The gut is where 80% of the immune system of the body is located. It’s effectiveness is largely dependent on which microorganisms are in control. Cultured food can help to tip the balance in favor of beneficial bacteria.
Stools are mostly water, but the dry matter of a normal stool is close to 50% bacteria. Bacteria feed on soluble and insoluble fiber, producing the B complex of vitamins.
In former days, before our modern methods of food storage, many foods were cultured to help with preservation. This resulted in a constant replenishing of beneficial bacteria into the gut.
Today most Americans consume very few cultured foods.
To make matters worse, certain medicines, including antibiotics, antidepressants and narcotics, destroy the good bacteria in the gut. This gives yeast the opportunity to multiply out of control. Hello yeast infections.
To make matters worse, the habitual use of stimulant laxatives, which can damage the digestive tract. We now have a society filled with chronic constipation.
Beneficial bacteria feed on fiber that can't otherwise be digested. This is the main reason why some fiber is needed in the diet. These bacteria increase the porosity of the stool. They help to soften the stool and make it easier to pass.
Years back I purchased probiotic capsules, which my wife and I took every day. But then I was introduced to homemade Kombucha tea, Milk Kefir and cultured vegetables. These three together are great probiotics for constipation relief.
My wife battled yeast infections for years. This is what finally convinced me that we needed to start taking a probiotic.
So first the probiotic capsules, then in 2010 we started making our own Kombucha Tea and Milk Kefir.
And it works! About 3 years after we started making our own probiotics, I asked my wife when was the last time she had a yeast infection. She couldn't remember the last time.
Amazingly, it has now been 6 years since we started taking our homemade Milk Kefir and Kombucha Tea, and the yeast infections have never come back.
Here are a couple of videos I did that tell how to make Milk Kefir and Kombucha Tea.
Back in 2005 we started taking a mineral supplement high in magnesium, and we haven't had a constipation problem since.
So I can’t tell you from personal experience that probiotics helped our constipation. But I know they do help. Good gut flora plays an important role in proper bowel function and good bowel movements. They can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, plus even help with weight loss.
Want to make kefir but you are lactose intolerant? Find a good source of raw, unpasteurized milk. It contains the enzymes needed to digest the milk.
Pasteurized milk does not. But that’s another subject.
Foods definitely do affect our bowels and how they function.
Here’s an important side note. All our lives we learn how to control our bowels, so that when an urge comes when it isn't convenient, we can wait till later. This waiting means that the colon will extract more water from the stool, making it harder and more compacted.
The tip: Learn to give priority to your bowels. When you feel a gentle urge to go, do it right then. This is an important tip for helping foods for constipation do their thing.