How Your Gut Can Help Keep You Well

There’s one question we get a lot – 

How are the gut microbiome and the immune system connected?

Until recently, we believed our gut microbiome was separate from us. The living microorganisms that work to keep our gut bacteria balanced (aka probiotics) may help with digestion, but otherwise, we lived independently of each other.

But the fact is, there’s a lot of interaction between our bodies and the little critters that live in our guts. Scientists have discovered that the gut microbiome is not a passive bystander but actively impacts multiple bodily functions, including your sleep cycle, nutrition absorption, metabolism, and most substantially, your immune system. 

Gut / Immune System Connection

You’ve probably heard that 80% of your immune system cells live in your gut. And that makes perfect sense once you understand the connection between your immune system, your gut, and the helpful (and harmful) bacteria that live there.

Now, this might sound strange, but your gut is technically outside of your body. 

The alimentary canal is one long tube that runs through your body, starting at your mouth through your esophagus, stomach, intestines and ending with your anus. Obviously, this canal is not closed off from the outside world and is, therefore, a significant source of pathogens entering your body.

Your immune system coordinates all the physiological mechanisms that allow your body to recognize and neutralize harmful pathogens. And these mechanisms include both physical barriers and immune responses.

The large and small intestines constitute your gut. Here is where the gut microbiome and the bulk of your immune system cells meet. 

Scientists believe probiotics (helpful bacteria in the microbiome) communicate with immune system cells and sound alarms when defenses are needed.

This cooperation starts the moment we are born, and our bodies are first introduced to microbes. As you grow, the microbiota affects how your immune system evolves, while simultaneously, your immune system affects what constitutes a healthy gut microbiota.

This process lasts our entire lives. The immune system encourages the proliferation of beneficial microbes and the microbiota, influencing the immune system’s ability to respond to invading pathogens, viruses, and other unhealthy substances.

Another connection is through the lining of our small and large intestines, which controls the permeability of the intestinal walls. A healthy gut lining, lush with probiotics, allows for nutrient absorption while helping block dangerous pathogens from leaking into your bloodstream. 

A Balanced Gut Supports Your Immune System

Getting and keeping your gut in balance is one of the keys to a robust, highly responsive immune system.

Your gut microbiome is out of balance when there aren’t enough probiotics to fend off harmful bacteria. You may experience symptoms like poor digestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, low energy, and headaches. This imbalance weakens your body’s ability to defend itself and makes it far more likely that you’ll succumb to a harmful virus or bacterial attacks that make you even sicker. 

A quality probiotic supplement, like Dynamic Biotics, can help bolster your immune system and help eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome.

Dynamic Biotics contains 51 billion colony forming units of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotic strains.  High counts of these strains have been shown to help decrease the risk and duration of common infections in the respiratory system and the gut.

Dynamic Biotics also includes prebiotics in the formulation to help nourish the good bacteria and give them the best chance to colonize and thrive. Dynamic Biotics is synbiotic, meaning it contains both probiotics and prebiotic fiber blend NutraFlora® FOS in every capsule.

Dynamic Biotics is an easy way to bolster your immune system, so it’s ready to take on the coming cold and flu season.

Sources:
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23426535/
hopkinsmedicine.org/research/advancements-in-research/fundamentals/in-depth/the-gut-where-bacteria-and-immune-system-meet
immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/organs-and-tissues/immunity-in-the-gut

7 Ways to Help You Go Right NOW

I’ll just say it… this blog post is about pooping.

Before I started writing it, I researched euphemisms for the movement to soften the blow – my favorite “dropping a deuce.” But if you’re among the 65 million Americans that regularly experience constipation, it’s no joke.

Bowel movement regularity is an essential indication of your healthy body. And the longer it takes to go, stools harden and become even more challenging to pass. And when a hardened stool finally does pass, it can be quite painful.

If you find yourself blocked up, you might be wondering: What can I do to make myself go right now? And is it safe to force the situation?

The answer to both questions is Yes!

Some methods have been around forever; others may have been staring you in the face. Here’s a reminder that you should be doing all of them regularly.

1. Drink more water

Take a look at how much water you’re drinking every day and strive for eight cups – more when you exercise or if it’s hot and you’re outside. If you’re not drinking 64 ounces of water a day, your intestines may be lacking the fluids needed to soften your stools fully. Increasing your intestinal water can help restore regularity within a few days.

