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A BALANCED GUT IS A HEALTHY GUT The Importance of Probiotics and Prebiotics
FROM THE DESK OF Ty Wilson
I must brag in this newsletter about my daughter. My daughter Natalie was Peter Pan in “Peter Pan, Jr.” at her school. I could not have been prouder of her when I heard she got a lead role. They practiced and practiced and practiced just like the old joke, “How do you get to broadway? Practice, practice, practice.” My son was also in the play for a small part. Anyway, my parents came in from out of town to see Natalie and share this special day. The play was amazing. It was so fun to watch these kids come together and put on this show. Everyone did a great job. I was really impressed with what everyone’s hard work produced. I was proud when I heard Natalie got a lead role, but I am even more proud with her composure on stage. However, I am sad to say that apparently the school board has decided that children do not need drama classes for the next three years.
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. Prebiotics keep good and bad gut bacteria balanced, improve gastrointestinal health, and may even enhance calcium absorption. The best way to
Next month we will discuss my son’s baseball team. I do not want to jinx them at this point.
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