Updated: Aug 7
Recently, I received a request from someone looking for information on probiotics, vitamins and minerals. This posting is dedicated to those supplements. PROBIOTICS Have you heard the latest trend of incorporating probiotics in your daily diet? Well, this is not really a trend; it just seems like one because everyone is talking about it now. Probiotics have been around for as long as we have been alive and are necessary for a healthy diet and digestive system. Some of you might be saying, “What are probiotics?” It’s actually the opposite of an antibiotic. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, known as the “good” bacteria, which are needed for a healthy digestive tract. They are found in our body naturally and in some foods we eat. Some of the foods they can be found in are yogurt, and….wait for it….chocolate! Who knew?! I like yogurt, and I like chocolate – win-win situation for me! Not so fast on the chocolate, though. It’s the dark chocolate with a high cocoa content that provides the benefits, and you still have to watch your caloric and sugar intake! You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s no fun.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, you probably won’t find probiotics in Snicker’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Hershey’s Almond Milk Chocolate bars or Almond Joy…I think I’ll stop right here! Did you notice that every chocolate bar I mentioned has either nuts or peanut butter in it? This is why I try not to get caught up in Halloween! Ok, I digress back on the topic. Probiotics are useful to your system in keeping bad bacteria under control keeping you from getting sick from infection because of a compromised immune system. When you are sick and you need to take an antibiotic, the antibiotic doesn’t discriminate and just get rid of the bad bacteria. It will get rid of ALL bacteria. Probiotics put the “good” bacteria back into the body. I’m not going to get into the technical scientific names for these bacteria, but just know that you can get them from the foods I mentioned as well as others. You can also get them in pill form. As with everything that I write about that pertains to diet and exercise, I ALWAYS SUGGEST talking with your doctor before you introduce anything new to your diet and exercise routine just to be on the safe side. Some people complain about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal problems, which can have a terrible impact on your digestive system like diarrhea, bloating, gas, and pain. With a proper balance of probiotics, it’s possible to minimize the effects of these diseases or rid yourself from some or all of these digestive problems completely. VITAMINS Many of us take vitamin supplements as a way of making sure that we are getting enough vitamins in our system daily just in case we don’t get enough of the daily recommended vitamins in the foods we eat. The recommended amounts of daily vitamin consumption can be found in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Some vitamins stay in your system if you accumulate too much (and that’s not always good if you have taken over the recommended daily amount). The vitamins that stay in your system are called fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are excreted in your urine if you take too much. Too much of the fat-soluble vitamins can be dangerous to your liver so you must not take more than the recommended daily amount either in supplements or your food sources. Examples of fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Water-soluble vitamins are B and C. It was discovered that many older adults have to take vitamin D supplements because we don’t have enough in your daily diets. Also, because vitamin D can come from our exposure to the sun, we don’t get enough that way because many of us don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, either. MINERALS Some of us also have to take calcium supplements as we get older because of the possibility of the bone condition osteoporosis. One thing that I found out from my doctor’s visits is that vitamin D and calcium should be taken together for proper absorption in the body, and you probably noticed that many brands combine both vitamin D and calcium in one tablet. In addition to calcium, there are other major minerals that your body needs every day. Those minerals are: chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur. These minerals help to maintain the proper balance of water in the body. Other minerals, known as trace minerals, are also needed and they include: chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. All of the minerals mentioned carry out specific and necessary tasks in the body. In addition to vitamins, minerals and probiotics, the body needs proteins, carbohydrates and fats to function normally, too. I hope this information is helpful to you. I invite you to write comments on this subject by leaving a reply below. I love sharing with you what I have learned along the way in my journey to great health and wellness! Thank you for reading my blog!
Live, laugh, love, and pray.
God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,
Antoinette Shar’ron Johnson
“Empowering, inspiring, motivating, and uplifting your mind, body, and soul!”
Sources: Webmd.com, MedicineNet.com and Helpguide.org