Sunday, December 14, 2008


Most people know that there are infectious bacteria that cause disease. However there are also bacteria that line your digestive tract. These good bacteria are extremely important for proper digestion and assimilation of foods. The good bacteria are called probiotics, and they line your digestive tract from your mouth through your large intestine. When they are in balance digestion goes smoothly, but when they are out of balance you can have symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, gas, cramping, bloating, sometimes heartburn, acid indigestion and mouth ulcers. Food sources for probiotics include fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut, yogurt that states on the container “contains active yogurt cultures”, kim chi, homemade buttermilk, Kefir ( a yogurt like drink). You can also get them in capsules from a health food store. Some form of probiotic containing food (or capsules) should be eaten daily to keep the immune system in top condition.

Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

Roughly speaking, the color of the vegetable indicates how high in vitamins it is and the taste indicates the mineral content. We lose some of the vitamin and mineral in the vegetables because of the way we prepare them—usually by heating them in water. Raw, lightly cooking or steaming are the most nutritious ways to prepare vegetables. The more strongly colored vegetables will retain more of their vitamins and minerals. Examples of these include tomatoes, beets, winter squash, pumpkin, corn, collards, kale, dandelion greens, spinach, broccoli, brussle sprouts, avocado, melons, oranges, peaches, cherries berries, apricots, persimmons, plums, mangos, grapes, nectarines. Never use canned vegetables as they have been overheated and have lost their vitamin and mineral content. Frozen or fresh vegetables and fruit are the best.

VITAMIN D, the Sunshine Vitamin

Our bodies make vitamin D from sunlight, but as the days grow shorter, the rays of the sun become less direct and vitamin D production drops. Researchers have discovered that there are vitamin D receptor sites in almost all our organs as well as the brain, and that we need a lot more of vitamin D to maintain good health than was originally thought. Vitamin D is necessary for cells to communicate. It helps cells recognize “self” from “enemy”. There are cancer watch dog cells in your body which can sense and stop cell growth from becoming cancerous. Without enough vitamin D these cells can’t do their job. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to 17 different cancers. Also, no matter how much calcium you take in, unless you have enough vitamin D you can’t make strong bones. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to joint and bone pain and to osteoporosis.

Without enough vitamin D these cells can’t do their job. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to 17 different cancers as well as diabetes, irritable bowel and autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D has also been found to activate a natural antibiotic in our bodies, making our immune system much stronger. There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the best absorbed of the two, and you need at least 2000iu every day from Fall to late Spring. In the summer, if you are out in the sun without sunscreen long enough to color slightly, you don’t need to take any extra vitamin D that day.


Vitamin D: You need at least 2000iu every day from Fall to late Spring.