July 2023 Upcoming Issue of Natural Awakenings Charlotte
JULY 2023 REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE & THE HUMAN BIOME
FEATURE: From Ground to Gut – Exploring the Link Between Two Microbiomes
Human gut microbiome, which is critical to fighting off disease, and soil microbiome, which enables plant growth, are vitally important to maintaining all life on our planet. These two communities of microorganisms are connected in important ways, and researchers are trying to find out more about the interplay. The soil microbiome has many parallels to the human gut scenario. The soil microbiome consists of bacteria, fungi, archaea and viruses, microorganisms that play an important role in maintaining the health of the soil. They do this by breaking down organic matter, cycling nutrients and protecting crops against harmful pathogens. Regenerative organic farming practices, which promote high biodiversity and distain the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, develop robust soil that is rich in nutrients and beneficial microbes. In such settings, farmers don’t need to use chemicals because the microbiome creates disease-resistant soil to fight off threats.
WISE WORDS: Anne Biklé on The Nexus Between Soil and Human Health
Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery, a husband and wife team, collaborated to write What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health. A biologist, environmental planner and gardener extraordinaire, Biklé earned degrees in biology and natural history from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley. She uses her endless fascination with the natural world to explore the tangled relationships between people and their environments. She also helped Montgomery, a professor of Earth and space sciences at the University of Washington, research and write The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, as well as Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life. Exploring the connection between soil health and human health, the duo shows us how the roots of our good health begin on farms.
CONSCIOUS EATING: Hues of Health - Benefits of a Colorful Diet
Eating plant-based foods from every hue in the rainbow provides an exceptional array of health benefits. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables also contain phytonutrients such as antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols that contribute to the color, flavor and aroma of such foods.
HEALTHY KIDS: Gut Health for Kids - Clever Strategies for Picky Eaters
Most kids look forward to summer vacation, but the dog days can eventually lead to boredom and over-snacking. By creatively offering children healthy, diverse foods, presented in ways to please even finicky palates, parents can support microbiome health while establishing a lifetime of good eating habits.
GREEN LIVING: Fighting Climate Change in the Garden - Regenerative Techniques for a Healthy Ecosystem
Reversing global warming may feel like a problem that is out of reach, but anyone can make a difference by planting an ecologically supportive garden. Regenerative techniques employed in the backyard, a community garden or even an apartment patio can significantly improve local ecosystems.
FIT BODY: Green Exercise - Reconnecting With Nature
There’s an emerging trend taking hold: green exercise. Prompted by a growing focus on reconnecting with nature, combined with the well-known benefits of physical exertion, outdoor workouts are all the rage in natural settings and urban parks. From daily walks around the neighborhood to calisthenics with the aid of a tree or yoga on the beach, the possibilities are delightfully endless for all ages and fitness levels. Medical pros are prescribing it for science-based reasons.
HEALING WAYS: Too Much Histamine - Natural Solutions to an Excessive Allergic Response
Histamine is an organic chemical produced by the body as a protection from allergens. It is also found in some of the foods we consume. While certain levels of this compound are considered normal and healthy, an overabundance can cause troublesome symptoms—from runny noses and hives to intestinal discomfort and brain fog. Histamine intolerance, as this condition is called, is often caused by food triggers or the body’s inability to break down the excess histamine. Over-the-counter antihistamines promise short-term symptom relief but may have unappealing side effects. Long-term, drug-free resolution is possible with a little sleuthing and holistic lifestyle adaptations.
NATURAL PET: Protecting Pets From Lyme Disease - Prevention and Symptom Management Tips
When the weather is nice and we crave outdoor adventures with our pets, we may not want to think about Lyme disease, but it’s a good idea to take precautions to avoid an infection. One bite from an infected tick could lead to troubling health concerns. Despite the risks, there is no reason to hide indoors, as there are numerous actions we can take to protect our animal companions from infection and to relieve their symptoms should they contract the ailment.
INSPIRATION: The Sweet Tapestry of Summer
July is a heady mix of peak temperatures, sustenance from the soil and inspired invitations to make lasting memories. For gardeners, it is a lilting time of fruition in between rounds of hard work when one’s efforts can be harvested, eaten and appreciated. Summer’s apex brings wildflower tapestries woven with cricket-song and evenings punctuated by rolling thunderstorms, but it also can be a time for us to take a deep dive into the miracle of interconnectedness.
ECOTIP: Natural Ant Control for the Home
The warmer weather can bring unwanted pests, including ants, into homes and apartments. Conventional pesticides and ant traps can be toxic to humans, pets and the environment. This season, consider using one of these safer ant control alternatives.