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Healthy bugs and their benefits

NATURAL JOURNEY by Lisa McNiven

We all hear about bacteria in our lives but it is usually on a more negative level. Someone has an ear infection or a throat infection and off to the walk-in clinic for an antibiotic prescription. Let’s turn this thought around and look at what we can do to increase the good bacteria in our body so as to help prevent the bad ones from causing unwanted infections.

These healthy, immune enhancing bugs are known as probiotics! Many of us make sure we are taking a supplement with these probiotics however you can add to that by consuming live cultures in your everyday food. They are essential for your digestive system, immunity, skin and ridding your body of yeast overgrowth.

They help heal your gut lining, and reduce inflammatory bowel issues.

Many of us eat commercial yogurt, however it does not contain enough probiotics so it’s best to add some kefir or make your own yogurt as they have more strains of probiotics and no added sugar.

Something you can do at home is make your own fermented cabbage and vegetables such as sauerkraut. The high organic acids produced supports the growth of good bacteria. Other sources of fermented foods include Kimchi and Kombucha. Do some research on these and start with a couple in your daily lives.

Oral health is improved with these added cultured foods. You can also get probiotic chewing gum at health food stores.

Dr. Lisa McNiven, BSc., RN, ND is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Naturopathic Services, 277A Foord St., Stellarton www.drlisa.ca

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