These simple steps to an elimination diet take about five months to complete and will let you know whether the culprit is soy, dairy, citrus, wheat, nuts or something else altogether.
1. For two to four weeks, stop eating the most common irritation culprits: soy, dairy, citrus, wheat, and nuts. You can also try eliminating other foods that you eat frequently or tend to crave. These may cause IBS symptoms, too.
2. If symptoms don't improve during the elimination period, you may not have a dietary IBS trigger. If you find relief, challenge yourself by reintroducing one food at a time for three to four days, noting how your body reacts. If you suffer a bout of IBS, take the food back out. If you feel fine, leave the food in your diet. Then progress to the next test food.
3. Assessing all five ingredients takes about two months, and by the end, you will likely have identified food categories you're better off avoiding. “It's not a cure,” “but it can give you a greater degree of control over your symptoms. If dairy is a big trigger, it doesn't mean you can't ever eat it. But you know that if you eat cheese fondue, you're going to experience symptoms for the next few days.”
If your digestion and immune system seem a bit off, it may be time to boost probiotics in your body—those beneficial bacteria that promote overall health. Here are foods to look for and ways to supplement with probiotics for yourself and kids.
Lately, your digestion feels off; in fact, you've caught a few more colds than usual and your overall vitality seems a bit compromised. Must be time to detox, right? The truth is that solely focusing on flushing toxins from your digestive system is a bit like cleaning the pool filters but forgetting to add chlorine. I recommend a colon cleanse it's easy to do and I do it my self twice a year.
"We tend to think of gut maintenance as only removing poisons and neglect to think of what we need to add to our system to keep it healthy," That's where probiotics (or friendly bacteria) come in.
Foods high in probiotics
• Aged cheese
• Beer (microbrews)
• Cottage cheese (look for bacterial strains in ingredient list)
• Pickled ginger
• Pickles (brine-cured, without vinegar)
At any given time, there are about 100 trillion bacterial microbes living inside your body — enough microscopic beings to fill up a quart jar — most of which reside in the digestive tract. “The digestive system is like a rainforest — teeming with life,”.
When friendly bacteria levels outnumber the bad, the body is in stasis. But the by-products of modern life often throw this delicate balance out of whack. “The combination of a typical Western diet, the high stress levels of modern life, and an over-reliance on antibiotics is the equivalent of clear-cutting parts of our internal ecology,”. In other words, if you're a typical member of Western society, it's likely time to reforest your internal landscape.
There are thousands of probiotic strains, or friendly flora, found naturally in everything from breast milk to pickles. When ingested they actively promote overall health in many ways. Probiotics take up room and resources in the digestive tract and make it inhospitable to unfriendly microbes. They encourage regularity: In a 2006 Spanish study, daily probiotic consumption increased the frequency and volume of bowel movements, and a 2007 study found that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG greatly reduced acute diarrhea in children. Good bacteria also manufacture a range of B vitamins, which the body cannot create or store on its own and which offset the effects of stress; vitamin K, which bolsters bone density; and enzymes that aid metabolism.
And the benefits of probiotics extend well beyond the realm of nutrition and digestion. “Because the digestive system is our first line of defense against harmful bacteria carried in through food, drink, or air, probiotics help the immune system function correctly. In recent studies, probiotics reduced the duration and severity of colds, cut down recurrences of eczema outbreaks, increased the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, and decreased the risk of diabetes.
If you suffer from constipation or diarrhea, frequent colds, yeast infections, or inflammatory or autoimmune conditions (such as IBS, allergies, asthma, or rheumatoid arthritis), it's likely your probiotic levels need a boost. But even if you're relatively healthy, increasing your intake of probiotics through diet and supplements tips the balance in your favor.
Revamp your diet
Natural sources of probiotics include fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, or cultured foods, such as yogurt. Pay attention to your intake of prebiotics, too. Prebiotics are probiotics' favorite foods and help them thrive. But maintaining a healthy gut requires more than just eating a cup of yogurt with berries now and then. “In order to keep your bacteria levels in balance with diet alone, you have to commit to eating fermented and cultured foods every day,”. While that may be possible during quiet times, when you can eat the majority of your meals at home, one spurt of busyness can derail your efforts. Luckily, probiotics come in easy-to-take supplements.
What are prebiotics?
Like many health-boosting nutrients, probiotics don't function in isolation. They require food, or “prebiotics” — including oligosaccharides and inulin (forms of soluble fiber found in some grains, fruits, and vegetables) and phenols (antioxidant compounds also found in plant foods). Eating more of the following prebiotic-rich foods can help support your probiotic numbers.
Taking probiotic supplements is like taking out an insurance policy — it protects you during the tough times. To get the most mileage out of your supplement, I suggests opening the pill casing and sprinkling the contents into a beverage or onto food so that the flora are introduced to your mouth and esophagus — important links in the digestive chain — as well as your stomach and intestines. Just be sure the food isn't scorching hot — anything above warm may kill the microbes.
If you have any questions regarding this issue or if you have a friend or family member with this issue pass along this article or call me. I would be happy to help you.