Are Germs Good for You?

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64 Responses

  1. Brandy says:

    Great post! I’ve been working really hard to restore my gut health after a bad reaction to a medication a few years ago caused me some major gut issues. I don’t think most people fully understand how important beneficial bacteria are to our health.

    Way back in my high school biology class we did an experiment testing the most efficient way to clean your hands. Scrubbing with plain old warm water actually did best. Antibacterial soap scored worst. It’s petri dishes grew all sorts of nasty bacteria, presumably because it killed off the good bacteria that fight off pathogens for us.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      It’s really difficult to restore good gut health, but it can be done. I had Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth from overuse of Prilosec and antibiotics, but I’m finally getting it to normalize.

      Standard antibacterial soap also creates germs that are resistant to being neutralized. Only hospitals have strong enough antibacterial soap that removes all the bacteria without creating resistance. Still not good, but better than resistant germs.

  2. Tyler says:

    Woah, this was really insightful! Thanks so much for sharing. I had no idea we could be causing harm to ourselves that way.

  3. Silver Maze says:

    Thorough article about germs. I can agree that taking probiotics are good for you. I took them for a while and I started feeling healthier.

  4. Oh, no, my 35 yr old son lives in my upstairs apartment because he is a special guy. He asks my advice on everything like 30 times a day and is very up tight about getting sick due to him being sick, because of his own illness, 3 or 4 days every other week. I have him using hand sanitizer every time he is near someone sick and every time he leaves any where that is public. I refer to the school as the germ factory. Opposite of what you say above. Guess you schooled me. I had better start looking this stuff up.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      It happens! So much information changes as we learn more and more about science. 20 years ago they thought that antibiotics were the solution to everything. Now they know that it does nothing for viruses. It’s a great time to be alive.

  5. That was really helpful especially for me! I’m going to be FTM and I still need to learn things. Now I won’t be freaking out if my baby drops her toys or pacifier on the ground. Lol

    http://www.vancitynbeyond.com

  6. I recently found out that I have an auto-immune disease and I have severe damage to my gut. It is so important to have good bacteria to stay healthy.
    Kristy Bullard recently posted…3 Places to See Manatees in FloridaMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Best of luck to you! The Standard American Diet (SAD) leads to so many gut issues. We are missing a ton of bacteria in our microbiome we should have from sanitizing our environment and putting so much junk in our foods. I had Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and it took me a year to get rid of that dang thing. Diet changes can radically help with autoimmune issues.

  7. Penny says:

    I am pleased that three of us in my house attend public school. But just not those first few weeks back from break :).

    We have a pretty decent immunity over all and I credit our school environment for that!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yes! I went to college and stayed in the dorms. I got sick a couple times, but never after that. Even after leaving for summer break and coming back.

  8. Rachel says:

    I have heard such amazing things about probiotics. Plus I firmly believe in germs being beneficial. I am the farthest thing from a germaphobe and I seriously believe that my kids are sick way less than my friends that bust out the hand sanitizer at every corner.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      I completely agree. It’s like when I went away to college and stayed in the dorms. I got sick a couple times the first few months, but then my body adapted because my immune system got with the program.

  9. I have the same feelings for caffeine, haha. I absolutely can not live without coffee, but I have to watch my intake now that I have hypertension. We take our daily dose of probiotics, though. There’s always bottles of Yakult in our fridge, a yogurt drink which is an excellent source of good bacteria.
    Czjai Reyes-Ocampo recently posted…7 Ways to Prevent Unwanted Blemishes.My Profile

  10. Kelly Edgar says:

    This is fantastic, thank you for spreading awareness on the importance of good germs! Gut health is super important to maintain. I am trying to keep mine on track with probiotics.

  11. Samantha says:

    This has some insightful information and is something to consider. I do believe in washing my hands pretty often. I always wipe down shopping carts (I’ll use sanitizing spray if wipes are unavailable). That’s one of the way e.coli spreads (especially when handling meats while shopping). I think there has to be balance.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Samantha, definitely some balance is needed. I agree with shopping carts being an issue. They actually test really high for fecal matter. It would be really nice if all grocery shops had carts go through the sanitary mists that some higher end stores do, but that would definitely impact product prices. When using disinfectant wipes it’s just super important to use the wipe only once. I’m amazed how many people will use the same wipe for multiple surfaces and just spread the germs around.

  12. Appreciate this post – it’s informative and practical! As a mom with small children, I practice what you advised above. It’s important to keep bad germs sways, it’s also practical to not sterilize the environment for our babies – they’ve got to build up an immune system, after all, right? Great tips on separating cutting boards. 👍🏼 Thanks for adding value 💕
    Evelyn, PathofPresence 🦋 recently posted…6 Steps To Vulnerability And How To Stay Safe You Need To KnowMy Profile

  13. Elizabeth O says:

    This was such an interesting read. Good germs are definitely important. I learned a lot of new things here.

  14. What a great post! Yes, indeed germs are needed. It’s great to see someone sharing the facts.
    Margaret Smith recently posted…Henbit Lamium amplexicaule: Edible, Medicinal and Loved By BeesMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Thanks so much, Margaret! It’s so hard with all the different information floating around and of course, everyone wants to be a good parent so they worry a lot. I know I would with my first kid.

  15. Kristi Ann says:

    Thanks for sharing! Probiotics are essential in my diet! I love how great they are for you!

  16. Megan says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I agree, and I think a lot of people discount “good germs”. Great advice, too!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Thanks so much, Megan. I had to learn the hard way when I got issues after too many antibiotic protocols as a kid, but at least I can share it with everyone now!

  17. Shannon Sawicki says:

    I agree with this. When I first had my little one i wanted to protect him from all the germs. But having a 9 year old step son….I son realized this was impossible…and that whatever germs my little was exposed to would strengthen his immune system and he has been just fine. But we do follow a similar cutting board protocol, that is food safety.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yeah, there’s definitely a time and place for avoiding germs like with red meat. They’ve just gotten a bad rap overall, but the majority of germs are either neutral or beneficial. It’s just those pesky few you gotta watch out for.

  18. Kate says:

    This is a really thorough and well thought out post and I have to admit that I’ve long thought that coming into contact with some germs isn’t bad for you – sometimes we can be a bit obsessed with being too clean!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Kate

      I totally agree. I can’t think of anything that is healthy when it’s to the point that you’re obsessed. It’s all about balance 🙂

  19. I’ve been hatin’ on hand sanitizer for a while and actually get angry when I see my kids using it. That being said, I still use it if there’s no other way to wash my hands when I need to. And don’t even get me started on the whole over-prescribing of antibiotics thing. Geez! Prebiotics are beginning to be all the rage now, because they feed the good bacteria. I try to get a mix of pre- and pro-biotics, although I haven’t been as consistent as I should be! Will have to check out the probiotics that you’ve recommended.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yeah, I used to think that sanitizer would due if nothing else was around. After researching into it more and discovering it’s linked to creating resistant germs I’m avoiding it all together. I’ll be writing an article soon on prebiotics too. I find all gut health information so fascinating. Total nerd over here, haha.

  20. Monica says:

    This is a very well written post! Totally open my eyes that germs is necessary and good for us. One thing we have in common is that I love kimchi too and it’s super good to take because its good for the gut. Thanks for making this post!

  21. juelz says:

    This is an awesome post,a great reminder and an eye opener.I remember reading about this in school years ago.
    Sometimes we can get carried away with trying to fight away the germs we forget some of the basics like using different cutting boards
    Great post dear

  22. Ashley says:

    This is an interesting post… although there’s good germs for us I think I’ll continue to use paper towels for door handles lol.

  23. Debbie says:

    I LOVE this post. I think too many people over use anti bacterial products trying to protect their children and potentially do more harm. I have never been one to wipe everything down before my kids touched it. I always thought a little dirt would never hurt anyone. They are very healthy girls with no allergies or asthma.

  24. Emily Leary says:

    This is a very interesting article. I taught my kids to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice to banish those germs while we were washing our hands!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yup! That’s what all the experts confirm work the best. I was just surprised that even lukewarm water with soap is more beneficial than antibacterial handwash!

