As a dietitian, I get many questions about cleanses and whether or not cleanses are healthy. In my professional opinion, cleanses are unnecessary to "clean out" the body. Our bodies are pretty impressive and they have systems in place to help get rid of unnecessary substances. The biggest issue with cleanses is they often rid the body of healthy bacteria, which decreases our defense systems. The key words of "prebiotic" and "probiotic" play a huge role in the health of our digestive system.
Probiotics are live bacteria that live in the GI tract and protect against the growth of harmful bacteria. Probiotics come from fermented food items. Good sources of probiotics are yogurt, cheese, kefir, raw apple cider vinegar and other fermented items like saurkraut and kimchi. Including these items in your regular diet will provide your body with plenty of the healthy bacteria it needs.
Now, all good things need fuel and food. Probiotics feast on prebiotics. Prebiotic foods provide fiber that the good bacteria (probiotics) can feed on. Good sources of prebiotics include asparagus, bananas, mushrooms, oats and almonds.
A healthy balance of pre and probiotics can help keep our digestive systems happy and healthy.
Happy Friday! And here's to a weekend of fun celebrations!