I’m not talking about a six-pack, or a mini-keg for that matter. Save that for another time. What I want to focus on is the inside, more to the point – the intestines – and its bugs, the good bugs. It really matters if you have enough good bugs, or bacteria, in your gut in order to facilitate all the right stuff to happen, i.e., digestion and absorption of nutrients. You can eat healthy and get enough exercise, but without a healthy gut, you won’t get optimal nutrition, period. There are some key ingredients that you should be incorporating into your diet to make sure that you achieve the right balance in your intestinal flora.
Probiotic in Greek means “for life”. Good health starts with healthy intestinal function. The most common bacteria is lactobacillus or l. acidophilus. These little guys produce lactic acid in the intestines and help to promote a favorable pH on the acidic side. This helps to inhibit the bad bugs from growing and helps the absorption of protein and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Who doesn’t want their manganese absorbed? I know I do.
Good sources of probiotics can be found in fermented food like kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt. It is also important to give your good bugs fiber, this is like fertilizer for them and is vital to achieving a healthy balance in the gut. Good sources of fiber can be found in wheat bran, beans and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and chard.
There are numerous probiotic supplements on the market today. If you find it more convenient to supplement, just make sure that lactobacillus is on the list. You might see more than just one strain and that’s ok. Some of them, like bifidobacterium are more well suited for replacing what antibiotics have stripped away but good bugs are good bugs. Make sure your feeding your six-pack, or mini-keg, the right bacteria for an overall healthier gut. This not only ensures that you are getting all the nutrients out of the food you eat, but it also helps to maintain regularity, enough said.
Kim Huchel a.k.a. eatyourrainbowmama, has two daughters and a few sordid, four-legged furries. She has had a passion for food and eating healthy, well, since forever! She is a nutritionist and has worked as a chef in both professional and private kitchens but her best job to date is being Mama. One of her mantras at home, other than ‘be the adult’ is ‘eat your rainbow’ and she is thrilled to have SJP as a forum to help parents and kids eat their rainbows too!
About Author Kim Huchel
Kim Huchel is a chef, nutritionist and certified lactation counselor and is the owner of Nutrition Made Simple. She has two daughters, an assortment of four-legged furries and a passion for whole foods and eating healthy. Her best job to date is being Mama...well, most of the time anyway. One of her mantras at home, other than "be the adult" is "eat your rainbow" and she is thrilled to have SJP as a forum to help parents and kids eat their rainbows too!