Last week, America’s favorite TV doctor talked cleansing, detoxification, and gut health, three topics we’re pretty passionate about at ReNew Life. If you missed those shows on cleansing, or if you’re simply wondering how you can support your gut defenses for better energy and digestion, here are a few points to note.
Let’s Talk Energy and Weight Loss
Two of America’s top “obsessions,” right? So many of us are addicted to junk food, energy drinks, and processed sugary snacks to keep our energy levels normal throughout the day. Unfortunately, these very substances and many others we eat and drink are seen as toxins by the body, and toxins only serve to make us more sluggish. Toxins can also stand in the way of your weight loss goals while detoxing can help reduce bloating, water retention, and help shed those stubborn pounds with diet and exercise.
- Make it your goal to cleanse at least twice a year (and more often if needed) to flush out toxins and waste. ǂ There are many pure ingredient internal cleanses available to make finding the right one for you a cinch.
- Cleansing/detoxing is also one of the fastest ways you can help your body reclaim its natural energy. ǂ
What a Strong, Balanced Gut Will Do For Your Health
Your gut is your health center. It’s home to up to 80% of your immune cells and half of your body’s nerve cells, a “second brain” that produces most of the feel-good hormone serotonin you need for a stable mood and well-being.
Certain supplements help fortify your gut defenses:
- A potent, multi-strain probiotic with at least 50 billion cultures per capsule helps replenish the good bacteria in your gut. ǂ These bacteria produce vitamins, digest food, and help crowd out harmful bacteria, keeping you and your immune system healthy. ǂ Experts are recommending upwards of 50 billion cultures daily because we have 100 trillion bacteria in our guts. Potency counts.
- The amino acid L-glutamine is available in intestinal renewal supplements that help soothe and support a healthy, strong intestinal lining. ǂ L-glutamine is a great energy booster for gut cells that make up this healthy intestinal lining. A strong intestinal lining that doesn’t “leak” helps keep toxins and too-large particles out of the bloodstream.
Adding prebiotic foods to your diet such as flax, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, artichoke, asparagus, and chicory root helps “feed” the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are also available in gut-nourishing fiber supplements as FOS (fructooligosaccharides).
By now many of you have heard about the remarkable health benefits of probiotics. In fact, the good-for-you bacteria seem to be making headlines everywhere these days—especially as we head into another cold and flu season. And as awareness increases about just how good probiotics are for optimal digestion and immunity, there’s another “p” word you might be wondering about: prebiotics.
In technical terms, prebiotics are often defined as “non-digestible food ingredients” that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. So what does that mean? Quite simply, prebiotics are a food source for probiotics. So as they travel through the digestive system, they nourish all those good bacteria along the way and help them grow and multiply. The result? More good bacteria in the gut, which means better digestion and a stronger natural defense system.
So where do prebiotics come from? Well, mostly from soluble fiber sources such as oats, legumes, flax and almonds—and that’s where the “non-digestible” part comes into play. Dietary fiber—including both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber—really just refers to the parts of plant foods that our bodies are unable to digest and absorb, which is why it’s sometimes called “roughage”. Because prebiotics are not digested, they remain in the digestive tract where they can do their job of feeding their probiotic partners.
In addition to obtaining prebiotics through the diet, nowadays many probiotic supplements will actually include prebiotics to help you get the benefit of this dynamic duo (i.e. probiotics and prebiotics). For example, you may see something called FOS on the label. Short for fructooligosaccharide, FOS is extracted from soluble fiber foods such as chicory root and will help to feed and stimulate the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
So there you have it! Two powerful “p” words that can go a long way toward better digestion and a stronger natural immune system—talk about a winning combination!
Prebiotic Food Sources:
- Chicory Root
- Whole Grains