How about taking a glass of sour milk and honey at the start of each day?
Bifidobacteria is a group of good, friendly bacteria which are essential for life and good health and particularly important to the health and proper function of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. One way to increase the Bifidobacteria populations in the intestine is by consuming foods containing prebiotics -- nutrients that stimulate the growth of probiotic Acidophillus and Bifidus bacteria.
Research conducted at Michigan State University has shown that honey, a natural sweetener comprising vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants, contains a number of fermentable carbohydrates including a variety of oligosaccharides that can function as prebiotics and enhance the growth, activity and viability of bifidobacteria in milk, and fermented dairy products such as yoghurts.
Honey is known as a compound made up of fructose sugar molecules linked together in long chains -- fructooligosaccharide (FOS), which can also be found in other plants such as Jerusalem artichoke tubers, onions, leeks, barley, rye, oats. FOS ia also available as a nutritional supplement and the food industry is jumping on the band wagon by adding FOS such as honey to yoghurts, and combining milk and honey to offer healthy products. Benefits of FOS are numerous. They help carry moisture through the digestive system and therefore promoting healthy bowel movements. Growth of the beneficial bacteria encourages the production of short chain fatty acids, lowering pH, inhibiting unhealthy bacteria and detoxifying carcinogens in the diet. FOS also helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels by reducing absorption of carbohydrates and fats into the blood stream, nourishes the cells in the gut which is important for digestive well-being and the prevention of constipation. Improving digestion is key to establishing good health. When in good health, we get rid of wastes and toxins through regular bowel movements and eliminate the build up of unhealthy micro-organisms and internal toxins, providing a strong and intact intestinal barrier to prevent the leaking of undigested food fragments into the blood stream.
As more research studies become available and we learn more about how bacteria affects our health, we will see more and more probiotic and prebiotic products such as milk and honey on the supermarket shelves.
Honey also has a major role to play as a carrier of foods containing relatively high levels of vitamins and minerals, and has been shown to help the body absorb minerals such as calcium. Elderly people have higher risk for fractures from osteoporosis or low bone mass. One of the ways to avoid this is to consume adequate calcium, and make sure that it is absorbed. And researchers at Purdue University has shown in its preliminary findings that honey added to milk could enhance calcium uptake.
Many facial cleansing and skin moisturising products have also included milk and honey as part of their ingredients to claim beauty benefits such skin hydration, smoothness, purification, anti-aging, and revitalization. A warm glass of milk with a teaspoon of honey is also known to be a good remedy for sleeplessness.
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2. A collection of visitors'questions regarding how honey aids in digestion: Honey for Digestion Q&A
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