When we think about bacteria, we tend to associate it with negative connotations. This simply isn't the case, as bacteria is a crucial factor for boosting our immune system, manufacturing essential vitamins and assisting in improving our overall digestion process. There are already millions of living bacteria cells lined up along the walls of our stomach and intestine that work to break down nutrients for our bodies. Specifically, probiotics are a form of bacteria that are key components for aiding digestion, and while certain foods such as yogurt, pickles and tempeh are solid solutions to providing more of these small organisms to your gut, there are more efficient and faster ways to receive the proper amount of probiotics you need.
How probiotics work
When your digestive system endures an unstable balance of healthy gut bacteria, your intestines can experience pain and the entire metabolism process may slow down. When you consume probiotics, these microorganisms work to help build and strengthen the lining of your gut and intestines, so unwanted bacteria that can provoke nauseating symptoms such as upset stomach and diarrhea can be eliminated. They also help regulate the speed and processing of food being broken down within your intestine, making sure that all the quality vitamins and minerals are being properly absorbed. Essentially, the main functions for probiotics are as follows:
- Boosting your immune system by increasing production of antibodies
- Destroying toxins generated by "bad" bacteria in the intestines
- Producing B vitamins that quicken the metabolism process
- Preventing infection within the gut and intestinal lining
- Sending signals to cells to provide relief against potential illnesses in the intestines
Benefits of probiotics
There are many lifestyle factors that play into how "bad" bacteria or an imbalance of "good" organisms within the gut and intestine can develop. If you are not eating nutritiously, breathing in polluted environments or not receiving enough sleep, you are putting yourself at risk for poor digestion and possible infection within the intestines. Fortunately, probiotics are safe and easy way to increase the presence of "good" bacteria in the body, which can prevent nauseating symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome as well as the common cold and flu.
Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU
If you are looking for immediate digestive relief, try using Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU to give your immune system the help it needs while letting you feel better in no time. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contains billions of good bacteria forming colonies with every capsule, that will work to strengthen the lining of your intestines, maintain healthy intestinal flora and leave your stomach feeling refreshed and free. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU is completely allergen and dairy free, and is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of bloating, gas and general digestive discomfort.
As obesity continues to evolve into a growing epidemic, researchers are continuing to try and find new opportunities for rapid weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all Americans are obese, which can lead to serious complications involving cardiovascular health, blood pressure levels and other hazardous health side effects.
Recent studies discuss how bacterial buildup inside our intestines might provide a direct link to diabetes, and fluctuation in our bacterial population could provide a clear connection to being overweight. Intestinal flora, or microorganisms that live within our intestinal lines, was the subject of focus for researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. The collaborators tested 169 obese participants and 123 non-obese subjects to determine whether their intestinal flora could spell out weight loss for them in the future. The researchers said that individuals with minimal bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications from obesity, specifically regarding abrupt weight gain conditions and chronic inflammation. Essentially, obese or healthy-fitted people with low intestinal flora had higher risks for hazardous side effects than those with rich intestinal flora.
The most important aspect to the examination was that weight gain was found to not officially be a primary diagnosis to some the worst elements of poor intestinal flora intake. Gut bacteria is essential for your body to improve its digestive process and boost immune health. The human gut pertains about 10 times more bacteria than all the cells throughout your body combined, protecting your intestines from infection, improving the lining of your immune system as well as regulating metabolism.
Jeroen Raes, a professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and lead contributor to the study, acknowledged that you don't have to be overweight to experience all the typically related symptoms of diabetes.
"We were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a few less bacterial species," Raes said in a statement. "A species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety. It was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups."
Factors for unhealthy gut flora
As further studies are necessary to help understand intestinal flora's relationship with overweight symptoms, there are several factors that can pay into developing unhealthy gut flora. These lifestyle choices can include:
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Diets low in fermentable fibers
- Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils
- Chronic stress
- Chronic infections
If you are concerned about maintaining a healthy intestinal flora level, there are still plenty of ways to avoid inflammation of intestinal bacteria. Ingesting plenty of fermentable fibers, such as sweet potatoes or yams, can be beneficial, as well as eliminating your use of table salt and sodium intake with your diet. These are just a few of the ways intestinal bacteria can not only help you avoid obesity, but defend your immune system from unwanted illnesses as well.
