I want to begin this first edition on the topic of Beneficial Flora. It has been brought to my attention there is a lack of clarity on this issue and I intend to correct that with more detail presented here.
Beneficial bacteria are necessary for digestive health (including regular bowel elimination), an effective immune system, proper absorption of vitamins and minerals, an acidic environment to keep pathogenic bacteria (the bad guys) in check, production of tiny amounts of some vitamins, and a barrier to keep matter that doesn’t belong out of your bloodstream.
The two most important types of bacteria are Lactobacilli – in your small intestine and Bifido bacterium – in your colon. When your “good guys” are not at a therapeutic level many issues can develop:
• Malabsorption of nutrients
• Chronic infections, including C-diff
• Stomach pain, gas, bloating
• Foul breath
• Hormone level imbalance
• Increased cholesterol levels
• Increased cancer risk
• Decreased production of digestive enzymes
The medical term for this imbalance is Dysbiosis which occurs when the pathogenic bacteria outnumbers the beneficial bacteria. This imbalance happens for several reasons. The most common is when using an antibiotic. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers of bacteria, both good and bad. Other causes are NSAID’s (aspirin/anti-inflammatories), diets lacking in fiber and high in animal products, and birth control pills. C-sections and formula feeding create this issue in infants, often leading to colic.
Supplementing with a probiotic will resolve this problem. A probiotic is the actual beneficial bacteria in a supplement form. To be effective a probiotic needs to be of therapeutic dosage, protected from light and heat, and taken with food. There are many products out there and some are not the human strains necessary (or a high enough number of CFU’s/Colony Forming Units) to restore you to Eubiosis (a healthy, efficiently functioning population of beneficial flora).
A Prebiotic is an indigestible sugar (FOS, GOS) that ‘fertilizes’ the probiotic (beneficial bacteria) causing it to multiply and re-establish sufficient levels more quickly. You never want to take a prebiotic without a probiotic as it will increase your pathogenic bacteria and exacerbate your problems. Only take a prebiotic with a probiotic (to enhance repopulation) and then only if you do not have gas or bloating.
I do hope this has helped to clarify your knowledge. If you feel you would benefit from a probiotic I am happy to discuss this with you and recommend a brand that has proven research as well as the proper formula for your issues. I also offer individual in-depth consulting for a reasonable fee and have helped many people resolve their issues with correct nutrition and beneficial flora.
HLW Recipe of the Month: Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce
So easy and much better tasting than jar sauces. You can tailor it to suit your own tastes as well. Spice it up with red pepper flakes, sauté chopped red/green peppers with the onion, add chopped roasted peppers, chopped stewed tomatoes, or with whatever mood strikes you! It is without oil or sugar. Of course you want to put this delicious sauce over whole grain pasta for healthy fiber.
Minutes to Prepare: 5-10
Minutes to Cook: 20-30
Yield: 1 ½ quarts
Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: ½ cup
1 12 oz. can of tomato paste 1 15 oz. can of tomatoes: crushed, diced, etc. 3 cups water (2 12-oz. cans; no dirty measuring cup)
2 tbl minced dried onion (OR ¼ cup minced fresh onion)
1/2 tsp dehydrated garlic (OR 3 cloves minced fresh garlic)
2 tbl dried parsley (OR same of minced fresh parsley)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (OR 1 tsp minced fresh oregano)
1 tsp dried basil (OR 1 tbl minced fresh basil)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
If using fresh onion and garlic:
Sauté onion in a medium saucepan in just enough water to keep from sticking for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
If using dried onion/garlic/herbs start here:
Put tomato paste in a pot big enough to hold at least 2 quarts. Gradually stir in the water. Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
A great alternative to expensive pasta sauces!
HLW Tip of the Month: You must drink 64 oz of water every day.
You have learned a great deal about what foods to eat and not to eat. It’s important you have a clear understanding of the liquids you put into your body as well. The #1 drink of choice must be pure, filtered water. If you have municipally provided tap water it has chlorine and other toxins that do not bring health to your body. If you have well water it most likely does not need to be filtered. If in doubt, have it checked.
64 ounces of water every day is non-negotiable. Add 8 ounces for every extra 25 pounds you are carrying.
Water is critical because it:
- Transports nutrients
- Transports/excretes metabolic wastes
- Supports cell shape and structure
- Sustains normal body temperature
- Cleans stomach/intestines: aids digestion
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Lubricates friction-generating surfaces
Not drinking enough water can lead to:
- Retaining water
- Build-up of toxins circulating in your body
- Kidneys losing some filtering function
- Slower fat metabolism
- Worsening Allergy/asthma symptoms
- Flu-like symptoms and/or headaches
“Dehydration slows down the fat burning process.”
Only water functions as water. If there is anything in it digestion is required. Drinks that contain caffeine cause increased water loss. Caffeine inhibits your ADH (a hormone that keeps you from losing water) so it makes you go to the bathroom more. Coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks all contain caffeine. Alcohol does the same thing to your ADH as caffeine.
Try to drink water between meals, not with meals, as it can dilute your digestive juices making it harder to digest your food.
Drink 64 ounces of water daily to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!