In this fast paced world very few of us are eating as healthily as we should be. We are far more apt to grab food from a window or microwave some sort of concoction that slightly resembles something that we may want to eat. We all struggle to get in our veggies and protein. To stay away from the dreadful carbs and sugar, and to try to pretend at the end of the day that what we’re eating is “good enough”.
Then the repercussions begin. The bloating, the heart burn, the acne and so forth. We know that we should be better but we don’t know how. We toss and turn at night. We blame stress, our jobs, our relationships, anything other than that Big Mac that we had for dinner. I mean after-all I had a diet soda with it.
The problem is that our bodies are very specifically designed. We need to consume certain vitamins, and minerals. We need carbs for energy and protein for growth and fats to make our brains function. We also need to be able to digest all of these things properly. Enter probiotics. Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that one has to introduce foods periodically to make sure that the child doesn’t have any reactions, but that there are certain foods that should always have to be held off until after the baby is at least one year old (honey and cow’s milk are examples). The reason for this is that their bodies are not equipped with the proper gut flora to digest those foods properly and this can lead to all kinds of illnesses and digestive issues.
As we age our bodies adapt and soon we are chugging milk, devouring cheese, and sipping tea with honey to help our latest sniffle attack. Our bodies are amazing instruments with the ability to thrive on even less than perfect nourishment, but with our diet of chemicals and preservatives sometimes imperfection turns to deficiency and parts of our bodies break down.
We all understand the importance of getting our blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked, but has anyone ever checked their gut flora levels? Does anyone ever think about it? You think about how you feel bloated and need some Pepto. You think about how you have heart burn and need some tums, or are exhausted and need more coffee, but did you ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe you’re all of those things because you drank that diet soda for dinner.
Artificial sweeteners, as well as many other preservatives used in our food today actually play havoc with our digestion. People wonder why they get on those box diet food and switch to diet soda and still can’t loose weight, well our bodies don’t like chemicals. They like real, natural food. When the chemicals in some of these convenience foods destroy
the healthy bacteria in our gut it makes it more and more difficult for the actual food to be digested and the proper nutrition to be absorbed into our bodies. This can lead to gas, diarrhea, a lowered immune system, weight gain.. and even cancer.
The best way to resolve this is obviously to stick to healthy real food, but I understand that will take a lot, and isn’t always as tasty. So the next best thing is to start making sure that you have probiotics in your diet regularly. The best way to get them is through food itself. Women, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all had a not so comfortable infection and our friends and mothers suggested, “just eat some yogurt”. There are even more foods on the list though. Foods like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, and even sour pickles. If you’re not a fan our sour anything, try some kefir, miso or tempeh, or you could just take a supplement.
A word of caution on supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA or any other agency in the US, so please do your research. Check on the ingredients and the level of probiotics in each. Otherwise you may just be wasting your money, or even causing more issues. Some “Gluten Free” actually have, well, gluten.
Today’s world is busy, I’m not saying you can’t enjoy your Big Mac and diet coke, just eat a yogurt for breakfast, and try not to do it EVERYDAY!