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Probiotics and Organic


Why Organic?
Once the preserve of eccentrics and health fanatics, organic food is fast becoming part of our everyday shopping. Every major supermarket now stocks an ever-increasing range of fresh and prepared organic foods and there is fierce competition between them to capture the consumer.
Specialist organic outlets that only sell organic produce are becoming more and more popular and the rise in the use of the Internet is also playing a big part in bringing organic produce to your front door. There are a wider variety of organic products available now than ever before; particularly fruit and vegetables but also including products such as pasta, spreads, yoghurts, bread, meat and fish.

People are becoming concerned about the quality of the food they eat. Organic food is produced under strict guidelines avoiding the use of artificial chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers. Over the last fifteen years or so concerns over food safety, animal welfare, and the environment have all hit the headlines, leading more and more of us to turn to organic food.
We tend to think of all bacteria as bad, so it can be surprising to realise that bacteria can also be good for us. Our intestines, for example, are populated with both good and bad bacteria, that usually exist in harmony with each other, maintaining a healthy balance in your body.
The good bacteria are called probiotics – from the Greek word meaning "for life". And scientists have discovered that probiotics can do much more than keep your insides healthy and functioning, they can also help to stimulate the immune system, strengthening our defenses against harmful organisms.
Balance between good and bad bacteria
But the balance between good and bad bacteria can be easily upset. Stress, eating badly or drinking too much alcohol, tiredness or illness, can all affect the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to problems like constipation, diarrhoea, stomach upsets and viral infections. Even some prescribed medicines such as antibiotics can cause problems, as they destroy good bacteria in the gut, as well as the infection for which they are prescribed. Travellers abroad are also prone to stomach upsets and diarrhoea, with babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly being particularly vulnerable. Taking a probiotic supplement regularly for about three weeks after completion of a course of antibiotics, or before travelling abroad may help reduce the severity of stomach upsets, or even stop them happening,
A Healthy Balance
Try to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut by eating foods containing probiotics, like yoghurts and readily available probiotic supplements, which encourage the growth of "friendly" bacteria in your body by crowding out harmful bacteria and maintaining the acidic environment needed to control them.
You can also stimulate the growth of probiotics in your gut by eating other foods rich in some types of dietary fibre such as inulin that are known as prebiotics. These are found in foods such as artichokes, onions, asparagus, tomatoes and bananas. These combined with a healthy balanced diet, can help to restore the balance of your digestive system and contribute to your general good health and well-being.

Even if you are fit and healthy, there’s no harm in taking probiotic foods and supplements, and they are worth taking to just maintain the natural balance of your digestive system. They can be taken by the whole family, except babies under the age of 6 months, and that includes vegetarians and pregnant women, even diabetics, depending on the fat and sugar content of the product. Make sure you take them on a regular basis,as they don’t remain in your system for long, and it’s usually better to take them with food, to be most effective. How much depends on the particular product, and they usually take about three days to work. There is no limit to the amount you can eat, but as with any food you should eat it in moderation with a healthy, balanced diet.
Useful Tips: Is it better for me?
Organic production focuses on creating healthy soil, which benefits the plant grown in the ground. As a result, organic food has been shown in many studies to contain more vitamins, nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants than non-organic food.

Organic farming concentrates on working with natural systems.