Many people are surprised to discover that the human intestinal tract contains up to 100 trillion bacteria that represent more than 400 different species. However, not all bacteria are bad for you.
There are 3 main types of bacteria:
- Pathogenic bacteria that causes disease
- Commensal bacteria that are micro organisms that have a neutral effect
- Intestinal flora, probiotics or eubiotics are all beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli that is found mainly in the small intestines and bifido bacterium that resides primarily in the colon.
Pathogenic and beneficial bacteria are in a constant fight with each other. Good bacteria try to keep us healthy by preventing colonization, proliferation and the spread of food borne pathogenic bacteria that can be harmful for intestinal tract and can result in dysbiosis.
Intestinal flora is in a harmony with our body’s needs and can lower risk of cancer, help to fight against diseases, support healthy immunity and aging. It provides a front line of our immune defense, participates in manufacturing of vitamins A, K and B complex and increases bio-availability of many vitamins and minerals that require acid for absorption such as calcium, iron, copper, manganese and magnesium.
If bad bacteria start to dominate over the good ones the body inevitably shifts into an imbalance that can compromise the immune system and result in infections, malabsorption and diseases. Fortunately for us probiotics and probiotic-rich diet can help to restore the balance.
What Are Probiotics?
Guest Article by Donna Gates, Nutritional Consultant and Author of The Body Ecology Diet
Probiotics are the latest media buzzword for new healthy products on the market, but you may be scratching your head and wondering to yourself what they are and exactly what they do for your health. Look no further because here are the probiotic answers you have been searching for!
The literal definition of probiotics is “for life”, and they are essential to supporting your daily bodily functions. Probiotics work together with white blood cells to fight disease, they control bacteria in the intestines, and they give your body necessary nutrients to build the blood, aid in digestion, and even prevent diarrhea and constipation. Probiotics further naturally manufacture B vitamins, working as the most reliable source of vitamin B12 in your body.
These beneficial bacteria play a vital role in maintaining your health, and they even support the healthy inner ecosystems of all life on our planet. The most important concept to grasp is that it is an absolute must to eat a diet rich in the best probiotics, coming from fermented foods, if you want to live a long and full life. Unfortunately, negative press in the media has led to a widespread misconception that bacteria is our enemy and could kill us,when healthy bacteria is actually beneficial and necessary for your body to thrive each day.
Additionally, if you eat food found within the traditional American diet that is often processed, frozen, and packaged, then your body may be missing out on these valuable bacteria that you need in your intestines. These bacteria make up a thriving inner ecosystem, which will keep the health of your body in balance and be further reflected in good energy, a boosted immune system, and even a glowing skin tone!
Good and Bad Bacteria
The truth is that good and bad bacteria are found in your intestines, and to stay protected from disease, you must have enough good bacteria to keep the bad bacteria from overpowering your body. It is all about balance! Because of habits in the typical American diet, like eating fast food and junk food, the majority of people out there have an imbalanced inner ecosystem, which exhibits itself in a slew of unhealthy side effects, like disease, fatigue, and even obesity.
You may find many different probiotic products at health food stores, which are normally refrigerated so that they remain potent. However, it is important to keep in mind that most commercial probiotic liquids are not necessarily effective because they do not contain the right combination of nutrients and bacteria to survive and effectively populate your intestines. This is precisely why it is imperative to eat daily fermented foods and beverages that will improve your intestinal environment so that good bacteria have a better chance of survival.
If you’re thinking to yourself that eating fermented foods sounds crazy, bear in mind that it is a practice that has been used by our ancient ancestors for centuries to keep them healthy and strong. Today, it is just as important to include fermented foods and drinks in your daily diet if you want to add years of health and happiness to your life!
Body Ecology is a system of health and healing that tens of thousands of people follow each day. We teach you how to use food and 7 universal principles to stay healthier, happier and younger. We are the leaders in fermented foods and nutrition. For nutritious and delicious probiotics to dramatically improve your health, find out more at Body Ecology website today!
