Nature’s Squeegee, Fiber!

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It has been estimated that most of us consume less than 11 grams of fiber a day.  Put that up against the recommended 20-40 grams we need depending on your age and gender. We now eat more low-fiber processed foods than ever before and it is killing us.  

Fiber is major disease fighter:  It clobbers constipation, eases heartburn, protects you from ulcers, halts diarrhea, prevents gallstones, lowers colon cancer risk, calms IBS, lowers high blood pressure, helps fight diabetes, reduces breast and prostate cancer and reduces weight gain.  While that list is long it is not by any means the complete list of what fiber can do.

There are two types of fiber:  soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a soft, gooey liquid or gel that can be fermented by the bacteria in the gut and absorbed into the body. 

Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the body and passes through unchanged. Both types are important to maintain a healthy digestive system. 

Low intakes of fiber are associated with increased risk of bowel diseases and disorders like constipation.   

It is also thought to prevent some diseases such as cancer, heart disease and has implications for reducing diabetes.

Changing to a high fiber diet is not difficult and should be done gradually as it may upset your digestive system. 

Drinking water while eating a high fiber diet is very important.  Undigested fiber holds fluid in the gut to form soft and bulky stools that move quickly and efficiently along the bowel.  If you do not drink enough water but increase your fiber you may become constipated. 

There are many ways to introduce more fiber into your diet:

 The old way used to be to add bran to everything you ate.  Bran can be a huge irritant and contains phytates, which can interfere with the absorption of essential mineral such as iron, calcium and zinc. 

It is important to get both types of fiber from natural sources. 

Not only will you benefit from the fiber but also all other the natural vitamins and minerals. 

One of the easiest ways is to switch from white bread, white pasta and white rice to the whole wheat alternatives in each of these foods. Be careful if you have a gluten issue!

Most foods that are high in fiber also tend to be filling and have a lower calorie count than their more refined alternatives, which makes these foods great choices for weight-loss. 

A couple of other easy ways to add fiber are:

Wash fruits and vegetables but do not peel.  You may want to go organic for these foods, such as apples, pears, peaches, carrots, and potatoes.

When you add vegetables to soups and stews, do so in chunks and if you do puree or blend do not strain the vegetables as you lose a huge amount of fiber this way.

Add grated vegetables to casseroles, lasagna, shepherd’s pie and stews.

It is amazing what adding high fiber foods to your staples can do.  An average portion of fresh tomato soup has 3.09 grams of fiber but add onions and lentils and it jumps to 4.27 grams.  Ordinary coleslaw has about 2.92 grams of fiber but add celery, raisins and dried apricots and it rises to 4.25 grams.

Adding fiber to your diet is an easy way to combat not only digestive issues but also may other common diseases. It is one of those really important things that I work on with my clients, along with adding more water and exercise to their everyday life.

You Deserve to be Healthy So Eat More Fiber!

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I Feel So Weird! Food Sensitivities and Intolerances!

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The vast majority of the people I work with are pretty healthy.

They don’t have any dramatic medical issues but want to feel better.

Many have weight that they want to lose, some memory issues, slight digestive symptoms like gas and bloating and want more energy.

They are all cognizant that they want to age well, stay healthy and do it in the most natural way possible.

For many of us we have grown up believing eating healthy includes certain foods.

But the truth of the matter is, many of the “healthy” foods that we eat affect our healthy and well-being because we have developed an intolerance or sensitivity to that food.

Intolerances are very different than allergies.

The body’s reaction to that certain food is much less dramatic in the short term than say a peanut allergy that can produce anaphalactic shock if not treated immediately.

For some the body reacts to sensitivities within a few hours after consumption and sometimes it can take a few days.

Many people think that the issues that they are experiencing are just common issues associated with aging.

That is just not so.

For so many people giving up  foods that commonly cause issues, dairy, gluten, eggs and some fruit, can have a dramatic positive affect on their over-all health.

I suggest that you start by looking at the food you eat most frequently.

For most that tends to be dairy or gluten.

Give it up for a week and see how you feel.

Then you can add the next item and see how you feel until your achieve the clarity of mind, increased energy and digestive health you are looking for.

This is easiest to undertake with a coach or on a detox plan that will reset your body.

It is so much easier to gauge your reaction to foods after you have been without it for a few weeks.

Once you find the culprit in your intolerance or sensitivity you will be flying high.

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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Are Quick Fixes Making You Frustrated? Make Lasting Changes!

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Everyone I run into is tired of making changes that never really amount to much.

You do a detox and feel great and then a few days or a week later, your back to your old self and nothing has changed.