To stay regular, fiber is the name of the game. Adding fiber to your morning shake or smoothie is easy and doesn't have to make your delicious breakfast smoothie bland. Here are some of our best ideas for adding fiber to your shakes, which will both lower cholesterol and help keep you regular:
- VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake has an excellent omega and fiber blend, with more than 6 grams of dietary fiber and 200 milligrams of omega-3s to support a healthy heart, brain and circulatory system.
- One cup of raw oats has a whopping 16 grams of dietary fiber. This is an easy and heart-healthy ingredient to add to a protein and fruit smoothie to give it more fiber and make it a more filling breakfast.
- Chia seeds have 5 grams of dietary fiber in just 1 tablespoon, as well as important minerals, antioxidants and even protein.
- Another great thing to do is to leave the peel on the fruits in your smoothies, such as apples and pears. The flesh has soluble fiber, but the peel is the highest source of fiber and is where you find most of the fruit's important vitamins.
- Nuts are also a good source of fiber. Consider adding a nut butter to your smoothie to give it an extra boost.
Colostrum is the first milk a mammal produces for her newborn, and it has several important immune properties. Many people take a colostrum supplement to boost their immune health and promote a healthy and balanced digestive tract.
Naturade makes various types of colostrum so you have options based upon your differing needs. Here are a few different types that are currently available:
- Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Candida Formula: This is good for people who have imbalanced digestive flora due to a diet with overly processed foods and high fat. Candida albicans can cause a yeast infection when too much is present. This supplement has Candida Balance™, a formula with lactoferrin, probiotics and colostrum to reduce candida and restore the balance of flora in the gut.
- Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Arthro Formula: Aside from boosting the immune system and balancing the digestive tract, this formula has MSM, glucosamine sulfate, lipase and cetyl myristoleate to promote joint and bone health.
- Symbiotics Colostrum 40% High-IG: These capsules contain high levels of immunoglobulin content and give an extra boost to the immune system for athletes and others whose bodies are under physical duress.
Though they sound similar and there's only one letter of difference, probiotics and prebiotics are not the same thing, but they each are beneficial in different ways.
Probiotics are microorganisms that are beneficial to the body. Taking a probiotic supplement like Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU or eating foods rich in probiotics – like yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, kimchi, sauerkraut, soy milk, tempeh and even pickles – can help restore the digestive system's good bacteria. Things like poor or high-fat diets, smoking, alcohol consumption, antibiotic use and infections can upset the balance of bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can restore this balance, and have been shown to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections and other health issues, and they may even boost brain function and lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Just like probiotics, prebiotics aren't a food but they're found in various foods. We can think of prebiotics as the fuel that feeds probiotics' successful restoration of good bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates found in fibrous foods. When combined with probiotics, the two become known as a synbiotic, which is a characteristic of foods that have both good bacteria and the fuel to keep them going. Kefir and some yogurts are considered synbiotic. Prebiotics are found in a limited number of foods, including raw onions and leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, whole grains like raw oatmeal, barley and wheat, and they can be found in other fruits and vegetables in very small amounts. Cooked onions, leeks and artichokes have lesser quantities of prebiotics but are often more palatable when cooked. If you think you need a prebiotics to maximize the benefits of probiotics but do not eat enough foods containing prebiotics, there are supplements available.
Simply put, candida is a dirty word. Candida is actually the scientific name for the fungus yeast, which can live everywhere – including in your body. Candida is most commonly found in the gut and mouth, and the natural flora – the good bacteria – in our bodies are good at keeping it in check.
However, when there is too much candida albicans – the most common type of this yeast - in the body, the overgrowth can cause infections known as candidiasis, which causes yeast infections in women (and less commonly, men) and thrush in the throat. Candidiasis can also cause itching and rashes on the skin. Invasive candidiasis is a very serious but less common infection that occurs when candida yeast enters the bloodstream and the fungus spreads to other parts of the body.
What causes candidiasis?
