Keeping a food journal is a simple idea, implementing it is a different issue. It has helped me figure out what my digestive system can and cannot tolerate. What I do is use my calendar feature on the computer, It only takes a few minutes and I can go back over the months and look at any patterns in my health.
My second tip is Probiotics, your digestive system needs the good bacteria to aid in proper digestion of foods. There was an article in Mother Earth Living, May/June 2014 issue that was excellent titled "13 Reasons to Love and Take probiotics".
The article was written by Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D. who is the author of 60 Seconds to Slim and the Weekend Wonder Detox. She states,"There are many reasons we should stock up on these friendly bacteria- from digestive heath to neurological well-being and much, much more." Below are the 13 good reasons she state as to why you should take probiotics.
1. Assist with Weight Loss
Lactobacillus strains have been found to stabilize your blood sugar which will reduce your cravings. Probiotics show promise in the treatment of obesity according to the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine.
Probiotics can be used to prevent and treat upper respirator tract and ear infections according to the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
3.Treat Ulcers and Gastritis
Ulcers have been linked to the bacteria Helicobacter pylori which causes inflammation of the stomach lining. Adding probiotics to the patients treatments improved the efficacy of the treatments.
4. Improved Symptoms of Depression
Studies have shown an association between depression and gastrointestinal inflammation. Treating the inflammation with probiotics along with vitamins B, D and omega-3 fatty acids, helped reduce the symptoms.
5. Improve Energy and Sugar Metabolism
Research published in the journal Gut Microbes found that probiotics helps the body use glucose (sugar) more efficiently.
6. Reduce Sinusitis and Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion due to allergies may see an improvement when probiotics are added according to Osaka University School of Medicine.
7. Fight the Herpes Virus
Scientist at Sapienza University in Rome found the probiotic L. brevis showed significant antiviral activity against the herpes simplex type 2 virus.
8. Reduce Inflammation
Probiotics reduce inflammation, which is important since many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and arthritis have been linked to chronic inflammation. For this reason alone should get you to take a look at probiotics.
9. Treat Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease triggered by gluten. The probiotic L.cases can be helpful in restoring normal microbe balance and intestinal lining structure. The tests have only been done in mice but may offer hope to celiac suffers if the results are similar in humans.
10. Improve Symptoms of Colitis
Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine. Probiotics along with antibiotic drugs are an effective treatment of recurrent diarrhea linked to colitis associated this with infection by the bacterium Clostridium difficile.
11. Improve Joint function
A study with 30 rheumatoid arthritis suffers saw improved joint function. The study was published in the Medical Science Monitor, from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
12. Improve Breast Milk Nutrition
Women who took L.rhamnosus and B.lactis produced breast milk of higher nutritional quality, according to researchers at Finland's University of Turku.
13. Treat Neurological Disease
Free radicals have been linked to brain and nerve diseases. L.plantarum was shown to reduce chemicals linked with free radical damage.
Probiotis are available in many forms, pills, powder, yogurt, kefir, along with fermented foods. I recommend getting your probiotics from a natural source such as fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut or kefir. Yogurts may contain a FEW strains of probiotics, but if the product is heated (dried) or pasteurized the probiotics are destroyed. We make milk kefir using live grains which has worked for my stomach issues.
Below is how many live micro organisms per milliliters or (1/5 of a teaspoon) in milk kefir. There is nothing you can buy in the store that has as many live probiotics.
Microbial Composition of Kefir at the End of Fermentation [colony forming units/ml] **
Lactococci : 1,000,000,000
Leuconostocs : 100,000,000
Lactobacilli : 5,000,000
Yeast : 1,000,000
Acetobacter : 100,000
All of this is in 1/5 of a teaspoon, and I drink 1/2 cup with each meal. If you are interested in more information on kefir and how to make it go to the tab on kefir. We do sell it at the Farmer's Market so stop by and ask about it.
Mother Earth Living, May/June 2014, 13 Reasons to Love Probiotics by Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D