You make a New Years Resolution, determined to stop eating sugar, lose weight, get rid of those digestive problems and by Jan 15 you are hold up on the couch stuffing chocolate chip cookies in your mouth?

We all, or most of us, have good intentions.

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We want to be leaner, healthier, exercise more but for some reason it never sticks.

A huge part of the problems is how alone we all are.

We don’t have a support group that cheers us on, inspires us, gives us the knowledge and the tools we need to really make a go of it!

We go out to restaurants that feed us unhealthy food and tons of it, we have friends and family that maybe don’t really value good health yet (they will eventually) so we go it alone.

We are bombarded with commercials for processed fast food, we are given false information making out decisions difficult and confusing.

There is no wonder very few and I mean very few of us can maintain good health for long.

So what would it mean to you to have the info, tools and support you needed to have good digestion, more energy, lose weight, stop sugar cravings, motivate you to exercise, get more sleep, develop healthy relationships and develop the passionate life you have always dreamed of?

My 21 Day Jump Start Plan is just the start you need.

In this programs you will get easy steps that will change your health, tools, menus recipes for easy delicious food (I’m a personal chef – I love food), weekly calls to boost your motivation, interact with other women that want to make healthy changes just like you.

At the end of the 21 day, I won’t just go away.

I have never been about the short term fix!

I’ll have other programs that will boost your rate of success.  If you decide to go to a more plant base diet – there will be a program on going vegetarian, we will be talking about lactose free living, gluten-free living and promoting digestive health just to name a few!

So jump on over to my website and check out the program and if you think you are ready to take on a long-term change to your health then sign on up!

We’d love to have you!

Click here to check out the 21 Day Restart Program

If you have any questions please let me know.

You Deserve to be Healthy, Forever!

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Mac and “Cheese” The Healthy Way!

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I’ve been cravin’ some good old fashion comfort food.

I’ve been dairy-free (mostly) for about 4 years.

That means no more pizza, no more lasagna and no more mac and cheese, jeeze.

My personal chef clients also do dairy-free and I am sure they miss these classic comfort foods.

So I started playing with nut cheeses and nutritional yeast so I could attempt to recreate my favs.

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Now I am a firm believer in natural foods so pretty much figure, that I was not going to like this stuff, because “cheese” that’s not cheese is probably not going to taste like cheese, so why bother.

So, so far I have made a Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup, Basil Cashew “Ricotta Cheese”, Almond Cheese, GF and DF Lasagna and today, my first Mac and Cheese.

I like to start with recipes and make them the exact way the first time and then I start playing.

Today’s recipe was by the book. The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak

This recipe is fast and easy as most in this book are.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Preheat oven to 350

Cook a box of quinoa elbows according to the directions.  Do not overcook.

While the elbows cook saute a medium onion, diced and 2 cloves of garlic until soft.

Add the following ingredients to a blender:

1 c water

1/2 c cashews

1/2 c nutritional yeast

1/2 c roasted red pepper

1/4 c white wine

1/3 c lemon juice

2 t onion powder

2t garlic powder

a pinch of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Blend until smooth

Add elbows. onions and garlic and sauce in a casserole dish, mix well.

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(at this point if you are missing your classic tuna casserole you can add tuna, maybe some peas mix well)

Place in the oven for 30 minutes, check to make sure that most of the liquid has evaporated.

Eat when it has cooled slightly! Super fast dinner.  The active time is about 10 minutes.

You can add all kinds of stuff to this to make a casserole, chicken, olives, peas and carrots, mushrooms or even steamed broccoli!

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think and check out The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak.

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You Deserve to be Healthy!

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OMG I’m Stressed! Stress and Your Digestion!

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Your body reacts to everyday stress in the same way it reacts to the stress of being chased by a bear.

What is even more important is if you are plagued by constant stress your body will start to show the wear and tear of being on alert too much of the time.

Here are some signs that your digestion is being affected by stress:

·         Bloating:  When you are under stress you are more likely to swallow air, which can cause bloating.
·         Flare-ups with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Studies suggest that stress will make flare-ups more frequent.
·         Diarrhea:  Stress can trigger diarrhea.
·         Ulcers:  Stress may not cause ulcers but they sure do aggravate them and can even increase the chance you will develop one.
·         Constipation:  If you suffer from this condition you know that if you add a little stress to the mix your balanced system goes way out of whack.
·         Acid reflux and indigestion:  These conditions are aggravated by stress and can lead to more damage in the esophagus.

