5 Tips to Balance Both Your Digestive and Immune Health
Tip #1: Avoid processed foods and sugar as much as possible
Very few people eat what I would consider an ideal diet. Most new customers of Sunshine Healthfoods eat what I call the SAD diet (Standard American Diet). One of the most important things you can do to balance the beneficial bacteria in your gut is to avoid an over-abundance of processed foods and sugar that characterize this SAD diet. Sugar actually provides food for non-beneficial bacteria to thrive.
Tip #2: Add more fiber to your diet
According to commonly established recommendations, older folks need at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans consume only about 10 to 15 grams per day. Fiber not only helps prevent and relieve simple, occasional constipation, but is also important for heart and metabolic health. Good sources of fiber include nuts, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tip #3: Decrease your stress level
Even mainstream Harvard’s Healthbeat will tell you: “The brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected — so intimately that they should be viewed as one system . . . it is difficult to try to heal a distressed gut without considering the role of stress and emotion.” If you experience excessive stress in your life, you might consider some form of stress reduction. That could include yoga, meditation, working less, shifting your priorities, and enjoying more leisure time.
Tip #4: Drink more water
Water is essential to good digestion (and good health in general). I have observed that most people don’t drink nearly enough. Water helps keep moving food through your digestive tract into the colon. Without sufficient water, your bowel movements may be difficult to pass. There are many opinions as to how much water you should drink daily. Some say 8 glasses per day. You can also take your body weight as a measure, and drink half that amount in ounces daily. For example, a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces of water daily. Soda, coffee, and alcoholic beverages don’t count.
Tip #5: Add a high-quality probiotic supplement to your diet
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. You have about 100 trillion of them in your intestinal tract. In fact, there are so many of them that combined, they weigh about 2 or 3 pounds. To offset the imbalance you now know is so common, I recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement daily. Before discussing what to look for in a probiotic supplement, here’s what you should know . . .
“I recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement daily”
How NOT to Choose a Quality Probiotic
Many people think they can get enough “friendly” bacteria by eating yogurt. However, the sad truth is that store-bought yogurt products are, for the most part, a waste of your hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, most commercial yogurts are loaded with sugar and other additives, and often heat processed or pasteurized, which may destroy some of their live bacterial cultures.
store-bought yogurt products are, for the most part, a waste of your hard-earned money!!!!
Additionally, many people have problems digesting dairy products, and the pasteurization process may kill the lactase enzyme, which would have made the dairy product more easily digestible.
So your best bet is to invest a little in a premium probiotic supplement.
With Premium I mean- at least 10 different different strains plus prebiotic – preferably refrigerated and around 10 Billion strength and enteric coated. Shelf stable probiotics have come a long way BUT I still recommend refrigerated unless someone is traveling.