2. Eat high fiber foods

In general, we do no get enough fiber from our diets. Fiber-light foods like meat and cheese, common in the American diet, tend to back things up. Eating two or three meals high in dietary fiber will usually help things move. Fibrous vegetables and fruits – avocados, apples, squash, peas, and berries – are a good start.

3. Prunes

It’s the most traditional remedy for a reason, prunes work. Prunes contain a high amount of dietary fiber, which helps break up hard stools and push them through your intestines and out your bottom.

Prunes also contain a substance called sorbitol that promotes water being drawn into your large intestines, similar to how a laxative works. As a result, hard stools become more fluid, making them easier to pass through your system.

4. Get your body moving

Have you been experiencing newfound constipation while cooped up indoors or have been missing regular workouts? If so, try a brisk walk or break a sweat any way you can. Exercise makes for more successful trips to the bathroom, another reason you should find the time for exercise every day.

5. Squat exercises

Yes, it’s true; squatting triggers your colon to get things moving again. Squats optimize the angle between your anus and rectum and may even help with a more relaxed and complete elimination. Try doing squat exercises while you’re working out.

6. Toilet stools

You could find instant relief with a toilet stool. They are designed to elevate your knees about your stomach, mimicking a squat. As you now know, squatting optimizes the angle of your pelvic floor to allow stools to pass more easily. While almost anything that elevates your knees will work, a toilet stool that stores beneath the bowel makes it convenient and reminds you to use it regularly.

7. Probiotics with Prebiotics

An imbalance in your intestinal microbiota, which are the microorganisms living in your digestive tract, may cause constipation for some people. Probiotics and prebiotics work together to balance your microbiome and get your system moving again quickly.

A recent study showed that people given a combination of probiotics and prebiotics experienced a significant improvement in constipation along with relief from abdominal pain and bloating.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Defense contains the right type of probiotics with prebiotics to promote bowel movement regularity. And unlike other probiotic/prebiotic combinations, Dynamic Defense starts working within hours instead of days.

Final thoughts on laxatives

Reaching for a laxative once in a while is ok, but chronic use can eventually wear out your colon and, paradoxically – lead to worsening your condition. If you find yourself chronically using laxatives for a bowel movement, you should consult with your physician as there is possibly an underlying condition that warrants further investigation.

Sources
healthprep.com/conditions/10-foods-that-will-significantly-help-relieve-your-constipation/
webmd.com/digestive-disorders/constipation-relief-tips
goodhousekeeping.com/health/a33865561/how-to-make-yourself-poop/

The Power of 3 for Optimal Digestive Health

If having better gut health (or maintaining the good gut health you currently enjoy) is one of your self-care goals, there is no better way than by adding the power of three – probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Putting these three powerful tools together will help improve your digestion and help eliminate digestive issues. Together they can also help maximize the nutrition you get from everything you eat, which boosts your immune system and your overall health.

 

Your Gut Health

Your gut contains trillions of both good and bad bacteria; together, they make up your gut microbiome. When your microbiome is in balance, meaning good bacteria dominate and far outnumber harmful bacteria – all of your bodily systems work better.

Eating yogurt and fermented foods rich in probiotics is an excellent way to help maintain gut balance. Another way you can help the good bacteria thrive is by taking probiotics and prebiotic supplements together.

 

Probiotics & Prebiotics – What’s the Difference?

Think of the relationship between probiotics and prebiotics like a garden. Probiotics are the diverse plants, flowers, and trees that bring the garden to life. Prebiotics are like fertilizer that helps the plants in your garden grow lush and strong.

Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help your gut perform many duties that dramatically benefit your overall health. Probiotics supplements reinforce helpful bacteria, delivering microbes directly to where you need them.

Prebiotics are types of starches and fiber that feed the good bacteria in your microbiome and allow them to thrive.

But that’s not all prebiotics do for you; their benefits go beyond food for good gut bacteria. Prebiotics strengthen your bones by enhancing the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Prebiotic also take part in fat metabolism and appetite regulation.

Taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements together like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics and Ulitmate Prebiotic Complex helps create a more balanced microbiome, leading to better digestion, fewer gastric disruptions, and more complete nutrient absorption. And better nutrient absorption means your entire body gets more of what it needs for health and wellbeing.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are a type of protein within cells that create chemical reactions. Your body contains many different kinds of enzymes that help perform various tasks like removing toxins from your body, digesting food, and building muscles. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that turn the food you eat into the molecules you use as energy.

There are four primary digestive enzymes. Protease helps breakdown protein. Amylase comes from the salivary glands, pancreas, and intestines to break down starch and carbs. Lactase breaks down lactose or milk sugar. And lipase comes from the intestines and breaks down oils and fats.

Several factors impact your digestive enzymes. Food choices can either help or hinder them, and certain foods like pineapple, papaya, mango, and spinach contain some digestive enzymes.

Unhealthy things we consume like alcohol can alter the stomach and intestines’ pH and reduce the number of digestive enzymes in your system. Some health issues and prescription medications like antibiotics can also reduce digestive enzymes.

Without enough digestive enzymes, your body can’t digest your food correctly, which leads to food intolerances that feel like cramps, uncomfortable bloating, and gas or worse. When the enzymes in your body are affected, or your digestive enzyme production isn’t as good as it should be, digestive enzyme supplements can help.

Digestive enzyme supplements help fortify the enzymes in your stomach and intestines to help improve digestion. Chose a digestive enzyme supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Incredible Digestive Enzymes that contains a complete range of enzymes able to break down the most troublesome foods like dairy and gluten.

Whether you reach for prebiotic or probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes, or all three, it’s well worth the benefits you’ll feel. Boosting your gut health will give you long-term benefits that affect your entire body, get more nutrition from the foods you eat and give you a more robust immune system, and so much more.

Sources:

  1. “Probiotics | American Gastroenterological Association”. 2020. American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/probiotics/.Bottom of Form
  2. Deng Y, Misselwitz B, Dai N, Fox M. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary ManagementNutrients. 2015;7(9):8020-35. doi:10.3390/nu7095380
  3. Peyrot des Gachons C, Breslin PA. Salivary amylase: digestion and metabolic syndromeCurr Diab Rep. 2016;16(10):102. doi:10.1007/s11892-016-0794-7
  4. Legette, LeeCole L., WangHee Lee, Berdine R. Martin, Jon A. Story, Jessica K. Campbell, and Connie M. Weaver. 2012. “Prebiotics Enhance Magnesium Absorption And Inulin-Based Fibers Exert Chronic Effects On Calcium Utilization In A Postmenopausal Rodent Model”. Journal Of Food Science77 (4): 88-94. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02612.x.
  5. FDA 101: Dietary supplements. (2015).gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements
  6. Gut reaction: A limited role for digestive enzyme supplements. (2018).harvard.edu/staying-healthy/gut-reaction-a-limited-role-for-digestive-enzyme-supplements
  7. “Probiotics | American Gastroenterological Association”. 2020. American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/probiotics/
  8. “23 Effects Of Alcohol On Your Body”. 2020. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#2.

Why Prebiotics Matter & Where to Find Them

Fascinating research continues to uncover the relationships between the bacteria in the gut and the function of numerous body systems. You’ve probably heard of the gut microbiome, also called gut microflora, which is the collection of bacteria that lives in the digestive tract. The microbiome helps regulate inflammation, protects you from bacterial and fungal infections, and forms short-chain fatty acids to help keep harmful invaders out of the gut.

Your gut bacteria play a significant role in your digestive health, cognitive function, mood, and energy levels. Your microbiome is also involved in nutrient processing, the development of vitamins B and K; and the health of your immune system.

A healthy microbiome is one that’s composed of a wide variety of bacterial species. Diversity in the microbiome protects against a number of health conditions, while less-diverse flora may increase the risk of those conditions.

Probiotic supplements and foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt introduce healthy bacteria into the gut. But once the bacteria are there, how do you keep the microbiome healthy?

A thriving community of gut flora needs to be fed a nutritious diet, and that’s where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are the food the bacteria in the gut consume to maintain optimal health.

Prebiotic foods are generally types of dietary fiber that can’t be digested by the body. Here are five of the best prebiotic foods, with tips on how to fit more of them into your daily diet.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a culinary staple for many cooks, and it promotes the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria while preventing the growth of “bad” bacteria. Garlic may also help reduce the risk of heart disease, according to research, and it also has been shown to have antioxidant effects.

