93 percent of Americans Link Digestive Health to Overall Well-Being

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A new survey commissioned by The Dannon Company found that the majority of Americans understand the importance of digestive health and its link to overall well-being. While 93 percent of Americans agree that digestive health is closely linked to overall health and wellbeing, some may not always know the simple steps to help keep their digestive system on track.

“It is encouraging to see that Americans understand the importance of digestive wellbeing, however, many still don’t know how to maintain a healthy digestive system especially during the holidays when we tend to indulge,” said Dr. Miguel Freitas, Director of Health Affairs at Dannon “This is why we’ve teamed up with nationally recognized registered dietitian Keri Glassman to help bridge the gap in knowledge on how Americans can help support their digestive system and overall wellbeing.”The annual benchmarking survey also showed that more than half (68 percent) of respondents believe that certain probiotics – live microorganisms which when consumed in adequate amounts confer a benefit on the host – help regulate the digestive system, yet one-third of Americans agree that they don’t get enough probiotics in their average daily diets, along with other important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

Keri Glassman, founder and president of Nutritious Life and author of the forthcoming book The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever, has been a vocal advocate for digestive wellbeing. “I am thrilled to be partnering with Dannon this year to educate Americans about the simple steps they can take to maintain a well-balanced digestive system,” said Glassman. “The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many people; luckily there are easy steps one can take to improve their digestive health, including foods like certain probiotic yogurts.”

Yogurt can be a particularly good source of probiotics as the milk components in yogurt may help buffer the stomach acids and may help increase the chance that the probiotics will survive passage through the digestive system. It also can deliver important nutrients and minerals, like protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Glassman recommends some simple steps one can make this holiday season to improve their digestive wellbeing, include:

  • Have a “Happy Hour” snack! Before heading out to a holiday party, enjoy a nutrient-dense snack about a half hour before you go. Snacks like low-fat or non-fat yogurt can offer probiotics, protein, and Vitamin D plus, it’s convenient and easy to eat on the run.
  • Incorporate healthy bacteria into your diet. Seek out products with specific benefits, such as certain yogurts containing probiotics, which can help to regulate the digestive system. Factors such as stress, lack of sleep, antibiotics, illness, aging, and poor diet choices can often lead to an imbalance of your digestive tract bacteria.
  • Work from the inside. The digestive system is where vitamins, nutrients and minerals are absorbed, so it’s important to take good care of it. Eat a variety of produce, stay hydrated and add probiotics (found in foods like certain yogurts) to your diet for your digestive health and overall wellbeing.
  • Hydration, hydration, hydration: After overindulging, it is absolutely crucial to keep your body full of fluids. Water is one of those essential elements for a healthy digestive system. Adequate hydration gives your digestive system the proper moisture it needs to properly function.
  • Stay Active: Exercise can help create a healthy digestive environment by allowing food to move through the large intestine much quicker, which also decreases the amount of water lost in the stool. Intestinal muscles that contract during exercise also contribute to more efficient movement of stools.

To learn more about the benefits of probiotics and yogurt, consult with your healthcare provider or nutritionist.