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4 Steps to Intestinal Happiness
Smoothly functioning intestines lead to happily functioning people. It’s that simple. Healthy intestines play an important role in proper nutrient absorption — why eat all that broccoli if your body can’t properly take in its nutrients? — which leads to a stronger immune system and better health and vitality.
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables helps the intestinal tract perform efficiently, but there are four additional steps that you can take to ensure a peak intestinal performance day after day.
Keep the Probiotics Alive
Not all bacteria are bad. Probiotics are actually on your side. This good baceteria lives naturally in the intestinal tract and works to ensure proper digestion, but the probiotic balance can be thrown off by prescription drugs, poor health, or unhealthy eating habits. If you discover that your good bacteria have been taken over by bacteria with ulterior motives, you can restore the equilibrium by taking oral probiotic supplements.
Focus on Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that fight disease. They help to prevent damage to cells and may also lower cholesterol. Phytochemicals are found in vegetables and grains that also help to keep the intestines healthy like garlic and onions, broccoli and cauliflower, carrots and yams, and barley and wheat.
Respect the Digestive Enzyme
Digestive enzymes help to break down food and process nutrients to build cells, tissues, and organs. Some enzymes arrive via food, while the body produces others. Digestive enzymes can be found in pineapple and papaya as well as in increasingly popular supplements.
Don’t Forget the Fiber
This is one of those cases where your mother was right. Fiber is important. Insoluble fiber — popcorn, wheat bran, cherries, grapes, etc. — helps bowel function and soluble fiber — bananas, carrots, barley, etc. — helps to relieve constipation, regulate blood-sugar levels, and reduce LDL cholesterol levels.