So, in anticipation of future stress here’s what you can do to protect your digestion:

·         Walk it off: This is an aerobic exercise that not only lets you burn off the stress but  produces brain chemicals that perk up your mood.
·         Let it out: Okay so at the Thanksgiving dinner table you may not want to break down into an sobbing heap but if you feel emotional, the best thing to do is privately let it out.  Holding in emotions makes them more intense and creates a situation that affects your body.
·        Laugh it off: Hunt for the humor.  I like this one the best.  I am really good at looking at even the most stressful situation and finding something funny in it.  If you struggle with this, watch a comedy, read a funny book or watch your favorite comedian. 
·         Revamp your to-do list: Having too much to do really creates a lot of stress.  Rate the importance of each task and start shuffling the less important to another time.
·         Write in a journal or diary:  This ties into expressing your emotions.  Write it down and get it out.  Make sure that you don’t keep re-reading if it makes you anxious.
·         Listen to relaxing music: For some of us music can make all the difference in our mood and outlook!  Find music that lifts and inspires you and play it loud.
·         Breathe: I know when I am under stress, I hold my breath.  Not good!  Breathe in through your nose for a count of four; hold it for four, breath out through your mouth for a count of four.  Do this four times each day or when you feel stress.  It really works for me.
·         Catch those ZZZ’s:  We are better able to handle stress when we are well rested.
·         Put down the bottle: Alcohol can really bring out the emotions and not always in a good way.  Alcohol also dehydrates us and makes us tired and irritable.  Definitely not a de-stressor.
·         Eat foods that support you! Avoid sugar and process foods that will cause mood swings, cravings and a lack of energy.  Vegetables (mainly leafy greens) and small quantities of fruit with lean, clean protein will keep you operating at your peak, maintaining mental clarity and boosting your immune system. 
 
 So go out and enjoy life with friends and family.  Pay attention to how you are feeling and follow these 10 suggestions for beating stress and you should feel better soon!

You Deserve to be Healthy and Stress-Free!

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Bear Image courtesy of Hal Brindley / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Water, The Game Changer!

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60-70 % of our body is made up of water.

80% of our weight is water.

We could live weeks without food but only days without water.

Our brain and heart are made up of 73% water, lungs 83%, skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

So what does water do?

Control body temperature

Cushions your joints

Carries nutrients throughout your body

Thins the blood and makes it less likely to clot

Reduces the symptoms of arthritis

Helps with weight-loss by filling you up without adding calories or raising your blood sugar

But what is does for your digestion is huge:

Flushes waste from our body in the form of urine

Assists digestion in the processing of nutrients

Prevents constipation by softening your stool and keeps food moving through your digestive tract.

Reduces heartburn by washing out the acid in your esophagus

Lowers your risk of colon cancer

Lowers the chance of gallstones occurring

The effectiveness of adding fiber, magnesium and exercise in fighting a slow digestive process depends on your drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

I have often said that if you are going to do just one thing to improve your health, it would be to drink 8 glasses of clean water a day.

Remember, anything with caffeine acts to dehydrate your body so you need to drink even more!

It is also important to know that the water you are drinking is clean water.

If you have a well, have it tested for bacteria and pollutants.

If you have city water, contact your water department and find out the quality of the water.

Bottled water is not necessarily the answer as the source and quality of bottled water is not regulated.

Having problems remembering to drink your water?

Put a 32 oz pitcher on your desk when you first arrive at work and make the commitment to drink it all by lunch.

Then do it!

Do the same in the afternoon.

Think plain water is too boring?

Add lemons, limes, strawberries, cucumbers or even apple slices and let them sit over night.

You will have a soft infused flavor.

So how many glasses of water do you drink a day?

What strategy could you use to drink the 8 glasses needed to create good digestive health?

You Deserve to be Healthy and Hydrated!

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Sources:

The Complete Guide to Digestive Health by FC&A Publishing

Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski

Water Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

What Would You Do If You Had More Energy?

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Yep talked about this one before but it is sooo important that I am doing it again.

What could you achieve if you had more energy? Where’s your spark?  You know you had one once!

What could you do with more energy? Write a book? Get a promotion or maybe a job you’d really love? Run a marathon? Start a business? Get out of a bad marriage? Move to a better place?

Having more energy is not related to your genetic make-up, people are not just lucky and have more energy.

They do things that give them more energy and avoid those things that reduce their energy!

I am reluctant to even write how easy it is to have more energy because your going to say, “Ya, I know Mindy but these things are hard to do.  You make it look simple but it really isn’t.  I’m busy, don’t know what to cook, don’t like to cook, can’t find the time for sleep or exercise and drinking water, palease…..that is a super big pain in the butt!”