You can use garlic in practically any savory dish for added flavor and excellent prebiotic benefits. Sautee or roast it to tame the spiciness and mellow out the flavor. Add it to meat and vegetable dishes, soups, and stews.

2. Onions

Like garlic, you can add onions to nearly any dish, including your breakfast scrambled eggs, pasta dishes, soups, and stews. The prebiotic fiber in onions helps strengthen the gut flora and increase nitric oxide production in the body’s cells. Onions also contain powerful antioxidants that help fight diseases.

3. Asparagus

The prebiotics in asparagus promote healthy bacteria and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Roasted asparagus makes a great side dish for a lean protein, or you can add lightly steamed asparagus to salads and soups.

4. Bananas

Bananas make a quick and easy snack, and they’re fantastic in smoothies, sliced over cereal, and baked into bread. The prebiotic fiber found in bananas increases populations of beneficial bacteria and helps reduce bloating. Bananas are inexpensive, and they’re rich in vitamins and minerals.

5. Apples

Rife with fiber, apples are an excellent prebiotic source. The pectin in apples increases short-chain fatty acids that feed healthy gut bacteria and reduce the number of bad bacteria in the gut. Apples have also been shown to improve digestive health and boost fat metabolism.

Prebiotic Supplementation

Research shows that shifts in the composition of the microbiome may be associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease, blood cancers, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Especially as we age, it’s essential to make lifestyle choices that promote a healthy, balanced microbiome. Eating plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods or taking supplements will help you maintain better health on many fronts.

A prebiotic supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Ultimate Prebiotic Complex helps to ensure you’re getting the daily prebiotic fiber you need for the healthiest possible gut microbiome. Ultimate Prebiotic Complex can help relieve digestive woes, increase your energy levels, and promote optimal absorption of nutrients for better overall health and vitality.

 

 

Sources:
https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2179
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041804/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797576/

The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed

human digestive system

If you often feel cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or pain in your gut, you must know that digestive woes are extremely common. In America 60 to 70 million people live with a digestive disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

From chronic constipation to Crohn’s disease and from gallstones to gastroesophageal reflux disease, digestive problems can dramatically lower your quality of life. Understanding how Continue reading “The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed”

Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat

Woman taking antibiotic

Antibiotics save lives, but they can do a number on your gut microbiota (flora), a complex ecosystem of microbes that helps keep us healthy. In recent years, healthy gut flora has been associated with optimal functioning of numerous body systems, including the nervous and digestive systems, and it promotes a healthy brain and optimal hormonal function.

Continue reading “Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat”

As Addictive as Cocaine? Tips to Help End Your Sugar Addiction

If there’s one excellent thing you can do for better health this week, it’s reducing your sugar intake. The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons, or 82 grams, of sugar each day, according to the University of California San Francisco. That adds up to nearly 66 pounds of added sugar per person every year.

To put sugar consumption into context, the American Heart Association recommends that women keep their daily sugar intake to no more than six teaspoons, or 25 grams. For men, that’s nine teaspoons, or 36 grams per day.

The dangers of too much sugar in your diet are many. A high sugar intake increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and dementia, plus research shows that it can cause cancer and promote tumor growth and progression.

Is Sugar Really Addictive?

Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse were the first to report that sugar can cause changes in the brain that are similar to those that occur when you become addicted to cocaine or alcohol.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive substance abuse despite the negative consequences. While researchers argue over whether sugar can produce the same type of addiction that other drugs can, it’s clear that for some people, sugar can be addictive, and it can cause serious problems in their lives.

Like psychoactive drugs, sugar causes a rush of the brain chemical dopamine, which produces feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in the brain’s memory, learning, and reward systems, and continuing to eat sugar can lead to intense cravings that make it extremely difficult to stop.

Some signs that you may be addicted to sugar include:

•Eating more sugar than you intend to or feeling a loss of control over your sugar consumption.
•Experiencing intense cravings for sugar.
•Continuing to eat large amounts of sugar even though it’s causing problems, such as tooth decay, weight gain, or other health problems.
•Finding that you can’t stop eating sugar even though you want to or have tried to.
•Hiding the extent of your sugar consumption from others.