It can be caused by various things, including:
- Taking antibiotics
- Prolonged stress
- A diet high in sugar and refined carbs, which actually feed the candida
- Overuse of alcohol
What are some potential symptoms?
- Digestive issues like constipation, bloating and diarrhea
- Skin issues like eczema, hives, rashes and psoriasis
- Vaginal infections and itching, urinary tract infections
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Feeling worn down and having constant fatigue for unknown reasons
- Itchy ears and severe seasonal allergies
- Cravings for sugar and refined carbs
What can you do?
As candidiasis is caused by an imbalance in the digestive flora for various reasons, it's important to regain balance in the digestive tract by reducing the amount of candida there. One product to try is Naturade's Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Candida Formula, which promotes growth of healthy bacteria and helps the body maintain normal levels of candida albicans through the use of colostrum, lactoferrin and the probiotics lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Colostrum is full of immune factors to support your overall health, and the probiotics support improved digestioni. Lactoferrin takes the iron from candida, which is vital to its growth.
The good bacteria in our digestive tract – and there are billions of them – are important for digestion and immune health. Normally, our bodies can maintain the proper balance of good bacteria to combat the pathogenic kind. However, there are times when our immune systems are down due to infection, medication, disease, diet or environmental factors. In these instances, we are more susceptible to digestive issues and infection due to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria.
In these instances, it's a good idea to take a probiotic, which is filled with the healthy bacteria our gut needs. Naturade® Probiotics 30 B CFU™ can help restore intestinal flora and boost your body's defenses. It contains 30 billion good bacteria in each capsule to restore your body's balance and improve digestion. When the intestinal flora are out of balance, one can experience various digestive issues including constipation, gas and bloating. Naturade's probiotic is allergen and dairy free so those with sensitivities can still enjoy the benefits of a daily probiotic.
Going vegan can be an excellent choice because it makes you more conscious about the things you're eating. Here are some of the biggest health benefits of choosing to eat a vegan diet:
- A healthy vegan diet is typically rich in whole grains and legumes. These foods have a low glycemic index and are high in fiber, meaning they are digested slowly and thus keep blood sugar steady. This can help reduce cholesterol and, in turn, improve one's heart health.
- Vegans do not eat red meat (or any meat, of course), which the World Cancer Research Fund announced in a 2007 report is good for colon health.
- Vegans often have – but not always – less processed foods in their diets. Several studies have affirmed the unhealthy attributes of processed foods.
- Adherents to a vegan diet avoid all animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy and gelatin-based products. Thus, they are likely to eat less saturated fats and are more likely to have a lower cholesterol, meaning a vegan diet can boost your heart health and potentially help with weight issues.
- Vegan diets are often very high in fiber – beans, lentils, whole grains and various vegetables all pack in plenty of fiber, which is good for the body's digestive system.
Aside from the various health benefits that vegans acquire from their diets, veganism also has several more benefits for individuals and society as a whole:
- You'll save money, as grains, beans, soy and similar foods are fairly inexpensive compared to animal proteins.
- You'll do your part to reduce pollution and environmental deterioration because factory farms take more energy and resources to produce animal meats and runoff can pollute local water sources.
- You'll be contributing to animal wellbeing.
While there are clearly several individual and societal benefits to eating a vegan diet, making this change can require a lot of work at first. It takes time to plan meals that meet all of our bodies' important nutritional requirements, and restricting your food sources means you'll have to get creative. Many vegans choose to supplement their diets with a nutritional shake to make sure they are getting adequate amounts of calcium, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and Omega-3s, nutrients that are available in a vegan diet but not always in large enough amounts to meet the bodies' needs.
When talking about what a vegan can eat (answer: a lot of things), it's probably better to first talk about what they can't – or choose not to – eat. Without getting into the various moral or health reasons that people choose to eat vegan, here's some basic information on what vegans do and do not eat to help you if you're debating whether to meatless or not:
What vegans avoid
Basically, vegans do not eat any animal products, including products derived from animals. Most obviously, this means that vegans avoid eating beef, chicken, pork, fish and everything in between, as well as dairy products and eggs. However, many other foods contain animal products, though we often don't realize it. Here are some other items that people who are vegan often attempt to avoid and why:
- Honey: Bees are living things and they make it.
