Sunday, March 13, 2016

Maintaining Digestive Health

Roberta Balon
Roberta Balon (Androscoggin Valley Hospital) spoke on digestive health at the latest To Your Health presentation, “Is Your Tummy Talking to You?” The large group in attendance learned that the health of your digestive system is affected by what you eat, the medications you take, and your level of stress, all of which can change the balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. If you are having digestive issues, chances are this balance is off.

You can increase the presence of good bacteria in the digestive tract by eating foods that contain probiotics (friendly bacteria and yeasts) such as milk, sauerkraut and live-culture yogurt. Prebiotics are foods that form good bacteria when they are broken down. These are plant-based foods rich in fiber such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Eating a diet rich in probiotic and prebiotic foods is essential to good digestive health.

Taking an antibiotic medication may be necessary, but it can negatively impact the bacterial balance in the gut. Taking a probiotic supplement can prevent this – take the probiotic for twice as long as you take the antibiotic.

How about eating gluten-free? The gluten-free diet is on everyone's radar, but for most of us it provides no benefit. There are three groups of people who should avoid gluten: those with Celiac disease, those who are allergic to wheat, and those who have a gluten sensitivity. Otherwise save your money!

The next To Your Health presentation, “Move It or Lose It!” will take place on Thursday, April 7 from 4:30-6:30 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college