What Are Probiotics and Can They Help With Digestive Problems?

If you suffer from a digestive disorder, chances are you’ve heard about probiotics. Probiotics seem to be beneficial and you want to try them, but there is so much information you don’t know where to begin.

What exactly are they? Do you have to eat them with every meal? And most important: will they really work? The answer to this question is yes. When used along with food combining as part of a healthy diet, probiotics pack a punch against digestive problems and can help you overcome everything from IBS to chronic diarrhea.

Probiotics are microscopic living organisms that are found in your intestines. Most probiotics are bacteria, what is called “good bacteria,” but yeasts are also a type of probiotics. These bacteria live in your intestines and have a very important purpose: they keep too much harmful bacteria from growing. By keeping the bad bacteria in check, probiotics promote a healthy, balanced digestive system.

There are hundreds of types of probiotics, but the most common type is lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in yogurt with live cultures. Another type is lactobacillus casei shirota, which helps food move smoothly through the intestine. Besides being in live cultured yogurt, probiotics are also available as supplements. Only certain types of probiotics are helpful for digestive disorders, so whether you eat yogurt or take supplements make sure that they specify the type of bacteria and whether or not they are to promote good digestive health.

Probiotics can help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and infectious diarrhea. They can also help prevent the gas, diarrhea and cramping that can occur when you take antibiotics. Too many harmful bacteria can cause diarrhea, vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Probiotics limit these bacteria to stop these infections from occurring.

Not only do probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, they keep an abundance of healthy bacteria in your digestive system that reduces inflammation, cramps, and diarrhea. When taken on a regular basis, probiotics keep the levels of good bacteria high. This also prevents gas and bloating. And if you suffer from a puffy stomach as a result of this gas, probiotics will help flatten your stomach as the gas decreases.

To get the most benefits from probiotics, either eat probiotic yogurt or take probiotics supplements on a daily basis. When you look for probiotic yogurt, make sure that the container says that it contains live active cultures. Not all yogurts have live probiotics in them. The product information will tell you how often you should eat some, but it is usually once or twice a day. For supplements, follow the dosage directions on the bottle.

Now that you know about the amazing benefits of probiotics, you should know that there is something else you can do along with taking probiotics and eating healthy foods to make an even bigger improvement in your digestive health. It’s called food combining. In food combining, foods that produce the same types of digestive enzymes are eaten together and those that produce different types are not.

This is because when your body tries to digest very different types of foods, such as a steak and a baked potato, the digestive enzymes cancel each other out and make digestion difficult. Have you ever eaten a rich meal of pasta, tomato sauce and buttery garlic bread, and felt stuffed and sick an hour later? This is because these types of foods don’t digest well together.

Food combining is easy to do. When you eat protein, like steak, don’t eat starchy foods like potatoes or rice. If you eat starchy foods, eat them with non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens or carrots. Dairy is considered protein, so when you eat your probiotics yogurt eat it alone or with non-starchy foods. In just one day you will feel a difference with food combining. After a month, your digestive ailment may even be cured.

You don’t have to continue to suffer the pain of IBS or Crohn’s disease. Probiotics, food combining and eating natural, unprocessed foods can help. Try it and see what a difference just a few changes can make.

 

Why You Should Use Probiotics


Probiotics might seem like a new buzzword but they have been around for many years. Even though you may know that they are “good” bacteria, you might not understand why you should use probiotics. After all, don’t our bodies make plenty of “good” bacteria already? While the answer to this question is “yes,” there are still a lot of important reasons why you should use probiotics. Best of all, these reasons all fit in with taking probiotics while using food combining to restore your body’s natural balance and health.

Probiotics are extremely beneficial to digestive health if you are taking antibiotics. While antibiotics help us by killing off the “bad” bacteria that make us sick, they also kill off the “good” bacteria that live in our bodies. We need those bacteria to help keep us healthy. Probiotics will replenish the “good” bacteria and keep our bodies in balance. They can eliminate the bloating, cramping and gas that are side effects from taking antibiotics.

Probiotics don’t just help people taking antibiotics, though. They will improve digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD). These disorders can cause diarrhea, constipation, bloating, inflammation and pain. Probiotics, especially Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus, help to regulate bowel movement, which helps relieve diarrhea and constipation. They can also decrease the inflammation caused by IBD, delaying and reducing the severity of the symptoms.

If you aren’t affected with a digestive disorder but suffer bouts of infectious and/or traveler’s diarrhea, probiotics will benefit you as well. These conditions are caused by infections from bacteria, parasites or viruses. The organisms can grow at incredible speeds, taking over your digestive system and again resulting in too many “bad” bacteria. One strain in particular, Clostridium difficile, occurs frequently in hospital patients and residents of long-term care facilities. Probiotics can keep these bacteria from growing back, thereby preventing the recurring bouts of diarrhea.

