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Hippocrates Institute on Fermented Foods








Put Some Good Bacteria in Your Gut

One of the most common digestive problems in the United States is irritable bowel syndrome known as IBS. Many people head to their gastroenterologist with symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating. Typical treatment consists of drugs and a change in diet, specifically more fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods.

The drugs prescribed, however, have side effects that are worse than the condition itself and only offer temporary relief because they do not address the problem. You need to look at the big picture, rather than concentrating on eliminating each of the symptoms. It is important to know and understand the environment in your gut and figure out what could be causing a disruption in normal movement and overall health of your bowel.

There are anywhere from 300-500 different species of bacteria that live in your colon. These bacteria help develop our immune system in our intestines and they are essential for us to process vitamins and minerals plus protect us against colonization of pathogens. You want robust and healthy colonization of bacteria in your bowel and you can do this with probiotics.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a healthy environment in your gut and can help to neutralize toxic compounds. How do you do this? The first step is to add fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement to your daily regimen and you should notice a huge difference in how you feel and your general health.

Fermented foods are more reliable than commercial supplements when it comes to probiotics. Naturally fermented, "live" foods have been around since the beginning of time. They include fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, and milk products like yogurt, cheese, buttermilk, kefir, fermented soy protein, miso, tempeh and tofu. Naturally fermented, unpasteurized beers are some of the most complete probiotics available, which should make your beer-lover in the family a happy camper.

Learn to like sauerkraut because it provides one of the widest varieties of beneficial bacteria that are known to protect against everything from bowel problems to cancer. All you need is a little salt, cabbage and a crock-pot to make it at home.

If none of the foods listed above appeal to you, then you could take a commercial probiotic supplement available at your local health food store. Look for one that can maintain potency without refrigeration.

Using probiotics is a great way to practice preventive medicine because you want to constantly replenish your body's supply of these live organisms in your gut. Just add fermented foods to your diet every single day. Enjoy some homemade sauerkraut at home and wash it down with some living, unpasteurized beer. Make a smoothie in the morning with some yogurt, fresh fruit and soy protein.

It is not hard to add these fermented foods to your day and reap the many health benefits. Diagnosing and treating irritable bowel syndrome can be a problem for many doctors and patients because of the varied symptoms. Create a healthy environment in your gut and you can enjoy a healthy bowel and great health without the drugs and side effects.




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