Can You Stomach This?
April 7th is World Health Day and what better way is there to improve one’s health than to take a moment to talk about what we eat. As you know, the type of foods we ingest has a large impact on how it’s all processed, thus influencing our overall health. Often poor dietary choices lead to bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, and indigestion. Most of us are aware that a lifetime or long term poor choices can lead to serious health conditions such as compromised immunity, diabetes, cancer, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), just to name a few. And like everything else, there are consequences for the decisions we make, therefore we need checks and balances.
After a while of poor eating habits, a buildup of fats and toxins accumulate which often prohibits the benefits of foods, supplements and medications. Think of your digestive system as the plumbing in your house. After years of carelessly washing things down the drain, particles adhere to the sides of the pipes causing a sludge buildup often resulting in blockages. Our food processes the same way, and there are times when we need to clean our ‘drains’. Fiber-rich foods can help scrub away those layers of buildup allowing nutrients to be better absorbed. High fiber foods come from the plant kingdom and may be found in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. However, in addition to the fiber, probiotics also help with digestion.
Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacteria and may be found in active-culture dairy products like yogurt and yogurt drinks and supplements. When these beneficial bacteria are introduced into our systems, they assist the digestion process by supporting our overall immune system. Worldwide, probiotics have become one of the fastest-growing functional foods. People of all ages can benefit from probiotics. According to Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders, "Compelling new studies are showing how probiotics can help keep healthy people healthy. One study showed a decreased incidence of common infectious diseases among kids in day care." Dr. Allan Walker, professor of nutrition and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School says, "Infants don’t have all of their gut bacteria at birth as they acquire it up until about 2 years of age. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria, which can promote healthy colonization of bacteria in the gut during this time, leading to enhanced immunity." Tufts University’s Dr. Simin Meydani, associate director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, also addresses probiotics for the elderly: "…taking in certain probiotics on a regular basis might positively change the bacterial populations in the gut in older people." Studies indicate that 70% of our immunity is found in our digestive system, and as we grow older, our immune systems deteriorate. Additional research suggests that supplementing our diets with probiotics would have a greater impact on our health more than we once believed. But remember, there are several different strains of probiotics. You should supplement your diet naturally or with a good quality probiotic from a quality manufacturer like Natren’s Healthy Trinity. Or be a little creative and have fun by making your own delicious yogurt with the help of Natren’s Yogurt Starter and a Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker. Home-made yogurt is easy to make, delicious and nutritious. If you have a favorite recipe, please share it with us and enter our Yogurt Maker Give-away. Good luck and here’s to happy and healthy eating.
Probiotics Support Health In All Ages