John Bagnulo is a naturalist, nutritionist, farmer, and professor who teaches courses at universities and wellness centers.  He also co-hosts The Health Edge podcast with Dr. Mark Pettus.

In the beginning of our conversation, John talks about the role of fear in our lives.  A certain amount of fear is healthy, but it can become a problem when it starts to paralyze people and prevents them from achieving “full participation in life.”

Living in a state of chronic fear can be very damaging to many systems in the body.  Ultimately, John reminds us that this is “not a risk free world” and to some degree, we need to accept and embrace a certain amount of risk if we want to thrive, and not just survive.

John speaks about why it’s so essential that we have exposure to Nature and microorganisms in our environment: “One thing people need to understand is that we all have this genetic blueprint that has worked really well for thousands of years.  And built into that genetic blueprint is a certain…criteria that we must live within.”  John says that: “we have this unwarranted fear of the sun, the soil, and different aspects of nature… that really help our genes work for us and not against us.”

John explains that in many cases, our microbiome may be even more relevant to health than our genes: “For the most part, genes can be turned on or off, if you are missing certain families of microbes than the deck is really stacked against you.”

John dives into why the overuse of hand-sanitizers and other cleaning chemicals may actually turn up the risk of chronic disease.  And why “this can be a recipe for disaster, particularly in early childhood.”

In terms of diet, John recommends the daily inclusion of fermented foods.  In fact, he puts yogurt at the top of the list.  “All of us hear about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables…but when you compare these statistical protections that a population gets from any one food, yogurt is hands down the most protective food anybody can eat when you look at what it does for risk reduction for just about every chronic disease.” Whether it’s homemade or store bought, yogurt offers a number of powerful protective benefits for our health.

According to John, a truly nourishing diet includes plenty of healthy, unprocessed fats: “people really need to wrap their heads around is that fat and cholesterol are actually really important for the human body, especially as we get older as well as when we are developing during childhood.”  He gives some examples of healthful, nourishing fats like full fat fermented dairy products, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, butter and eggs.

John speaks to the critical importance of going outdoors and getting sun exposure.  Beyond Vitamin D, sunlight exposure helps thin the blood, improve circulation and promotes better overall cardiovascular health.

Finally, John offers a few simple steps to transform your health and life, such as going outside and sweating every day; drinking enough fluids; and adopting a higher fat and low carb diet.

You can learn more about John right here: