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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.