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Real Stories from Real People
Julie
I have read and re read the different e books when I need inspiration to do my work out. By the time I am 2 paragraphs in (to Female Fat Loss Over 40), I am ready to get my work out clothes on and go for it. I really enjoy the challenging work outs and the audio book with the different timing intervals makes it easy!! I am really enjoying your program, particularly these 2 months which are especially busy for me. I can’t always make it to Boot camp but I feel so much better when I exercise. It’s great to have the option of doing a challenging workout at home. I am looking forward to taking your program on my next vacation. Thanks!!

Becky M
Hey Shawna, I bought the FFLO about a month ago and have finally started using it on Tuesday. I quit waiting for Monday to start it. It's just been 3 days but I can already tell that it is working. I sleep better and want to eat better so that I'll see results. How can I mess up with menus and workouts spelled out for me? I know what I need to do and have worked with trainers over the years to know that your program will work. For me it has just been a matter of getting started. I gained 15 lbs over the winter and need to get it off. I was diagnosed 2 years ago with Type 2 diabetes so exercise is a key part of my health. I love to walk / run but I know that with the interval training I will not only see the results I want on my body but my blood sugar will be where it needs to be. The interval training is a great workout for me in the morning. Then in the evenings I can walk for stress relief and to just relax. I saw myself in your message yesterday about the woman who still tries to walk everyday for 2 hours - who has time for that? I enjoy your blogs and am glad that I found you on Facebook! To good health!

This Month In Diet
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  • Teenage Obesity
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  • Feed Your Microflora
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Health and Fitness News
Learn the Secrets to Whittle Your Waist

Feed Your Microflora

Should you take a prebiotic supplement or are you getting enough in your diet?

In recent years, probiotics have been in the spotlight for their role in health and wellness. As a result, you can find many foods that are fortified with probiotics. But what about prebiotics? While you may have never heard of them and research is ongoing into the extent of their benefits, initial research shows exciting promise about prebiotics’ important place in your good health.

What are prebiotics? What’s the difference between them and probiotics? What foods contain each and are you getting enough? You’re about to find out.

Understanding Your Microflora

Trillions of bacteria make their home in your gut. Known as your microflora, microbiota, or microbiome, these are a mixture of good and bad bacteria. Between 300 to 500 different types of bacteria line your digestive tract, most making their home in your intestines and colon. While there are a limited number of bacteria, each person has their own individual microbiome makeup depending on genetic makeup, diet, and health condition.

What is the purpose of all this bacteria? Research is currently figuring that out. What is known is that this microflora plays important roles in digestion, mood regulation, immune health, and disease prevention. Your microbiome may link you to an increased or decreased risk of obesity, depression, anxiety, autism, diabetes, and colon cancer.

Prebiotic Vs. Probiotic

Certain foods and supplements known as probiotics contain live microorganisms that help to grow the good bacteria in your gut. Natural probiotics are found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, buttermilk, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, miso, and kombucha.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are foods and supplements that feed your gut bacteria to improve their balance, stimulate their activity, and increase their numbers. They’re found in plant fibers your body can’t digest but your gut bacteria can. Prebiotics are found in whole grains, leafy greens, onions, garlic, bananas, berries, artichokes, asparagus, oats, barley, legumes, tomatoes, wheat, and soybeans. Some foods including cereal, bread, baby formula, and yogurt are fortified with prebiotics.

Benefits of Prebiotics

Besides feeding your gut bacteria, prebiotics help manage your blood sugar by preventing spikes. They also help your body absorb calcium from food, improve digestion, reduce your risk of allergies, improve immune health, and help prevent constipation. It is even suspected that they play a role in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, treating inflammatory arthritis, and aiding in weight management.

Should You Take a Supplement?

The best way to get prebiotics is by eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of whole foods high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, if you’re in good health, you shouldn’t need a prebiotic supplement if you’re getting the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day.

That said, studies show no risk in taking a prebiotic supplement or in taking both a prebiotic and probiotic supplement together. Despite this, it is best to talk with your doctor before taking new supplements, especially if you have a chronic health condition or weak immune system.

Side Effects

Probiotics and prebiotic supplements aren’t regulated by government standards, and manufacturers aren’t required to follow safety measures. Therefore, it’s best to not depend on them to treat health conditions.

Since prebiotic supplements are high in fiber, taking too much too soon can cause gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, or loose stool. To avoid these uncomfortable symptoms, gradually add prebiotics to your diet or cut your dose in half in the beginning so your gut bacteria can slowly adjust to them.


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