Monday, November 22, 2010

Makers Diet: Probiotics

One of the keys behind the Makers Diet is that extraordinary health starts with the gut. An estimated 90% of illnesses emanate in the gut and 50-80% of our immune and nervous system is there. Jordan Rubin and other health experts state that the ratio of good bacterial flora (probiotics) in our gut to bad bacteria should be 80% to 20% but that this ratio is reversed for many of us.

Some ways to introduce the beneficial bacteria and re-establish the right ratio include eating foods high in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir (like a thick, drinkable yogurt), sauerkraut, lacto-fermented foods, real apple cider vinegar, miso, and natto.
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Another way is to supplement. I am a big fan of probiotic supplements. After I had Caitlin, I started to suspect that she had reflux. After a lot of research I found some enlightening news that suggested probiotics could help. I started taking them myself since I was nursing and debated about giving them directly to her. Her reflux symptoms were much better controlled. We had made a few other changes so I wasn’t really sure if the probiotics helped. When I ran out I stopped taking them and within 24 hours her symptoms flared again. Since then she and I have been taking them and have also experience less cold symptoms than Kai and Lee. Recently I started giving them to Kai, and yesterday Lee started taking “purple vitamins.”

My favorite and extensively researched brands are Garden of Life Primal Defense, Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Acidophikidz, and Udo’s Infant Probiotic. All include high cell counts of live bacteria and multiple strains. The first two products are shelf stable (do not have to be refrigerated). It’s hard to compare different brands because they all contain different bacteria, and almost every probiotic study uses different strains. However, I have seen personal benefits in my own self and my family with all of these products!

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