"The New Year is a time when many take a fresh look at their lives, an inventory of past action and inaction and choose areas where they wish to make a change, presumably for the better," says Michael Shahani, Director of Operations of Nebraska Cultures - one of the first manufacturers to offer probiotic ingredients to the natural products industry. "Starting with a review of your personal health regimen is always a great way to begin. People are much more savvy these days when it comes to the importance of diet and exercise to one’s health, but there’s still much misinformation out there."
To ensure you're armed with knowledge, he offers up these tips:
DETOX SAFELY Whether it's via fasting or colonics, de-junking your insides can also inadvertently purge much-needed nutrients. To ensure you're not losing the good with the bad, Shahani advises following your detox with an appropriate course of nutritionally-stable probiotics.
NO FAD DIETING There is only one healthy way to shed extra body fat: use up more calories than you take in and eat a clean and healthy diet; together they rev up your metabolism and increase your energy. However, you didn't gain the weight in a day and it will take more than a day to lose it - meaning no fad dieting. "Drastic diets can harm your body and digestive tract, depleting your body of essential nutrients," warns Shahani. "By keeping a well-balanced and realistic diet, the frustrations of weight loss (including the digestive issues that fad diets promote) will slowly but surely disappear for good - along with the pounds!"
SLOW & STEADY Losing weight too quickly will send your body into panic mode. By losing slowly at a pace it can "understand", you will do yourself a world of good - including decreasing your cholesterol an average of three points for every two pounds you lose.
NURTURE YOUR INNER GARDEN The key to vibrant health - everything from your weight to your complexion - starts with your gut flora. However, a single course of antibiotics can disrupt the internal balance for up to two years! To replenish and rebalance, be sure to add probiotics - like L. acidophilus DDS1 - to your daily vitamin regimen (and if you shun the sun, be sure you're supplementing with enough Vitamin D). "It's hard to feel your best when you're not conditioning your inside as well," notes Shahani. "Digestive roadblocks can cause unwanted side effects like feeling constipated or bloated if you’re not eating enough of the right foods to produce healthy bacteria. Supplementing with probiotics can aid any exercise routine helping you to feel just as strong as you look."
KEEP YOUR PROBIOTICS ON ICE The best tools only work effectively if they're cared for properly - which includes your probiotics. "Keep them cool and dry so they will be alive when they get into your body. For best results and for long-term storage, most probiotics need to be kept refrigerated."
MAKE IT ABOUT YOUR OVERALL WELLBEING "Caring for your health is not only a smart move for your body, but also for your well-being," adds Shahani. "By eating right, staying active, and taking your probiotics regularly, you're giving your body the care and attention it deserves, plus a little extra love!"
- Lesley Scott
(image of gut flora: source)