Jennifer Adler of Realize Health was kind enough to let me reprint this article from her blog. I was so impressed with the way she handled questions during the talk and I was equally impressed by the concept that if she answered them, I wouldn't have to. I love you all dearly but I know that sometimes you ask questions mid-workout to distract me. From now on, you'll get Adler's business cards and you'll keep friggin' moving.
Alternative Medicine: Improve digestion with lively foods
You are not what you eat, but what you actually digest and absorb. If you are not eating healthy-bacteria or enzyme-rich (preferably organic) foods, your digestive system may not be at peak performance. Without adequate healthy bacteria and enzymes, food sensitivities, indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, belching, cramping or bad breath may occur.
Our body's natural production of enzymes decreases as we age, making enzymes we receive from foods such as raw honey, raw or cultured vegetables, raw or cultured milk and cheese, and raw fruits such as bananas, pineapple and papaya important for digestive health.
It is estimated that more than 400 species of bacteria inhabit our digestive tracts, weighing up to 3 1/2 pounds. There are both healthy and undesirable forms. It is important to have enough healthy bacteria to maintain optimal health. They help keep the intestines clean and free of parasites. They manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K and the B vitamins. They can decrease cholesterol as well as intestinal inflammation and food allergies, and enhance liver function. Inadequate healthy bacteria has been linked with chronic disease.
In addition, healthy bacteria make up about 75 percent of our immune cells. This good bacteria is depleted by prescription antibiotics and consuming meat or dairy from animals fed antibiotics, consuming fluoride and chlorine in our water, as well as coffee and alcohol. It is important to replenish this good bacteria on a daily basis.
Eating cultured and fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso and cultured vegetables from the refrigerator section can help replenish necessary healthy bacteria.
-- Cynthia Lair and Jennifer Adler, adjunct faculty for the School of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University