Probiotics & Prebiotics
Probiotic Foods | What are Probiotics
What many people don’t know is that your intestines need to be working in tip top shape for your body to remove toxic chemicals that you are exposed to each and every day. Half of the detoxification for your body happens in your gut – as toxins pass through your body from your liver – so it’s important to keep your intestines clean and moving. If your intestines aren’t moving, toxins will accumulate and be reabsorbed into your body, which will then make you sick.
Today we’re exposed to toxins everywhere- our food, our water, our air, etc. so everyone should be replenishing the healthy flora in their guts to maintain the health of their digestive tracts. I found it shocking to know from one of my doctors that just drinking a glass of tap water can destroy the healthy micro-organisms in your intestines. Crazy, isn’t it? Yes, tap water contains chlorine to kill harmful micro-organisms floating around in your water. Gross! Chlorine kills micro-organisms (the harmful and beneficial ones) whether it’s in your water or in your gut.
So, what do I do? It’s easy. I’ve found high quality probiotics and take them a few times each day to keep my system healthy and to restore the natural function of my intestines. Probiotics are micro-organisms, fungi, yeasts and specific bacteria that are a necessary and natural component for your digestive tract and are an integral part of your immune system. These micro-organisms form a living colony within the lining of our digestive tracts and are quite helpful to your entire body. The crazy thing is that there are more bacteria found in our guts than there are in all the cells of our bodies. Wow! This is why I take high-quality probiotics- and I’m not talking about the ones from the food store or cheap pharmacy over the country- those contain so much junk plus soy and a bunch of other scary ingredients! Probiotics make B vitamins and vitamin K in our bodies; they also assist your body with nutrient uptake, immune defense and digestion.
When each of us were born, our bodies were inoculated with beneficial bacteria and yeas from our mothers milk. However, if you weren’t breastfed, then you may have not had the beneficial probiotics since birth. Even if you were breastfed, the probiotics you received were easily destroyed by toxic chemicals. When the beneficial symbiosis of our digestive lining is disrupted – that is when disease sets in our bodies and gives us symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion and much more. Our immune system becomes compromised and a progression of ailments follow. Not a pretty picture, right?
Many fermented foods have been used in the past to continually restore probiotics in our intestines. I suggest organic sauerkraut, kimchi, brine pickles, plain yogurt and kefir as well as chickpea miso.
More than 99% of probiotics never actually reach your intestines because they are destroyed by stomach acid. This is why I also take a product called Therlac, which has a special coating that protects the probiotics as they travel through the stomach acid so they actually DO reach your intestines.
If you’ve ever taken an antibiotic or you drink tap water that contains chlorine, I highly suggest taking probiotics. If you suffer from digestive issues or immune system problems such as getting colds often- probiotics may help you. They can also help restore liver function, which will aid in processing toxins you’re exposed to each day.
Probiotics are sold in many forms but I choose the pill form. I suggest finding a product with a mix of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains. These are the most common beneficial bacteria and are active in your large and small intestines. Make sure to read labels to find your dosage. I take at least 1 billion organisms (cells) per capsule for the probiotic to actually help me feel better!
Prebiotics are also known as fiber- they’re simply those non-digestible carbohydrate fibers that act as a fertilizer to help the growth of good bacteria in your gut. These include legumes, whole grains and fruits. You can also purchase a product that supplies prebiotics- I use TruFiber Prebiotic and take it daily with my probiotics to help! By restoring the probiotics in your intestines, you will improve your digestion and make it much easier for your body to eliminate toxins that you are exposed to every day, also known as Body Burden.
It is essential to work with an Integrative M.D. for DETOX because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes. I worked with Dr. Jeffrey Morrison in NYC, Dr. Susan Blum in Westchester, NY and Dr. Richard Horrowitz in Hyde Park, NY who are very talented doctors that I truly admire.