About Donna Gates: Donna helped thousands of people to recover from candida overgrowth and many other disorders of the immune system. She pioneered a healthful, nutrient-rich drink “young coconut kefir” for restoring the intestinal balance in people with digestive and autoimmune conditions. The Body Ecology Diet book has evolved into a complete system for rebuilding immunity, has sold over 180.000 copies, and is now in its 10th edition.
How to Add Probiotics to Your Diet
You can get probiotics with supplements that should be slowly introduced starting from 3 and 5 billion units and could be increased to 10 billion for those who have digestive, autoimmune and/or thyroid issues. However, concept of probiotics should not be limited to dietary supplements alone and replace probiotic foods.
In fact, the best way to add probiotics to your diet is to eat fermented foods. The fermentation of foods and beverages has been practiced for many years and became a part of traditional diet in all cultures worldwide. Fermentation process supports growth of friendly bacteria that produce some types of alcohol, preservatives and lactic and acetic acids that help to retain nutrients and prevent spoilage of foods. It involves the growth of beneficial microorganisms that change and enrich original characteristics of foods by lowering their pH to such extent that pathogenic bacteria cannot thrive and multiply.
In addition to preservation of foods and storing it for later use, fermentation also produces new flavors and increases the nutrient density of the original foods. Yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and cultured cheeses are the well-known example of fermented foods rich in probiotics that can be added to your diet.
Fermentation can also destroy toxic and undesirable components that are present in some foods such as soy in a raw state and are not recommended for people who have thyroid and/or hormonal imbalances. This undesirable substances and anti-nutrients are deactivated by fermentation making fermented soy foods safe to add to your probiotic-rich diet.
Kefir Starterby Body Ecology. Real kefir is a very healthy fermented beverage that can be made only using live colonies of micro organisms living symbiotically – kefir grains. Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract with good bacteria and is simple to make at home.
Culture Starter by Body Ecology allows you to ferment vegetables and cream to add probiotics in your diet. Cultured foods provide you with more enzymes and are easier to digest than raw foods. Making probiotic foods yourself is the most economical way to maintain your healthy gut flora and support immune system.
Another way to support healthy levels of good bacteria in your gut is to eat foods that feed them and allow to multiply. The best food for that are fructo-olligosaccharides or FOS that are also known as prebiotics. Bananas and other fruit, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, soybeans and onions have a lot of FOS and promote rapid growth of beneficial bacteria.
Adding vegetables and fruit which are naturally high in FOS to your diet, is much more likely to encourage healthy bacteria than a diet that does not contain these ingredients. So next time you have your meal choose your foods wisely because what you eat feeds not only you but also your bacteria.
PB 8 by Nutrition Now is a probiotic supplement that contains all major probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
FOS, 750 mg, 100 vcaps. This supplement nutritionally supports a healthy gastrointestinal tract by encouraging the growth of friendly bacteria. FOS also creates a natural intestinal mechanical barriers that reduces intestinal permeability and contributes to healing of leaky gut syndrome.
How To Ferment Foods
Get Cultured! How to Ferment Anything by Jenny from the Nourished Kitchen is a complete Guide to Preparing Probiotic, Enzyme-rich Fermented Foods in Your Kitchen with over 50 video tutorials, 100 recipes and 60 tutorials, plus the free 36 pages e-book Get Cultured: Probiotic Recipe from the Nourished Kitchen. Fermentation process increases vitamins, enzymes and good bacteria that are naturally present in all foods by improving it’s flavor, enhancing digestion and contributing to the healthy immunity. In this e-course you will learn how to safely ferment vegetables and other foods that you can incorporate in to the GAPS/ SCD diet to support healing.
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The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity by D. Gates, L. Schatz, Hay House; Revised edition, 2011
The Baby Boomer Diet: Body Ecology’s Guide to Growing Younger: Anti-Aging Wisdom for Every Generation by D.Gates, L. Schrecengost, Hay House, 2011
Guest Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5311779