Yep that is what you are going to say and then in the next breath….if only I had more energy!

On the off chance that I have a reader or two that really wants to have more energy, that really wants to accomplish great things in life, have fun with their kids, give great things to the world, I am sharing the 10 top things you can do to have more energy and tell you that I am here to help you get all the energy you need to do GREAT things!

THE TOP 10 WAYS TO HAVE MORE ENERGY!

1. Drink more water – no excuses, unless you live in a poor third world country you have access to clean water.  Drink-up! 8 glasses a day.

2. Eat more leafy greens – come on now – a spinach omelet, a salad with protein for lunch and a side salad with dinner isn’t too much to ask. I mean you can get those baby greens in a box, anyone can create a salad, no?

3. Get moving – move your body every day for 30 minutes.  You have 30 minutes and you need to moved it.  Get up a little earlier, walk at lunchtime, take the kids on a bike ride, walk on the treadmill.  We are not talking gym time here, but simple movement in everyday activities.

4.  Get 8 hours sleep.  I know what you thinking but you can do it if you really want more energy. There are strategies that will make this happen for you.  You have great things to achieve, get some sleep, the world needs you.

5. Dump the downers.  Harsh maybe but you know you want to.  Feel your energy level go from a 8 to a 2 when you see that certain person’s name on caller id? Unless it is your mom (and we have other ways to deal with her) dump them.  Be nice but please, do you really need that kind of negative energy? You’ve got stuff to do.

6. Dump the processed foods – like sugar, bread, fat-free stuff, white rice…most have chemicals and all of these mess with your insulin levels which affect your weight, digestion and energy levels. Once you start eating to have more energy you won’t need the bagels, donuts or other energy depleting foods that lull you into thinking that they keep you going throughout the day.

7.  Dump the dairy.  All of it if it affects your digestion, which we will find out once you go without for a week or two.  Most of it if it has no affect on your digestion, and that is really rare.  You will not have any idea how much of a difference this makes until your eliminated it for 7-10 days. Your energy will soar with dairy out of your diet.

8.  Dump most of the caffeine.  A cup is fine, needs to be organic as regular coffee has tons, I mean tons of chemicals in it.  If you think you are not affected by those well, I have a bridge to sell ya….

9. Dump the chemicals, pesticides, GMO’d food – buy as much organic as you can afford.  Chemicals will slow you down and may even kill you.  Who needs them.  Ever see the suits they wear to spray weed and pest killer on food crops.  This shit is toxic and we eat it.  It is slowing you down and making you sick.

10.  Find the thing that makes you sing! Whether it is a job idea, a hobby, a person, a pet, books…find what you love to do, what lightens your heart, what gets you up in the morning and do more of it….be selfish about it. Have someone else do the dishes or the laundry.  Ask for help, your have important stuff to do.

So you say, “hey Mindy this is all well and good.  Not anything I have not heard before but hey, I can’t do this myself.  I have a family, a job, and aging parent I care for. When the heck am I supposed to do all this stuff.  There is just way too much planning , preparation and time involved in having more energy!”

I can help.  I have helped tons of women and men have more energy!

It’s all started with a single phone call, a single email.

A single conversation about what you want to achieve, how having more energy change your life.

This first call is FREE! 

Email  me at MindyKannon@yahoo.com

We will talk about how I can help you reach your health goals and if it feels right we can take your journey to better health, more energy and more life together.

Your life is important and you need energy to live that life so please give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s talk.

You Deserve to be Healthy and Have More Energy!

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What You Are Really Hungry For…..Love and Acceptance!

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I have worked with tons of clients, mostly women but some men, that have taught me a ton about human nature and what we do to feel love.

Geneen Roth, has written a few books that I just adore.  Woman, Food and God and Lost and Found are my favorites.

She is a woman that has gained and lost over 1000 lbs in her lifetime and really understands the compulsions of eating.

Having never had a weight issue until I was in my 40’s, these books gave me great perspective on the connection between food and how we feel about ourselves and our need for love and acceptance.

And while I was always lucky enough to have a super fast metabolism and be a bit hyper the connection is there for us “used to be skinny” people too.

It appears over and over again in my client’s stories and gives me a fresh look at how we use food to feel the love we feel we are lacking.

My client stories….

One of my clients was a lonely child, left alone a lot and the eating of comfort food that he hoped would fill that void.

Another one of my clients was raised in a family of “fitness focused skinnies” who guarded the fridge, to protect her from herself.  Once off to college she ate with freedom (binging) but it never fulfilled the acceptance she craved from her family.  She became obese with her longing for acceptance.