- White sugar: PETA asserts that it is made with bone char.
- Marshmallows and gummy bears: These sweets are made with gelatin that is derived from animals.
- Breads and baked goods made with butter, eggs, white sugar or whey – a dairy product.
- Beer: Believe it or not, some beers are filtered using egg whites, seashells or gelatin from fish bladders.
- Salad dressing: Many dressings use lecithin, a product from animals, to keep vinegar and oil from separating in the dressing.
- Additionally, many vegans avoid other animal products, including leather, wool, cosmetics and certain types of soap.
Though vegan diets are often low in cholesterol and fat and high in nutrients, it's good to keep in mind that not all certified vegan products, like certain junk foods, are healthy for you. Here is an idea of what vegans often eat to get important nutrients:
- Protein: lentils, peas, chickpeas, soy milk, almond milk, nuts and nut butter, whole grains, tofu
- Calcium: dark green vegetables, soy milk and orange juice fortified with calcium, tofu made with calcium sulfate
- Iron: dark green leafy vegetables, black and kidney beans, bulghur wheat, lentils, beet greens, black-eyed peas
- Vitamin B12: nutritional yeast
- Zinc: legumes, nuts and grains
- Vitamin D: fortified rice milk and soy milk
Though vegans are able to find some good sources for important nutrients, it takes a lot of time and effort to plan a well-rounded meal. Many vegans make sure they get enough B12 and calcium – two important ingredients that are often lacking in their diet – by finding a supplementary method like the VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake, which is gluten, dairy and soy-free and provides 20 grams of non-GMO protein per serving.
Most of us celebrate the good ol' U.S. of A the best way we know how: with food, flag colors and fun in the sun. But if you're like the average American, one day – or hey, four days – of salty dips, rich desserts and carb-loaded drinks can leave you feeling pretty bloated.
Bloating generally happens for two reasons: increased salt intake and gas. Sodium-heavy foods, which are prevalent on the Fourth of July, cause the body to retain water. Bloat can also be caused by gas-producing foods, such as cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage) dairy products and grains like barley and wheat, as well as foods high in fat and sugar. Even things as simple as taking in more air by drinking through a straw, chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages or eating too quickly can cause bloat.
Luckily, there are many excellent (and delicious!) natural ways to beat bloat:
These good bacteria – microorganisms, to be precise – help with digestion and keep harmful bacteria away. Greek yogurt, kefir or low-fat yogurt are good foods to eat if you're feeling bloated because they are rich in probiotics. They also have a high water content, which helps reduce bloat as well. However, yogurt might not be the best option if you have even a slight level of lactose intolerance. Yogurts packed with sugar should also be avoided because sugar can cause bloat, according to Kristi King, a registered dietician at Texas Children's Hospital:
"What actually happens with the sugar is, one, you're fueling the bacteria in your gut to start eating those sugars that are being digested, so they may produce more gas," King said.
A probiotic supplement is an excellent option to help regulate your digestive system and reduce bloat. Try one like Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU to help you stay regulated and bloat-free.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but drinking more water is an excellent way to help you body out – water is a natural diuretic and helps to get things moving in your system.
Another good idea is to snack on water rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers and pineapples. Watermelon are – unsurprisingly – made up of 90 percent water. Cucumbers are water-filled too, and are also rich in sulfur, which stimulates the kidneys. Pineapples – made up of 85 percent water – have the enzyme bromelain, which promotes digestion and helps break down certain proteins in the gut. Oranges and grapefruit are excellent choices too, as are bananas – they're packed with potassium, a good antidote to sodium.
Certain herbs and spices are good for belly-flattening as well. Try ginger, peppermint or chamomile tea, or trying sucking on a peppermint candy. They reduce gas, stimulate the digestive system and have other health benefits, too. Make a broth (with low amounts of sodium) that incorporates things like turmeric, rosemary, garlic and parsley.
And last but not least, remember to exercise. Even if your bloated belly is telling you no – carry on. Thirty minutes a day is good to keep the digestive tract moving efficiently.