Thomas Physical Therapy June 2018

A BALANCED GUT IS A HEALTHY GUT The Importance of Probiotics and Prebiotics THE THOMAS TIMES

JUNE 2018

Depak Chophra is a brilliant physician who received his initial medical education in India and completed his medical degree in the United States. Hence, he has a very broad perspective and can see things that others may not be able to see. One of the most profound things that I’ve heard him say is, “The single greatest detriment to healing is fear.” We are surrounded by fear. As we listen to the media, we hear the medical terrorists, social terrorists, financial terrorists, etc. and they are scaring the health out of people. The more we listen to their propaganda, the more it presents itself in our lives. Steven Covey makes a suggestion in his books “Principle Centered Leadership” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” to exert your energy within your sphere of influence. What this means is don’t buy into things that people say over what you have no control over. Choose to process the events differently. Ask yourself, “How can I make a difference?” I was having lunch at a restaurant when the incident at Charlottesville came on the television. I noticed a couple sitting next to me arguing and I told them that I wanted to do something to make a difference in light of this tragedy and offered to buy them a drink. You would have thought that I gave them a $100 bill. Their attitude changed immediately, and as it turned out, we realized that the gentleman had actually been treated at our clinic several years ago. We don’t change the world by legislation but by small acts of kindness. As one of my good friends states at the end of every email, “Be kinder to people than you think you should. Everybody’s trying to work through something.” Randy’s Ramblings

In recent years, science has gained a better understanding of the critical role that gut health plays in overall health, and society is starting to pay attention. Most people know that probiotics aid in digestion, but few people understand how. While probiotics are gaining popularity, prebiotics have flown largely under the radar. According to health experts, most Americans don’t consume enough prebiotics every day, which can result in indigestion, higher levels of inflammation, increased likelihood of weight gain, and increased risk for various chronic diseases. Although research is fairly new in this area of nutrition, here is what’s known for sure.

PROBIOTICS

Probiotics are good bacteria (live cultures) naturally found in your gut. It is believed that probiotics boost immunity and promote gastrointestinal and overall health. Besides aiding regular bowel movement, probiotics have also been used to manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). To add more probiotics into your diet, eat fermented dairy foods like Greek yogurt, kefir products, and aged cheeses. All of these foods contain a significant number of live cultures. If you are dairy- intolerant, try eating kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and cultured nondairy yogurts.

PREBIOTICS

Prebiotics are natural, nondigestible fiber compounds that promote the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics pass through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract undigested. Once they reach the colon, they are fermented by gut microflora, promoting the growth of probiotics.

-Randy Thomas

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