If you think you may be addicted to sugar, taking steps now to reduce your sugar intake can prevent serious health problems down the road.

How to End Your Sugar Addiction

Willpower may not be enough to help you stop eating sugar, just as it often doesn’t help people end an addiction to dangerous drugs or cigarette smoking.

Here are some tips and strategies that can help you reduce your sugar consumption and stay within the recommended daily amounts.

Retrain your taste buds. If you put a lot of sugar in your coffee, tea, or cereal, reducing the amount you use over the course of a couple of weeks can help you re-train your taste buds to enjoy these things without all the extra sugar–or with far less than you currently use.

Replace sweets with fruit. When you have a sugar craving, reach for a piece of fruit, like a banana or a handful of grapes or berries. The natural sugars in the fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing your body with essential nutrients and fiber to help burn off the natural sugars in the fruit.

Make small lifestyle changes. Small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle add up to big success. Cut out a little bit of sugar each week and replace it with something delicious but healthy. For example, if you eat dessert every night, skip dessert every other night, and replace it with something healthier, like low-sugar yogurt, a smoothie, or a plate of fruit. After a few weeks, you’ll be eating less sugar, and your taste buds and brain will adapt to the lower levels.

Eat more protein. Foods high in protein help reduce sugar cravings by digesting more slowly and leaving you feeling fuller longer. Eat a handful of almonds, an egg, or a piece of cheese when you crave sugar.

Exercise. Exercise not only reduces cravings, but also promotes other healthy lifestyle choices. Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week, and you’ll find it easier to choose a banana over a piece of candy.

Seek help. If you crave and eat sugar when you’re stressed or upset, or if you binge eat large amounts of sugar on a regular basis, talking to a therapist or counselor can help. Stress eating, emotional eating, and binge eating are common, and addressing the issues that underlie your increased sugar intake can help you end your sugar addiction once and for all, while improving your overall quality of life.

Take a daily probiotic. The gut microbiome is a large collection of beneficial bacteria that has far-reaching effects for digestive health, brain function, and immunity. Maintaining healthy gut bacteria helps to reduce sugar cravings, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The best way to promote healthy gut bacteria is by taking a daily probiotic supplement, like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics. Probiotics help reduce digestive problems that may result from sugar, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

Sources:
http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption.html#.W93YmxNKiAw
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14713323
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700460/

5 Ways Prebiotics Improve Your Health and Where to Find Them

The microbiome in your gut is a community of billions of good bacteria and other organisms that help aid digestion, and your microbiome also plays a role in numerous body and brain functions. You’ve heard of probiotics, which are live microorganisms you can take as a pill to boost the microbiome population and keep the good bacterial community healthy. Prebiotics are another important component of strong gut health.

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that’s non-digestible. Prebiotics pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract and small intestine until they reach the colon, where they’re fermented by the microflora in the gut, which then uses them as fuel. Here are five good reasons why you should take a prebiotic along with a daily probiotic.

1. Better gut health

Prebiotics stimulate the growth of probiotics and help create a healthy balance between harmful bacteria and toxins and the helpful gut bacteria your body needs. According to an article published in the journal Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, higher consumption of prebiotic foods and supplements increases helpful probiotic microorganisms like L. rhamnosus GG, L. casei and L. reuteri. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition reports that prebiotics can help treat a number of digestive problems, including diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and leaky gut syndrome.

2. Better immune function

Research shows that prebiotics help boost immune function by improving nutrient absorption and lowering the pH in the gut to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. The British Journal of Nutrition reports that prebiotics improve the frequency of bowel movements, decrease allergy symptoms, reduce viral infections, and promote overall better immunity.

3. Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of myriad diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Prebiotics can help lower inflammation, and the resulting healthier gut environment can prevent autoimmune reactions. Prebiotics help the body metabolize nutrients more efficiently, and an analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who consume more prebiotics have healthier cholesterol levels and a lower risk for cardiovascular disease as well.

4. More effective weight loss

Higher fiber intake in general is associated with a lower body weight and protection against obesity. But prebiotic foods in particular can help with weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness, and studies show that animals who are given prebiotics produce lower levels of the hormones responsible for feelings of hunger.

5. Better bone health

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, prebiotics promote better mineral absorption in the body, including essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. These minerals offer powerful protection against bone loss, fractures, and osteoporosis. One study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that just eight daily grams of prebiotics led to an increase in bone density.

