Our digestive system needs a proper balance of good and bad bacteria to help us digest food, absorb nutrients, assist with proper immune function, detoxification, as well as keeping a healthy body composition. Your digestive system is a very important part of your well being and when it does not function properly you become more prone to digestive issues, immune issues, mood disorders & other mental health issues, disease, toxicity, inflammation, hormone imbalances and unhealthy weight gain.
Prebiotics the ignored “biotic” in digestive health:
Most people are so obsessed with probiotics that prebiotics are often forgotten. Prebiotics are food constituent that generally come from resistant starches (resistant starches are AMAZING, they regulate blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and are important in weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight as well as hormone balance). They help the good bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacteria and many other beneficial bacteria’s grow and flourish in your digestive system. In fact you can take as many probiotics as you want but if you are starving them from prebiotics you are not giving them everything they need to thrive and reproduce. Although there are prebiotic supplements out there the best way to get them is through eating the right kinds of foods which is surprisingly easy if you eat a clean and whole food diet and have not fallen for any of the latest diet fads or strict food regimens out there. Foods high in prebiotics are:
Probiotics have you been bamboozled?
If you are tuned into everyday media, you are probably bombarded with probiotic this and that! They even make probiotic gum now to promote proper flora of the mouth! Probiotics are awesome they help colonize your digestive system with good bacteria to keep bad bacteria from taking over. However many people are sabotaging themselves by consuming foods in unhealthy amounts that feed bad bacteria such as processed & sugar laden foods or overdoing the healthier sugars such as honey & maple syrup (you should not consume more than 100 calories from added honey & maple syrup per day), not following up a course of antibiotics with probiotics and falling for marketing of foods touted with being a good source of probiotics. For example yogurt… fruit filled, fruit at the bottom, vanilla, plain, original, unsweetened, fat free, Greek, soy, coconut, organic. The mass production methods of creating most of the yogurt out on the market prevents proper colonization of probiotics in high amounts, on top of this the additives & sugars added to these yogurts counteract the benefits of the small amount of probiotics actually present or the additional probiotics some companies add to the yogurt. If you really are into consuming dairy products even with the growing evidence that it does not do a body good, you are better off making your own yogurt using traditional methods or making kefir. Luckily there are plenty of healthy alternatives full of probiotics:
To help your digestive flora flourish as well as your health be sure to get enough prebiotic rich foods and be sure you are consuming quality sources of probiotics and not just health tooted processed foods such as yogurt.
Dana Clark, CNHP, CHN, CHC owner or From the Roots Holistic, Certified Holistic Nutritionist at SBJJ & Muay Thai Academy.
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