The secret to good digestion & immunity. Stop getting sick with...
Did you know that it is estimated that 60-70% of your immune system is located in your gut? I'll explain more on that in a minute.
Do you get sick often or are you in almost perfect health 99% of the time?
Most people it seems get sick at least once every couple weeks.
Other people seem to never get sick. Why the difference?
Also, what about digestion? Do you get stomach aches, gas, bloating and other digestion problems frequently or never?
Well, there are tons of reasons for the differences in both areas... including stress levels, types of food intake, sleep quality and quantity, overall general health and fitness levels, and even some factors going back to childhood (such as breastfeeding, the type of diet during developmental years, etc).
What I've noticed for myself personally is that the healthier that I eat as the years go on, the less frequently I get sick, and the less frequently I get digestion problems.
As a matter of fact, my diet has become so healthy over the last couple years that I really never get sick at all anymore (maybe 1 cold per year), and I also can't remember the last stomach ache I had (pretty much never have them anymore).
Besides just keeping fit and healthy in general, I have a little bit of a secret that I believe helps a lot with my immunity as well as digestion, and hopefully this info will help you as well.
One of my major secrets is the heavy use of both probiotics and prebiotics... and this doesn't mean supplements... rather, I get these all from regular natural foods.
Probiotics are basically live microorganisms (friendly bacteria and other good microorganisms) that can be ingested in certain fermented and raw foods. Some probiotics you may have heard of are Bifidus, Lactobacilli, L. casei, etc.
It's estimated that the average person has several TRILLION of these little buggers doing work at any given time inside your digestive system.
Probiotic microorganisms actually like the acidic environment of your stomach and small intestine, and provide a HUGE amount of benefits to you.
Here are some of the benefits that probiotics in your digestive system provide
*Increase your immunity
*Help reduce yeast infections, urinary tract infections, etc
*Reduce chances of diarrhea and/or constipation
*Improve lactose intolerance
*Increase absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients
*Increase production of white blood cells to help reduce inflammation, allergies, and other conditions
*and much more important functions
Keep in mind that taking antibiotics kills off a portion of your friendly bacteria living inside of you, so you need to make sure to increase your intake of probiotics if you're ever forced to take antibiotics.
Personally, I would never take antibiotics unless it was something life threatening that needed to be eradicated. But to be compliant, I have to tell you to do whatever your doctor tells you to do.
By the way, many doctors will prescribe antiobiotics a lot of times even if you have a viral infection (which is pointless), and is only doing you harm by killing some of your good probiotic bacteria in your system and potentially allowing another bug to make you ill now that your defenses are reduced (the probiotics are your defenses).
Make sure to confirm with your doc that you really do have a bacterial infection before allowing him/her to prescribe you an antiobiotic. Even in those cases, you should ask your doc if the antibiotic is really required or if you can get better on your own (which is preferred).
So what foods are good sources of these health-giving friendly probiotics?
A couple major sources are
*Yogurt - make sure that the yogurt label says that it has live cultures in it. Also, steer clear of yogurts that use artificial sweeteners or are loaded with sugar and corn syrup... Instead, your best bet is plain yogurt (grass fed and organic if possible), and then add your own fruit, nuts, and stevia to "flavor it up".
*Kefir - similar to yogurt, but more of a liquid form of fermented milk (can have 2-3 billion or more active friendly organisms per serving).
*Aged types of cheese - blue cheese, hard aged cheeses, aged cheddar... all can contain up to 10 billion friendly organisms per serving.
*Kambucha - a type of fermented tea (this has a very strong taste, so consider mixing it with regular iced tea)
*Natto, miso, and tempeh - forms of fermented soybean (the ONLY types of soy that I believe are ok in limited quantities)
*Sauerkraut - probably needs to be homemade as I believe most supermarket sauerkrauts are pasteurized, which kills the friendly probiotics.
*other naturally fermented foods
So as you can see, trying to include a variety of these probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet can go a long way towards keeping you healthy, strengthen your immune system and prevent sickness, and also help prevent digestion problems.
The other thing I wanted to explain was PREBIOTICS. If probiotics are the actual organisms, prebiotics are types of foods that you can eat to help stimulate the growth of probiotics within your system.
Soluble fiber is the main prebiotic that can help the probiotics flourish in your digestive system. Oatmeal, oat bran, inulin (not insulin, but inulin...a soluble fiber), and various fruits and vegetables all help to supply you with prebiotics.
There you have it! Probiotics and prebiotics explained.
Feel free to forward this email to any of your friends and family that may be interested.
If you missed my newsletter last week, make sure to check out the new nutrition program by Isabel De Los Rios. I was really impressed with this and feel it is a MUST-READ by everyone that wants to fully understand nutrition and make themselves and their family leaner and healthier for life.