How to Get Prebiotics into Your Diet

Some of the best dietary sources of prebiotics include:

  1. Raw garlic
  2. Raw or cooked onions
  3. Raw leeks
  4. Raw asparagus
  5. Raw jicama
  6. Under-ripe bananas

To ensure you’re getting the prebiotics you need, a supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Ultimate Prebiotic Complex provides you with the prebiotics you need for optimal gut and body function. A daily dose of Ultimate Prebiotic Complex contains prebiotics to feed your microflora and improve digestive health, promote better immunity, and enjoy a higher level of energy and wellbeing.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461293
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22457389
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20920376
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9925120
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21767445
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17311984

Top 10 Terrible Foods for Digestive Health

As we age, our digestive systems can get out of whack. Foods that we used to eat with impunity now keep us up all night with heartburn and indigestion. Even seemingly harmless foods can do a number on your gut health. Avoiding foods that cause problems for you is the best way to deal with an unhappy digestive system. Here, then, are the top ten culinary culprits that could be causing your recurring digestive troubles.

1. Coffee

Coffee irritates the lining of the stomach, and it can cause heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation. Research shows that it’s a combination of substances in the coffee that lead to stomach problems, including caffeine, catechols, and chemicals are known as N-alkanoly-5-hydroxtryptamides.

2. Grease

Grease is difficult to digest, and greasy, fried foods are major gastrointestinal irritants. People with even a slight digestive sensitivity can get intense heartburn and acid reflux after eating anything greasy or deep-fried.

3. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods–including many of our packaged favorites like soda, chips, cookies, and white bread and pasta–are loaded with simple carbohydrates, which move through the digestive system quickly and leave behind a bloated feeling with potentially painful cramps and gas.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners may be better for your waistline than real sugar, but they wreak havoc in your gut. Artificial sweeteners cause inflammation, bloating, gas, loose stools, anal leakage, and diarrhea.

5. Corn

Corn contains a lot of cellulose, which is a fiber that the human digestive system can’t break down. Corn in small amounts usually won’t create too many problems, but when it’s eaten in larger quantities, corn can cause cramps and gas as it moves through your system undigested.

6. Acidic Fruits

Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and tomatoes are acidic fruits that can irritate the daylights out of your stomach lining and cause painful acid reflux. If you’re going to eat these fruits, don’t do it on an empty stomach, which only makes things worse.

7. Raw Vegetables

Veggies are good for you, and you certainly don’t want to reduce your vegetable intake, but you might want to cook them before you eat them. Raw vegetables contain the same type of insoluble fiber that makes corn problematic, and eating them can lead to gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

8. Alcohol

Alcohol relaxes the sphincter muscle in your esophagus, which can cause acid reflux and heartburn. Alcohol also prevents the optimal absorption of nutrients, and it can inflame the lining of the stomach, causing cramping and diarrhea.

9. Chocolate

Chocolate is a diuretic, which means that it can cause loose stools or diarrhea. A number of underlying conditions can make you sensitive to one or more ingredients in chocolate, which can lead to cramps, a stomach ache, gas, nausea, or vomiting after eating it. Lactose intolerance, allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome can all put chocolate on your must-avoid list.

10. Chili Peppers

Chili peppers be responsible for heartburn after you consume them is almost a given once you pass the age of 50. Chili peppers can burn your esophagus and bring you pain for hours after eating them. But if peppers don’t cause you any noticeable pain, keep eating them. Capsaicin, which is the compound that gives peppers their heat, has a number of benefits to your digestive system, including helping to repair damaged stomach lining and protect against ulcers.

Improve Your Digestion with Supplements

According to Harvard Medical School, digestive enzymes are particularly helpful in combating digestive problems when the digestive system’s natural production of enzymes is low due to a health condition like cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis.

For common gut problems like irritable bowel syndrome or heartburn, probiotics can provide relief from these symptoms. In addition to avoiding gut-wrecking foods, taking a daily probiotic promotes healthy populations of helpful gut bacteria that can improve not just your gut health, but your overall health as well.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics, Incredible Digestive Enzymes, and Prebiotic Complex can be an important part of your gut health regimen, improving your digestion and comfort for whatever life has in store for you.

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/digestive-health