The journey of a thousand miles, begins with just one chew…From the moment we place food in our mouths, our digestive system works to provide our body with the nutrients necessary for life. Firstly, our teeth break the food into easier to swallow particles, saliva works to moisten food and kick off the start of the digestive process. Once swallowed, our food travels down the oesophagus into the stomach. The stomach churns and mixes our foods with acids and enzymes that help to break down carbohydrates (like fruits, vegetables, bread and noodles), as well as beginning the breakdown of fats and proteins (such as those found in dairy and meats). Foods are then propelled into the small intestine, where bile stored in the gall bladder is released to help the body to break down fats. At the same time, extra enzymes are secreted from the pancreas that help the body break proteins down into their building blocks, small particles known as amino acids. Finally, following digestion by enzymes and acids; vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients are absorbed by the body and transported via the blood stream to their target organs or tissues.
The importance of healthy gut flora - probioticsOnce most nutrients are absorbed by the body, any food that cannot be broken down or used, travels into the bowel to be fermented and excreted. During the fermentation some final nutrients are absorbed into the body (like vitamin B12, Iron and Folate), while waste products are prepared for removal from the body. In order for this process to occur effectively and without issue, probiotic bacteria are extremely important.
Probiotics are good bacteria that help the body to absorb and produce key nutrientsA healthy gut contains millions upon millions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria work by creating a healthy and balanced environment in the digestive tract while supporting the digestion of food and crowding out bad bacteria. Beneficial bacteria can be destroyed as a result of a number of differing conditions in the body. Whether due to inflammation, unhealthy foods in your diet destroying bacteria, or by the simple fact that you are taking bacteria-killing antibiotics, probiotics are beneficial for health for a number of reasons. The strength of a probiotic supplement is defined by two clear factors:
- What is the total probiotic count (i.e. is there a total of 10 billion, 25 billion or 50 billion colony forming units in the product).
- How many differing strains are present in the product (as the more diverse the strains in the product, the more benefits experienced).