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It's Not What You Eat It's How You Digest

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By Author: Nancy Brust • www.ProHealth.com • April 1, 1997


Is it true that a person who eats all the right foods gets enough of what the body needs? Well, the truth is more surprising than you might think. The fact is, no matter how healthy and nutritious a person's diet may be, if the food isn't properly digested and absorbed, it is essentially useless. The digestive tract is a complex system of organs responsible for converting the food we eat into nutrients our bodies need to survive. However, the body's organs and enzymes cannot do it alone. Digestion is a chemical process that requires not only digestive enzymes and acid, but also needs the assistance of countless microorganisms, known as our body's "friendly flora." The vital microorganisms are critical to the body's digestion.

Maintaining the "Friendly Flora"

As people grow older, their levels of good bacteria diminish. It is important to keep the friendly flora multiplying, since they help in absorption of nutrients and protect against potentially harmful types of bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and fungus microorganisms such as Candida. One way of maintaining proper bacterial levels is by supplementing the diet with acidophilus, which are friendly bacteria. Another is using the supplement FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) which helps feed the good bacteria and keeps the bad bacteria from producing toxic compounds within the body.

FOS assists with regularity, keeping in check bad bacteria that weakens bowel function. Studies have shown that FOS in the diet can increase the presence of friendly flora by as much as 500%.

The Importance of Enzymes

Bacteria and enzymes allow the body to get what it needs from consumed foods. Enzymes are responsible for beginning digestion by chemically breaking down large molecules of food.

Enzymes have additional uses by the body. Betaine aids nutrient assimilation in the body, while the enzyme bromelain can help control inflammation, responses.

Dangers to the "Friendly Flora"

Healthy people should have roughly three pounds of friendly flora in their intestinal tract. Most people have only a pound and a half. Through use of antibiotics, alcohol, and even by eating meats and chicken, we kill off some of our friendly bacteria. High sugar and fat diets also reduce their presence.

Unfortunately, good nutrition alone isn't enough. Good digestion and adequate absorption Is also key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Benefits of Detoxification

After adequate absorption, internal detoxification is the final step to good digestion. Many people choose an internal detoxification program that contains both herbs and fiber for maximum cleansing. For example, A.M./P.M. Ultimate Cleanse has 29 herbal ingredients, such as milk thistle extract, ginkgo biloba, along with 13 fibers that work synergistically to cleanse your body.

One can see that by maintaining adequate levels of good bacteria in our systems, aiding digestion chemically with enzymes and making sure the body is accurately eliminating toxins from the body, food will be digested absorbed and eliminated properly.



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