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Apr 042011
 

A probiotic diet is an excellent way to promote overall digestive health simply by changing the way you eat.  We’ve all heard of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables,  but lately,  a new health superstar is gaining in popularity,  it is probiotics.

Intestinal Bacteria

We all know that there are many different kinds of bacteria that can make us sick.  But there are just as many,  if not more,  that can help to keep us healthy.  The most common of these beneficial bacteria is lactobacillus acidophilus,  some others are L. caseiL. plantarum,  and B. bifidum.  They are naturally occurring in many fermented dairy products such as yogurt,  but in many cases they are added as a digestive aid.

These good bacteria are present to a certain extent in all of our digestive tracts.  But through certain conditions such as overuse of antibiotics and a poor diet,  these good bacteria can be overrun by harmful organisms.  These can include Candida albicans (yeast),  as well as other harmful bacteria such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Probiotic Diet

A probiotic diet is exactly as it’s name suggests.  It is a diet rich in naturally occurring,  or added probiotic bacteria.  Probiotics benefits have been well documented and  shown to improve digestion, and strengthen the immune system.  These healthy bugs also demonstrate anti-candida activity simply by competing for available space.  This candida is believed my many practitioners to cause weight gain as well as many other problems.

Probiotic Rich Foods

  • Live culture yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sour cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Raw sauerkraut
  • Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with mother)

The most dependable way to be sure that you are getting all of the beneficial bugs is to only consume quality,  preferably health food store grade products.  A quality probiotic supplement is ideal because you know exactly how much you’re getting, and they are very convenient to take.  There are many quality probiotics brands available.  You’re also have the opportunity to get a wide variety of active organisms.  Probiotics side effects are usually mild and can include gas or abdominal discomfort.

Probiotics Benefits

  • Improve digestion
  • Strengthen immunity
  • Improve lactose intolerance
  • Act as a buffer against harmful organisms

A probiotic diet can be a good defense against a case of intestinal dysbiosis.  Dysbiosis means,  in short,  that the natural balance of our intestinal flora has been disturbed.  Whether the disturbance is caused by antibiotics,  diet,  or even stress,  the solution is the same.

Soluble Fiber and Diet

Along with replacing the healthy bacteria,  there are other important factors.  Avoid refined,  starchy,  low fiber foods.  These foods cause constipation and encourage unhealthy organisms such as candida.  Add to your diet more fruits and vegetables that are low in starch and high in fiber.  Glucomannan is a good choice for anyone interested in a supplement.

The soluble fiber in these foods act as a food source for our naturally occurring probiotic bacteria.  And the insoluble fiber in these foods is essential for regularity.  Not to mention all of the other health benefits of fiber.

Conclusion

So as we’ve seen,  there are several approaches that can be taken.  There is diet,  and also supplements such as probiotics or glucomannan.  Don’t worry about being perfect,  just do something.  But investing in our health today is our responsibility and ours alone,  and after all,  nobody is going to do it for us.


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