Who knew that yogurt could be good for your health? Well, it certainly can! Yogurt can be good for your digestive system and it can boost your immune system. It’s a good source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that help keep the population of harmful bacteria in your digestive system in check. Look for high-fiber, low-sugar, full-fat varieties and add fresh fruit to your morning yogurt for a delicious healthy breakfast. Yoghurt beverages can contain up to 80% probiotic bacteria which are great for the digestive system.
Eating lots of fiber is good for your digestion and it helps your body to release waste regularly. One type of fiber that you might not have considered too much is called soluble fiber. That means it can slip through the digestive tract easily. Experts recommend eating at least five to six servings of fiber a day, especially foods rich in soluble fiber like whole grains and fruits. High-fiber foods include: beans, peas, apples, pears, oatmeal, bran and barley.
The typical American diet is heavy in processed foods like fast food, packaged cereals and potatoes. You may not have thought about it, but processed foods can be just as bad or even worse for your health as foods that are higher in fat. Processed fat is called trans fat. It’s found in fried foods, ready-made meals and snacks, like margarine. Just remember to read the labels on these items because they may be disguised as “high-fiber” or “low-fat” foods.
Healthy bacteria in the gut is important for proper intestinal function. Some beans, such as kidney beans, chickpeas and garbanzo beans, contain natural good bacteria. In fact, good bacteria are an important part of your body’s normal ecosystem. However, there are some things you should avoid with beans, such as refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and colors, added sugar and salt. If you’re going to eat beans, opt for the lower-sodium type and choose green, leafy vegetables instead of boiled or roasted legumes. Instead of adding meat to your bean recipe, try a bean marinade instead.
For those on a meat-and-potatoes diet, your best bet would be lean proteins, such as fish, tofu, ground beef and chicken. However, if you need lots of carbohydrates in your diet, you can include breaded or broiled vegetables, and some healthy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa and grain bread. Eating a balance of these healthy carbohydrates along with lean protein will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. As you get started with your new diet, keep in mind that you will probably need to add some foods to your diet that aren’t good for you, such as dairy products. You may also want to keep track of which carbohydrates are good for you and keep a daily food diary so that you can monitor your progress.
Although it’s tempting to include meat in your diet, fat is not the enemy. To find the balance between good bacteria and bad, make sure you choose the meats and fat that are organic and free of any chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. Fat is very difficult for the body to digest, especially in the belly area, so make sure you trim your waistline while on the diet. You can use flaxseed oil, which helps increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive system. It also increases your energy level, which is what you want to look for in any diet plan. Using pre-packaged yogurt with probiotics is a great way to get the most out of any probiotic supplement that you take on the go.