Digestive Lessons From My Worm Bin



Hey there, Mary Sheila from BioYouth Labs

Today I’m going to talk to you about the microbiome. I thought I would first just show you my worm bin because it's such a perfect metaphor for how we can support our own microbiome. 


I have a couple worm bins, but I've got two side-by-side bins that I feed with my kitchen waste. Here’s my compost bucket from my kitchen and when it's full I come out and add my kitchen waste and a little newspaper. 


I rip the paper up into strips and then I layer it on top of the food scraps.  Then I put a full wet page of the newspaper on top to keep it moist. I've got thousands and thousands of worms in here that are continuously breaking down my kitchen waste, turning it back into soil, and when it's totally complete I’ll put this in my garden or on my houseplants. 


The worms turn the scraps into soil and create what is called black gold for a gardener. You can add it to your beds and it has lots of microbial action to nourish your plants.  Worm castings, as it’s called, add lots of minerals,  it's very nutrient dense and a great booster for the soil and for your plants.


And it's very similar to our microbiome, our bacteria that line our gut. 


It's like these worms and our bacteria play a similar role. What happens when we eat is that our microbes help to break down and liberate the minerals that are in our food so that we can digest them. We create B vitamins from our microbes and the food. So for optimal health, we want to support our microbes in the job that they're doing. 


There are ways that we can support the microbes in our day-to-day life by eating a lot of plants, including fruits and vegetables, and foods that have fiber. Having a high fiber diet is not only good for making things move along, but it's also really good for our immune system and supporting the digestive process. 


Fiber feeds your microbiome. 


Things like antibiotics and herbicides and pesticides can affect our microbiome in a negative way, so it's important to favor organic as much as possible.

 And to add another layer to this metaphor, when I am preparing food in my compost bucket for my worms, if I have something really big, I break it down and cut it into small pieces. For example, if I have a big broccoli stock or celery or an old carrot that didn't make it into my food, I don't just throw it in as one big piece, instead I chop it up. I create more surface area so it's easier for the worms to break it down. They're worms. They don't have big teeth to break everything down, so the more surface area I create for them, the easier it is for them to do their job and turn it into soil. 


It's the same thing for us. 


We have teeth in only one place in our body, our mouth. It’s our mouth and our teeth's job to create as much surface area as we can so that our digestive acids, enzymes and microbes can get to that food and to get the most out of it. 


So we want to chew our food really well, Just like I want to cut everything up on the smaller side so that it's easy for my worms. 


So chew your food really well and make it easy for your digestive tract to digest and assimilate. That's also why cooking food predigests it, softens it, and makes it easier to eat. So if you have a problem chewing, then you need to have more cooked foods versus raw foods to make it easier. 


That's what I wanted to share with you today, the connection between my miraculous worm worm bin that I put all my kitchen scraps into and our microbiome. Chew  your food well to get the most out of what we're eating. 


I hope this is helpful and a good metaphor. I love my worms. I've had them for years and it's a great way to make more soil. 


Soil is essential, and our microbiome is essential, and they do a similar job! I hope that's helpful. Have a great day. Thanks.

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