A Healthy Digestive System
People complain a great deal about digestive issues. In considering the American diet, it is totally understandable that this problem is a great concern. It is known that immune problems begin in the gut. For immune health, vitamins C, E, B, and selenium, all of good quality is very important. Pineapple and papaya are good sources of digestive enzymes. Vitamin D is important. Beta Glucan found in oats, barley, seaweed, shitake and reshi mushrooms are excellent. In supplements, look for products extracted by fermentation, if grain or yeast is a concern. They are great for colds, flu, allergies, sinus, and regulate an overactive immune response in autoimmune disorders.
Aside from this, we certainly need prebiotics and probiotics to help our digestive systems. Prebiotics are plant fibers that ferment in the colon. They help to increase desirable bacteria in the gut. Probiotics, or live beneficial bacteria, restore balance in the microbiome, feeding and strengthening the immune system. Both boost the immune system and protect us from infections. They are necessary if taking antibiotics, which wipes out beneficial bacteria. Some examples of each follows.
Prebiotics: dandelion greens, garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, corn, apples, flaxseeds, wheat bran, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, beets, cucumber, sweet potato, cabbage, berries, mango, honey, dark chocolate, walnuts, kombucha.
Probiotics: yogurt, especially with bifidobacterium and lactobacilli, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, gouda cheese, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, apple cider vinegar, brine-cured olives.
With the holidays almost here, we especially need to be mindful of our digestive systems. Also, check with your holistic physician beforehand if you’re uncertain about your food tolerance and needs.