perishable foods as cold as possible when bringing them home from the store and then refrigerate them promptly. Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator not on the kitchen counter. Keep produce away from meats and cook meats to a safe temperature.

You can’t always be sure you’ll never eat one of these bad bugs so you need to make sure your body is ready to handle them. The most important thing you can do is keep your digestive system in tip top shape. You can fortify your gut with probiotic supplementation (good bugs). Good gut flora will keep your immune system at its peak and improve nutrient absorption. I also recommend eating lots of raw fibrous plant food everyday as they are a good source of prebiotics (food for the good bacteria we have to have in our gut).

Even if your food hygiene is superior you can still be exposed to contaminated food so do what you can to keep your body strong and your immune system ready to fight off the bad bugs!

Dr. Tina Paul, BCND, Traditional Naturopath, Vibrant Living Wellness Center, 144 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 470-7711 or visit



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