You can Encourage the function of your inner eco-system


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Balance is the ideal that we strive to achieve. Balancing work, our social life, time for reflection, exercise, the time to give back, and more, is not an easy task. Balance is also crucial in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system which plays an integral role in our overall health, say advisors in this field. More and more research is finding that our digestive health affects more than we had originally thought, such as weight maintenance, skin care, and even mental health.

In order to function properly, the digestive system requires a delicate balance of a diverse concoction of acids, bases, enzymes and microbes. This might sound complicated but the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has outlined some simple tips to help you achieve balance in your ‘inner ecosystem.’

“Canadians are falling short when it comes to getting the recommended dietary intake of fibre,” says Helen Long, the president of CHFA. “It is recommended that women consume 21-28 grams of fibre per day, and men should aim for 30-38 grams per day, depending on age.”

Fibre keeps you regular, lowers cholesterol and controls blood sugar levels. It is also essential for massaging the interior of our digestive tract and feeding good gut bacteria. Fibre-rich foods include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts and seeds. There are also a number of fibre supplements available at your local health food store.

Another key player in our digestive health is the collection of trillions of bacteria that set up shop in our large intestine. These living organisms feed primarily on undigested fibres, starches and carbohydrates, and play an essential role in our overall health, including liberating or creating essential nutrients, building natural barriers to keep toxins from being absorbed into the body, and stimulating a strong immune system.

Adding a probiotic supplement to your regime can help support a healthy balance of good bacteria. We can also find probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or tempeh. The fermentation process in these foods can actually liberate nutrients normally trapped in chemical bonds. This helps us to access and absorb more of the healthful nutrients in our food, including phytonutrients, some amino acids, B-vitamins and some minerals like zinc and magnesium.

Empower your digestive health with fibre-rich whole foods and healthy fermented foods, and consider adding a probiotic to your health regime. Speak with your health care practitioner to find the right balance for your needs.

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Category: food, FOOD & DRINK, HEALTH & BEAUTY, Other