to keep the human body healthy.
Here are 5 things to avoid
in order to optimize your digestion!
If you watch any television, you know that probiotics are being promoted in certain processed foods. Is this just a current buzz-word to attract attention? Or is there truth to what Jamie Lee Curtis says in her commercials? You’ve heard about people taking probiotic supplements, but are they right for you?
“…probiotics are required
for healthy gut microbial balance
and therefore also for good general health”
What they’re talking about in the TV commercials is the balance of good and bad organisms in the gut.
Should I Take Probiotics for Healthy Digestion?
Two things are commonly found when cultures are grown from gut organisms.
✧ there is an abundance of bad bacteria (or “bad bugs”)
✧ there is an absence of good bacteria
When there is an abundance of bad bacteria and few good bacteria in the gut, this is called gut dysbiosis. It is not a sign of good health.
5 Lifestyle Factors that Are Bad for Your Intestines
Some experts believe that when digestion is unhealthy and the stomach and intestines are overloaded with toxicity from the standard modern diet and environmental exposures, that the human body pads the vital organs with extra visceral and subcutaneous fat as a protective defense. In other words, the waistline grows.
It may be that a healthier digestive system negates the need for the body to start padding organs with extra fat! In order to get your own gut healthier, you need to know what the danger-zones are. Here are some key causes of unhealthy imbalance in the gut:
#1: Stress Impairs Digestion
Stress causes a change in gut pH which negatively affects the growth of good gut bacteria.
#2: A Low Fiber Diet Impairs Digestion
#3: A Sugar-Laden Diet Impairs Digestion
Sugar feeds bad bacteria. Enough said!
#4: Trans-Fats Impair Digestion
A diet high in trans-fats and hydrogenated oils will reduce bile flow. This helps regulate gut pH and food transit time needed to support the growth of good gut bacteria.
#5: Antibiotics Can Sometimes Impair Digestion
Antibiotics (which can come from a prescribed pill or from commercially prepared meat like chicken, beef or pork) may kill off the good gut bacteria.
Probiotics and the Benefits of a Balanced Gut
The majority of people I see in my practice have some sort of digestive issue. Healthy probiotics have been shown to improve digestive function!
A healthy balance of gut bacteria has these additional benefits:
- ⊙ improves or modulates the gut immune system
- ⊙ reduces the number of bad or unhealthy bacteria
- ⊙ helps to maintain a healthy gut mucosal lining; this assists in blocking unhealthy organisms and foreign bodies from crossing into the blood stream
- ⊙ helps to improve liver function
It is my belief that all of us need to go on a periodic re-seeding of the beneficial bacteria with a high quality probiotic.
Consideration must also be given to supplying the required food for these good bacteria in the form of a prebiotic.
For those with a large imbalance of bad to good bacteria, I institute a type of “weed-and-feed program.” The weed is to kill off the bad bacteria. The feed is to re-populate the gut with the good bacteria.
Improve Your Digestion with High-Quality Prebiotics and Probiotics
A few years ago I was meeting with a friend who had a strong nutritional background. We both knew the importance of probiotics but he said that corporate-america was going to make probiotics the new buzz word for the beginning of the 21st century. Corporations looked at test results of comprehensive stool analysis which indicated that many American’s have a proliferation of bad bacteria or bugs in their digestive tract and too few healthy bacteria. Almost everyone can be affected by an imbalance of proper gut bacteria.
Unfortunately, the more research that accumulates the more we find that gut problems can be a contributing factor to just about every health condition (my suspicion is due to the fact that the gut is so closely related to our immune response — a big part of a healthy gut is a “balance” of gut micro-flora or bacteria).
Most of you already know that healthy probiotics have been shown to improve digestive function and to modulate the immune system. Probiotics are a big factor in maintaining a healthy gut barrier to help keep unhealthy organisms and antibodies from entering the blood stream. Healthy probiotics have been shown to improve liver function. There are a couple of issues that need to be addressed when talking about probiotics:
1. Are all probiotics the same?
2. Do we need to feed the probiotic organisms?
Probiotics is not just a buzz-word used to promote commercial food products. Probiotics are required for healthy gut microbial balance and therefore also for good general health.
by Jim Harris ~ Jim is a Nutritional Consultant and graduate from the American Naturopathic Medical Institute who recognizes that our bodies have the innate capability for self-healing — especially when the correct information and energy is supplied in combination with the correct food, supplements and herbs.
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