Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to our health, when eaten in an adequate amount. It is important for our large intestine to maintain a healthy count of these “good” bacteria, as it helps to prevent bad bacteria from growing in the bowel or entering the body through the wall of the intestines to cause infection.
Probiotics are found naturally in foods mainly diary foods, for example probiotics are found in yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, some juices and also some soy beverages. They can also be taken in the form of a dietary supplement (for example, capsules, tablets and powders) and in some other forms as well, the bacteria in these supplements may have been present originally or it is possible they were added during preparation.
There are numerous health claims associated with the intake of daily doses of probiotics, some of these are:
* Enhanced immune system
* Aids in preventing and treating colon inflammation
* Increased ability to digest food
* Therapeutic for viral respiratory tract infections by enhancing the overall immune system
* Reduces lactose intolerance
* Reduces incidence of yeast infection
* Increases ability to assimilate the nutrients from food
* Alleviates many common digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhoea and IBS
Digestive health can affect other areas of our health – weight, energy and immunity – in ways we
might never have imagined. It`s important to understand the link between digestive health and overall wellness.
Here are some useful tips to help you maintain a healthy digestive system
• Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grain products
• Drink lots of water – Water plays a key role in our digestion. It helps break down the food in our stomach, aids in dissolving nutrients and prevents constipation.
• Eat less fatty foods – The more unsaturated fat or transfat you consume, the more your digestive system is strained.
• Avoid processed foods – These types of food have little nutrition in them and often contain large amounts of saturated fats and preservatives that hinder proper digestion.
• Eat slowly and moderately – It`s common sense. Eating in a rush and consuming large portions in one sitting will definitely put a lot of stress on your digestive system.
• Quit smoking – It certainly can harm the digestive system, contributing to diseases such as heartburn, peptic ulcers, gallstones, liver damage and colon cancer.
• Drink less alcohol – Excessive alcohol intake can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Furthermore, it can inflame the lining of your stomach and cause symptoms of heartburn.
• Exercise regularly – Cardiovascular exercise helps strengthen the abdomen muscles. Also it stimulates the intestinal muscles to push digestive contents through your system and there`s no reason for you to feel sluggish and lethargic.
• Reduce stress in your personal life – Stress has a negative effect on the nerves of the digestive system, which in turn affects the process of digestion.
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Wishing you good health!