If you are one of the 95 million Americans belching, popping Rolaids, and constantly scouting out the nearest restroom, you more than likely have found the latest buzz about probiotics alleviating these problems intriguing. You are probably thinking, “How in the world can eating bugs help my stomach?” I mean, normally going out and munching on a few ants and beetles isn’t the way you’d think to settle your digestive woes. But if they were chocolate covered ants, you’d consider it, wouldn’t you? Come on, fess up, you’d eat just about anything if someone doused it in chocolate. Well, thanks to research from Ghent University in Belgium, eating chocolate-covered bugs may not be such an outlandish idea. Widespread research shows that consuming probiotics is essential for keeping a balance in the body between good bacteria and bad bacteria, and raw chocolate has been discovered to be the most efficient delivery system for those good bacteria.
It’s no secret that digestive problems are common. Television advertising is constantly reminding us of the latest remedy for heartburn, IBS, constipation, and other ailments. But even if we take these drugs for temporary relief, we need to keep in mind that the solution to the problem is getting the body back in proper working order. If you keep up with health news at all, you know that it has been proven time after time that what we put into our bodies has a direct result as to how it works. A few years ago, we found out that adding yogurt to our daily diet made an improvement in digestion and elimination. People noticed some improvement in everything from heartburn to chronic yeast infections. This is why the doctor recommends, or should, that you eat lots of yogurt when you are taking antibiotics. Coupled with the calcium in the yogurt, a side effect was many women noticed weight loss when adding a carton of yogurt to their diet every day. I was among that group. I added something to my daily intake and slowly began to notice my waistbands getting looser. And about a year later, I started eating healthy chocolate every day and noticed it getting looser, faster, but that’s another story.
But even with the benefits that were noticed, the amount of probiotics that actually survived the stomach acids to reach the large intestine are minute in comparison to what we really need to achieve a balance in our systems We have to give our bodies the tools it needs to protect itself from all the toxic things we expose it to on a daily basis. Face it, although we like to think healthy, we still don’t always practice what we preach. I do a lot of things healthier for myself than I did a few years ago, and I like to think I’m improving myself daily with small adjustments. But if there’s cake in the room, I’m eating some of it. So, we need lots of good bugs to get rid of the bad bugs (a.k.a. sugars, refined carbs, unhealthy fats, chemicals, and other toxins from processed foods). And research has shown that when probiotics are encapsulated in raw dark chocolate, the chocolate acts as a natural protectant. Therefore, 3–5 times more of the beneficial bacteria reach the large intestine where they can grow and do their job. Their job is to sort out the good stuff from the bad stuff, send the good stuff to the bloodstream and send the rest packing.
I always enjoy my daily yogurt. My diet philosophy is not about taking away things, but about adding healthy things. I’ve discovered that with each healthy thing I add, one or two unhealthy things become less appealing. Adding healthy chocolate squares with over a billion probiotic organisms—not to mention 2,200 mg of flavonoids—is just one of the latest healthy things I’ve done for my body. Probiotics are present in all types of foods, and prebiotic fiber is also important in the way the probitics work. However you choose to add them to your nutritional plan, make sure you are getting a plentiful daily dose. You will find your tummy is happier. And when the tummy’s happy, the whole body is happier.