A Healthy Digestive System is King
A healthy digestive system is what everyone should aim to achieve for optimum health. The digestive system excretes dangerous toxins from the body to avoid contamination and illness. If it fails to work properly, then the body and/or mind will suffer, leading to gradual deterioration and disease. Many have compared the digestive system to the sewer systems of cities, whereby illness and disease would run rampant among residents if they were blocked or malfunctioning. For that reason alone, people should do all they can to ensure they are ridding themselves of the toxins that lurk within them.
One very thing to note is the importance of the intestinal flora, which is healthy bacteria that lives in the intestines. Without the right amount of flora, the harmful bacteria will overwhelm the system and cause numerous health problems, beginning with Candida, for one. You should aim for a balance, because no matter what you do, there will always be harmful bacteria, given the location. Balancing the system will keep you healthier and will strengthen your immune system.
Probiotics are what you need to maintain a healthy gut, whether you get them from a supplement or not. Naturally, you can find them easily in yogurt with live bacterial culture. Check the label and ensure it reads, “Live Bacterial Cultures.” Eat it plain, or sweeten naturally with organic honey or fruits.
Probiotic supplements are easier for most people to take because they are simply taken orally with a drink. There are different types available on the market, so choose among them wisely.
Problems With Probiotics
People who have had symptoms indicative of IBS, colitis, frequent bloating, among others should be wary of introducing probiotics to their systems. Instead of consuming too much yogurt or taking supplements as recommended on labels, go slow. Increased probiotics can lead to abdominal cramps. So, start with two supplements per week for a couple of weeks, then increase it by one each week.
Other Great Sources of Probiotics
Kefir is one of the most popular ways to improve your intestinal flora and overall health. Kefir grains are a combination of yeasts and bacteria. It is used to make a fermented milk drink.
Kimchi is a another popular way! Kimchi is actually a side dish of fermented vegetables, originating in Korea. Common vegetables used in making Kimchi include cucumber, scallion, cabbage, or radish and is meant to provide a high concentration of dietary fiber, without too many calories. It’s also meant to be rich in Vitamin C, vitamin A, B1, B2, iron, calcium and lactic acid bacteria.
Some experts agree that probiotics are even more important to your health than the daily multivitamin you take each day! Just imagine, the body contains more than 100 TRILLION bacteria, some of which can wreak havoc on your health, by encouraging the development of disease. The good bacteria can help prevent that so you must do your best to maintain the optimal ratio of 85% good bacteria and 15% bad.
What Can Affect Your Gut Bacteria?
Your lifestyle choices, diet, and some things out of your control, like environmental factors. Reduce the consumption of sugar/fructose, processed foods, refined grains, fluoridated water (also chlorinated water), and antibiotics (even those fed to livestock). Also avoid antibacterial soap and pesticides. Whenever possible, choose organic produce and foods, and all products that are more natural.
How Do You Know Your Gut is NOT Healthy?
All the above are responsible for imbalanced gut flora, so avoid them as much as you can. Otherwise, you could be suffering from bloating and gas, depression, diarrhea and/or constipation, fatigue, frequent headaches, lowered immunity, nausea, and/or increased cravings for sugar and refined carb foods. Luckily, with a positive change in lifestyle, diet, and taking probiotics, many of these symptoms will disappear.
Commercial pasteurized probiotic yogurts won’t help because they are pasteurized. Moreover, they have sugar/fructose, additives, and such that will only worsen your condition because
Fermented raw milk such as kefir or yogurt, but NOT commercial versions, which typically do not have live cultures and are loaded with sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria .