In an earlier entry, I talked about the wonderful little intestinal bacteria called probiotics and all the research lately that is showing how these beneficial bugs can help us stay well. This time, I’d like to tell you which foods contain probiotics, how to keep the bacteria in your gut happy, and which probiotic supplements to choose.
A stroll down your local supermarket aisles will reveal that these gut-friendly bacteria are showing up everywhere, and in some surprising places—from mints, to mouthwash, to pizza, even chocolates. Bear in mind, however, that not all food products that boast of containing probiotics are going to pack a health whammy. There are over 30,000 species of good bacteria in the gut and they each have different virtues. And these beneficial bacteria are fragile; they need to be stored, handled, and processed with care if they’re going to do us humans much good.
A recent article in Prevention magazine offered the following ideas on how to harvest health benefits from probiotics:
Scrutinize your supplement. The Prevention article also advises that when looking for a bacterial supplement for your malady, look for the following information on a supplement bottle’s label:
And last but not least, don’t forget—
To exercise! Exercising (for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day) stimulates the normal contractions in the intestines (bowel motility), which coordinate the muscular activity in the lower alimentary canal, keeps the intestines healthy, and benefits the good bacteria by routinely removing toxins that can harm them.
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