Alert, you may have heard eating yogurt is good for your digestive system. The answer is affirmative. Ingesting a probiotic as a part of your daily regime will bolster you as well. Ok, you may be asking yourself a pro bi what? What are probiotics? Why do we need them? What can a regular probiotic do for me? All of the above questions are valid and important to ask of your self.
“Probiotic” means “for life” and simply explains why these nutrients are so important. A probiotic is an organism. This organism contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. Within our digestive tract live good and bad bacteria. Our healthy lower intestines should contain approximately 85 percent of “friendly” bacteria. Yes, there is such a thing as healthy bacteria and it wards off disease. Fifteen percent of the bacteria has a deleterious effect. Most people have these numbers reversed.
Why do we need probiotics? A healthy digestive tract will help you maintain overall good health. If you experience excessive gas, bloating, constipation, there is a good chance your digestive tract is suffering. It is also likely you are doing harm to your own body. Your body is working overtime. Therefore, you are not able to absorb the proper nutrients your body needs to sustain good health. Some of the damaging substances that contribute and disturb the intestinal flora are, chlorine and sodium fluoride (found in most city water) and alcoholic beverages. Our intestinal walls can also be disturbed and damaged by antibiotics, birth control pills, and over the counter drugs. Digesting a probiotic on a daily basis will enable your digestive tract to be normalized. Here is what a dose of probiotics daily can provide for you:
· Inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that causes digestive stress
· Improve digestion of food and absorption of vitamins
· Stimulate the body’s natural defense mechanism – the immune system
· Help make vitamins needed by the body
Some foods can deliver probiotics such as, yogurt, tempeh, some cheeses, Japanese Miso, garlic, onions, and bananas. The recommendation of CFU’s (colony-forming unit) is 6-10 million per day. One would need to eat a lot of yogurt and the other foods above to meet this requirement.
So, how do you select a probiotic? There are so many choices and it could be overwhelming. Some experts would recommend a tablet form. The coating on the tablet (enteric-coating) is a protective layer to ensure the microbes will make it to the lower part of the intestines. There are also powdered and liquid forms of probiotics. Be aware that probiotics can be expensive. I can attest that a happy belly makes for a happier and healthier you. Isn’t your digestive health worth it to you?