Health Report: Chronic Intestinal Distress 9/18/13

- It hits tens of millions of people right in the gut, literally! Chronic Intestinal Distress, like irritable bowel syndrome, can make life miserable.
But one doctor says food, instead of pharmaceuticals, could help tame your tummy.
Lou Baxter has more in tonight's Health News.

Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, integrative medicine physician, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing says: "The intestines are not a sewage system. They're a garden, and we need to be good gardeners."

Integrative medicine physician Gregory Plotnikoff says what happens in your stomach can impact your entire body.

Dr. Plotnikoff, "Gut health is the foundation for all health. Our gut bacteria regulate our mood, our energy, our immune system, even our metabolism."

Bad gut bacteria leads to … Dr. Plotnikoff, "…gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. The things that no one wants to talk about."

A gut full of good bacteria, called pro-biotics, can help prevent those problems.
The doctor says they're like seeds in your gut garden that flourish with the help of pre-biotics - a special form of dietary fiber.

Dr. Plotnikoff, "These are like miracle-gro for our internal garden. I prescribe foods that are actually going to support the friendly bacteria in our gut."

He says cultured products, like tofu and yogurt, are great for your gut and so are fermented foods like sauerkraut is really healthy for us.

Kimchi, miso, kefir and kombucha, are a few other fermented foods that stimulate growth of good bacteria. Asparagus, artichokes and carrots are packed with pre-biotics.

Dr. Plotnikoff, "Apples and oranges as well, very good."

Plotnikoff believes these foods are a low-cost, side-effect free, alternative to medications for gut problems.

Dr. Plotnikoff, "Don't take my word for it. Trust your gut."

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