A third client felt unloved as a child and wanted to fill that need with her children.  At meal times they refused her healthy food, and they always did, she would do whatever it took to please them.  The children turned mealtime into a dreaded power play.  This left her feeling bad  and unloved as a mother and the cycle would start anew each meal.

What you really want…

Some clients issues are due to how their body reacts and craves sugar but most are related to how they feel about themselves and the cravings they have to belong, be loved and accepted.

Think of a favorite food, what memory or emotion does it evoke in you?

For me, warm chocolate chip cookies remind me of childhood and coming home from school with my mom waiting for me with cookies. Fresh love and an accepting ear for my stories of the day.

When I am under stress or feeling lonely or unloved, I long for warm cookies….looking for that comfort.

The key is to be able to recognize what your feeling and why and find something that will make you feel good about yourself after. If you love your body, what would you do right not to show it that love?

Going for a walk, reading a book, listening to inspiring music or talking to a friend might be just the ticket for you to get that need filled in a more healthy way!

So tell me, what need do you think your craving are looking to fill?

You Deserve to be Healthy, Happy and Loved!

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Red Quinoa and Sautéed Root Veggies

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I am always looking for the easy fix.

I cannot wait when I am hungry.

What can I make fast when I am hungry and have for a couple of meals?

I had a whole bag of red quinoa hanging around, some root veggies..hmmmmm!

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1. 2 cups of quinoa in a sauce pan with 2 cup of liquid – I used veggie broth.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and set the time for 12 minutes. Check at 12 minutes and if all the liquid is gone – take off the burner and cover.  If there is still some liquid, add a couple minutes to the timer.  I recently read about how quinoa comes out better with less liquid, so I gave it a try – sooo much better! So remember the ratio of 1:1.

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2.  Slice – carrots, turnips, parsnips, sliced a red onion and quartered Brussels sprouts – add them to a medium sauté pan that had been coated with olive oil. cook on low, covered for about 15 until they start to brown.  Keep on eye on them or they will burn.  Done that a few times. Salt and Pepper to taste.

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3.  Dressing is 1/3 C red wine vinegar, 4 T olive oil, 3 T honey, 1 T garlic powder and 1 T dill.  Mix well and taste – add honey or vinegar until you love the taste – I love tangy so I add less honey…Pucker-up!

4. Dump veggies and quinoa into a big bowl.  Pour dressing over the veggies and quinoa and toss.

I am eating it right now – warm and damn it is good.

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Total active time, maybe 10 minutes depending on how fast you chop stuff!

Did I tell you?  Quinoa is high in protein,  an anti-inflammatory, provides antioxidants, high in healthy fats and tons of vitamins and minerals.

So don’t be eating junk food – this is fast food!

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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Creating Digestive Health with Probiotics

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Intestinal flora plays an important role in our ability to fight infectious disease, providing a front line in our immune defense.

According to the US Surgeon General “Normal microbial flora provides a passive mechanism to prevent infection.” 
It also manufactures many vitamins including: the B-complex vitamins, folic acid and vitamin K.
 
Experts have debated on how to define probiotics. One widely used definition, developed by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is that probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (Microorganisms are tiny living organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts — that can be seen only under a microscope.)
 
Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. Interest in probiotics in general has been growing; Americans’ spending on probiotic supplements, for example, nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003.
 
Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Most often, the bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, there are different species (for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium bifidus), and within each species, different strains (or varieties). A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria.
 
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium increase the absorption of minerals that require acid for absorption such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese.

It also increases our resistance to food poisoning.  Some food-borne infections lead to chronic illness, causing heart and valve problems, immune system disorders, joint disease, and possibly even cancer.  These floras make the intestinal tract inhospitable to the invading microbes.  It is a misconception that they kill invading microbes.  They actually change the environment by secreting large amounts of acids that make the area unsuitable for pathogens.
 
These floras can play a part in keeping your heart healthy.  They normalize serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
 
Probiotics also help us to metabolize foreign substances, like mercury and pesticides and protects us from damaging radiation and harmful pollutants.
 
Probiotics can be helpful in other conditions also: hypertension, cancer, immune system stimulation, kidney stones, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and alcohol-induced liver disease.
 
Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements (for example, capsules, tablets, and powders) and in some other forms as well. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and beverages made with soy. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.

While I rarely recommend supplements, some are beneficial.  Since I am not a big advocate of dairy or soy products, I would encourage you to look into probiotics in supplement form.

If you feel that you could benefit from taking probiotics do the research and pick the one that is best for you. 

Probiotics are an important part of achieving and maintaining good health.

You Deserve to be Healthy

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