There are many other uses for probiotics, including treating some skin conditions like eczema, preventing allergies, and promoting good vaginal and urinary tract health. They help prevent secondary infections such as vaginal yeast, oral thrush and urinary tract infections that may result if there is a sharp loss of “good” bacteria. They also keep the natural balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria from becoming uneven due to other factors such as illnesses, lack of sleep, stress and poor eating habits. By bolstering our immune systems with probiotics, we may never even contract any of these conditions.

If you practice food combining, you should know that not only is it safe to use probiotics, it will increase the benefits. If you don’t practice food combining, it is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Food combining simply means that you eat the “right” types of foods together and avoid eating the “wrong” types together. For example: did you know that the combination of sausage and waffles, although delicious, wrecks havoc on your digestion and can cause heartburn and gas? That’s because you’re combining a protein with a starch and these two foods need different enzymes and take different times to digest. These foods are also processed and made up of loads of sugar, fat and salt.

Eating processed, unhealthy foods like these cause anything from diarrhea to bloating. When you use food combining, you’ll learn all about what foods to eat together, all without sacrificing the things you enjoy eating. If you suffer from any digestive disorders, or are just tired of feeling overstuffed and tired when you eat, probiotics and food combining will quickly put you back on the track to good health.

 

How to Take Probiotics?


You’ve heard the news about probiotics. You know all the great things they can do for your health. Not only are they good for digestive problems, but they can also work wonders for fighting infections and booting your immune system. But how should you take them? Every day? Only if you’re sick? What are the possible side effects?

These are good questions. The answers depends on several factors including your current health, whether you’re pregnant or nursing and your age. Fortunately, most people can take some form of probiotics. And taking probiotics while practicing food combining is a winning combination that promotes optimal wellness for all probiotics users.

Sources of probiotics include capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and powders. Other food sources besides probiotic yogurt include buttermilk, fermented and unfermented milk, soy drinks, sauerkraut and different types of soft cheeses and pickles. It is best to get your probiotics from natural, i.e. food, sources if possible.

To get the most benefit from taking probiotics, they should be taken on a daily basis. You can take them two or even three times a day if desired. Follow the dosage directions on the label if you are taking supplements. Both natural and supplemental probiotics should be either taken with a meal or immediately after a meal. This helps to prevent the acid in the stomach from destroying them. Yogurt, sauerkraut or cheese containing probiotics may be eaten alone, but the risk of the probiotics being destroyed in the stomach will be less if these foods are eaten in combination with other foods.

If you miss a dose of probiotics, it is not necessary to “double up” on them the next day to make up for it. An exception to this is if you are taking an antibiotic. Take probiotics at least two hours after each dose of your antibiotic, with some food or shortly after eating. When the antibiotic regime is finished, double up on the probiotics for the next 10 days. This helps to replenish the “good” bacteria you lost from taking the antibiotic.

Side effects include allergic reactions, flatulence and abdominal distention. A type of heart muscle infection called endocarditis and antibiotic resistance are potential risks during probiotic use. Another side effect, known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, can cause headache, gas and bloating. This condition is a sign that the probiotics are helping. If this occurs, decrease the amount of probiotics taken until the symptoms subside, then slowly build your intake back up. Children, people with immune disorders, pregnant and nursing women and the elderly should consult a doctor about taking probiotics.

One surprising fact that many people are unaware of is that it is advisable to eliminate processed foods with refined sugars if you take probiotics. The reason is that these sugars will weaken their effectiveness. If you are eating or drinking your probiotics naturally in milk, yogurt or cheese, there is something else you should be aware of. Eating dairy products, which contain protein, along with starchy vegetables and most fruits can cause its own side effects of bloating, gas or upset stomach. However, if you use the food combining system for eating, these problems will be a part of the past.

Food combining is more than just knowing what foods to eat with others. It is a method of eating that will help you banish a host of stomach problems for good. IBS, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, gas and abdominal bloating will all disappear, leaving you feeling better than ever. You’ll learn about eating proteins and acidic foods at different meals, because they produce digestive enzymes that cancel each other out. You’ll find out that eating fruits and starchy foods causes fruit digestion to slow down and your stomach to feel full of gas.

You will start feeling healthier in just 24 hours with food combining, and it only gets better from there. Use food combining in conjunction with your probiotics and you will be amazed at the difference you’ll feel and see when these two wellness strategies are used together.