Probiotics are a beneficial type of bacteria commonly found in the gut where they aid in digestion and immune health. One of the many benefits of taking probiotics is boosting the immune system and an overall healthy gut. In a study performed by the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, it was shown that people who took probiotic supplements or included probiotic-rich foods and maintained the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet) had maintained or lowered their blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, controlling the blood sugar must be done in conjunction with controlling the cholesterol and blood pressure.
Another benefit of probiotics is protection against respiratory and intestinal diseases by strengthening the intestinal barrier and overall improved immune health. And certain strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. Casei have been shown to improve glucose tolerance. Taking probiotics alone cannot clean up an unhealthy gut, so try eating a cleaner and healthier diet which should reduce common problems such as inflammation, gas and bloating.
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is also helpful since it is a healthier dietary lifestyle. This diet concentrates on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthier fats (low saturated fats) while limiting total fat and sugar intake. It includes 6 to 8 servings of vegetables, 4 to 6 servings of fruits, 2 to 3 servings of dairy (low fat forms), swapping out fatty meats in favor of lean poultry or fish, and no more than 5 servings or less per week of sugar type foods. Eliminate sugar type drinks and drink more water. Another aspect of the DASH Diet is low sodium intake. When eating out, you can ask for a low sodium option and/or switch from chips and fried foods to a choice of a side of fruit or another vegetable.
In addition to helping blood pressure, this diet also helps control diabetes. It actually helps in 2 ways by lowering sugar intake and by reducing weight. The DASH Diet is part of creating a healthier lifestyle change which can lead to smarter, healthier choices in your future. Adding more physical exercise also helps maintain your healthy weight and can normalize blood flow throughout your body. This simple change could also help you sleep better at night by cutting out all the heavy foods and sugars which metabolize during the night and keep you awake. Remember that these changes do not happen overnight but will pay off later. Do not stress out if you happen to slip up every now and then. Just get back on track. Never feel like you are punishing yourself or your body by replacing your fatty, sugary meals with a healthier choice, but instead celebrate your personal goals and achievements.