  25. !!! Yes! It’s all about finding the right balance in your gut and maintaining good health that way. There is a very simple way to do this but few of us are ready to move into a fully plant-based diet. And also, allowing yuorself to come into contact with certain germs (even the bad kind) helps you build up a tolerance!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Amy,

      It’s so much about balance and making small changes like adding probiotics and fermented foods into our diets. For me, a fully plant-based diet wasn’t in the cards. I got sick with an intestinal issue called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth a few years back and I’ve realized that including some meat is better for my personal body. My immune system and digestion have been so much better since I started eating for my microbiome and not avoiding every little germ.

  26. What an interesting post. Are germs good for you? I think this post is a real eye opener for me. Probiotics are essential in my diet 🙂

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks so much! I’ve had wonderful results with probiotics. I’m so glad that you’ve found them helpful!

  27. Candice says:

    I try to explain this to people all the time! You can’t kill of all the bacteria! I’ve had health issues in the past from being overprescribed antibiotics and them killing off all my good bacteria. 🙁 Probiotics are your friend!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Candice,

      Same here. It’s so hard to explain to people, but I would hate for them to go through the same issues I went through. They were terrible!

  28. THANK YOU for posting this! I’m always trying to explain to people the benefit of germs, and how we need them to boost our immune systems. I’m going to just start referring them all to your article! Haha 🙂
    Emily Fata, http://www.EmulatingEmily.com recently posted…70 Years of Dior at the Royal Ontario MuseumMy Profile

  29. Nati says:

    Your article is so insightful and complete, definitely a must-read for everyone! I have had a long story with germs. When I was in my home country germs wasn’t a thing. In fact, the most popular tradition in Argentina is drinking Mate in every reunion, and everyone knows there is only ONE mate, that one person refills and pass to the next, that’s the way it is, completely normal. Then I came to Europe. People were shocked of my cultural heritage!! They don’t share stuff, that is personal and they don’t drink from the same recipient someone else has drunk unless they wash it first.
    After a few years living here, my mother-in-law got leukaemia. Her treatment resulted in killing completely her immune system and waiting for a donor. Then I had to learn about germs and how to avoid them, have the maximum care for her no to get any kind of contact with germs that for us meant nothing but for her could’ve meant death.
    She battled the illness 3 years and sadly passed. Meanwhile, I got really obsessed with all the germs stuff, and for a long while I couldn’t get rid of all those habits of exaggerated sanitation! It’s so incredible how a hard life experience can change your mind and customs completely!!
    Now I’m more relaxed. I vaccinate my children but I don’t use any kind of hand sanitizers. I don’t disinfect anything and I don’t sterilize anything!
    Nati recently posted…Shopping my stash │Makeup look Inspired by Tahitian pearls with ChanelMy Profile

  30. Preet says:

    This is such an amazing post. I am glad to know in-depth about the good germs. Gut health is super important to maintain. In my daily life, I do believe in good germs and not a sanitizer freak, same for my kids, I let them get dirty, play outside, to help them build their immune system. You are doing a great job spreading awareness on the importance of good germs.

  31. Journa Ramirez says:

    This is something that everyone needs to read. I was a freak when it comes to germs back then, but as years go by, I’ve learned these things!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Journa,

      Yeah, I was never a clean freak about things, but I definitely didn’t know how important having germs in your surroundings are and how what we do to prevent germs actually hurts us in the long run. I’m overhauling all my cleaning products so they’re more natural too.

  32. Tiffany Yong says:

    When I was young, I use to hear the saying that goes, you get by even when expose to germs… And people who are exposed to germs from young tend to be more immune to them in long run… But nowadays,. more and more people are developing allergies because of the exposure to germs~

  33. Alex Turner says:

    this is just awesome .this germ are useful to use.. In my daily life, I do believe in good germs and not a sanitizer freak, same for my kids, I let them get dirty, play outside, to help them build their immune system. i have also a tooth brush sanitizer.you can buy it.i will buy Best tooth brush sanitizer.

  34. Susan Minich says:

    So true – toliet flushing and tooth brushes are gross! Shoes in house are also gross. Did you see that recent post about the feces and hand dryers? YUCK!
    Susan Minich recently posted…Cheesy Ro-tel Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (vegan and gluten-free)My Profile

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