Parasites are much more widespread than the average person realizes. We know that they are a problem in underdeveloped countries, and we know that they are a problem among animals in the U.S., but we generally don’t stop to think that this could also be a problem for many people in our society.
We don’t see parasites, our doctors don’t talk about parasites, and the news media don’t do stories on parasites, so we tend to assume that it’s just not an issue for us. Yet scientists who have studied the matter tell us that it’s likely that 85% of Americans have at least some infestation of parasites, to varying degrees and with varying consequences.
Parasites can enter our bodies in a variety of ways. As they are widespread in the animal kingdom, a common source is meat products ( in one cubic inch of USDA beef there are over 1,000 parasite larvae ) that have been cooked or stored improperly. Remember that this also includes everything from cold cuts to restaurant food that you don’t personally cook.
Even raw fruits and vegetables, which are so important to good health, can contain parasites that will enter our bodies if the food isn’t well-rinsed before we eat it. Other food products can also contain parasites or their eggs. And there are even non-food ways in which these unwelcome creatures can get inside of us.
Parasites can do a great deal of damage, and what makes them perhaps even more dangerous is the fact that this damage is usually so subtle and gradual that we don’t stop to look for a cause of the symptoms. We feel a general malaise, a sluggishness, a lack of clear thinking, maybe some general intestinal discomfort, but we learn to live with it, get used to it, and just assume that it’s our lot in life to feel this way. All along, parasites may be playing a significant role in this condition.