Have you ever just woken up wanting to feel better, healthier and stronger?
Do you worry about coming head to head with digestive issues, mental health illness and neurological disorders, and wonder if they are truly preventable?
There are so many prescriptions we can be given and almost too many home remedies that so many people will try, but what if all along we could keep our bodies clean and in the best possible shape, simply by what we are putting into our digestive system.
Ever heard of probiotics?
Probiotics are actually a type of bacteria that sit in our digestive tracts and digest our food to help us to absorb the nutrients that our bodies need to fight infection. So really, they are very important! When people think bacteria, they think this is because of bad hygiene or lack of cleanliness, but there are in fact good bacteria’s inside of all of us!
When we look at the facts it is not surprising that we can support our bodily health, by taking in probiotics, as 80% of our immune system actually sits in the digestive tract. If we aren’t giving our immune system healthy bacteria, then we can’t expect it to fight disease for us.
There are thousands of types of bacteria in our bodies that are really important for our health, immune system, for healthy digestion and to give us great skin. In addition to this, the probiotics that we take in can heal mental health illness, and neurological disorders. Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion on probiotic supplementation.
Types of probiotics
Lactobacillus – This could be considered the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods.
Bifidobacterium – You can also find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.
So how does it work?
Your gut needs both good and bad bacteria, like everything else in life, there must be balance.
Digestive researchers have suggested that 85% good bacteria ratio to 15% bad bacteria will not create an imbalance; to allow bad bacteria’s to take over. There is a name for when this imbalance occurs and it is called Dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is when the bad bacteria will start to affect your body in a negative way. This can be bought back into balance by eating high-probiotic foods or taking supplements.
Supplements can vary from brand to brand and by strain. The strain of the supplements can mean that the probiotics may be able to help with specific or a variety of health concerns.
A lot of supplements can be broken down and destroyed by stomach acid before they even reach your gut. Probiotics can also die in high temperatures; therefore it is best to know where you are buying them from to ensure the manufacturing process has been completed with care.
Leading probiotic brands according to www.labdoor.com are as follows:
Advice on Probiotic Supplements
As noted previously, it is important to know what you are buying and where from when it comes to probiotics. Below are some quick tips on what to check before you hand over your cash.
- Brand quality – check that the manufacturer and company are reputable and are available to contact should you have any queries or need information on their products.
- Research strains for your own well-being – Check the brand that you are buying, and that they accommodate what you need the probiotic supplements for.
- Strain variation – Look for a brand that has 10 to 30 different strains.
We must be aware of probiotic killers
We need to be careful not to kill off these important bacteria’s, and this can be done by avoiding some foods, drinks or medications such as tap water, sugar, grains, GMO foods and prescription medications. These products can contain chemicals that we should try to avoid. In addition we should be aware of environmental and physiological factors such as emotional stress that can also be murderous for our healthy bacteria.
We are exposed to many toxins in our day-to-day lives that can decrease digestive function which means we cannot absorb the nutrients. Without these nutrients, inflammation can be triggered which can cause illness and disease.
Failure to protect our probiotics, our micro-organisms can become imbalanced and this can lead to bad bacteria breeding, such as yeasts or fungi’s.
Foods high in probiotics
You should consider introducing, if you haven’t already, high-probiotic foods into your diet. This will kick start the health benefits mentioned earlier.
Examples of foods high in probiotics are:
- Sauerkraut – Fermented cabbage, popular in Germany.
- Kefir – Fermented dairy product, popular in Russia and Turkey.
- Miso – Made into soup with fermented soybeans, rice and barley. Popular in Japan.
Probiotics in fermented foods
Just the sound of fermented foods is enough to put anyone off, considering these foods have used microorganisms to be preserved. But in fact, it has been doctor approved that fermented foods can give more probiotic bacteria than the supplements themselves. This is because the process of the fermentation makes the nutrients of the foods more bio-available. Bio-availability is when the nutrient that enters the body moves into the circulation to give an active and positive effect on the body.
For hundreds of years, many cultures have fermented their foods and it is not until we compare against the modern day refrigerator, we see that we miss out on a lot of vital probiotics as fermentation is longer strictly necessary or voluntarily performed in the common household, to keep food edible.
The probiotics in fermented foods also kill off bad bacteria preventing it from causing illness, disease or inflammation.
Benefits and side effects of probiotics
There are up to 20 benefits of probiotics and what they do for us in our bodies.
Just some of these benefits are:
- Boosting immune system
- Improve digestive function
- Heal bowel conditions such as IBS
- Reduce flu and colds
- Treat kidney stones
- Manage autism
- Fight bacteria that cause ulcers
By using probiotics we can reduce the chance of chronic illness and neurological disease invading our bodies. This would prevent the use of prescribed medications, which are probiotic killers themselves, and could also save unnecessary burden on our health system.
However nothing good comes free, therefore there can be side effects to consuming probiotics. Side effects can include diarrhoea, if too many probiotics are taken too fast.
Healthy GUT… Healthy BRAIN
Many people with health concerns do not realize that their issue stems from their gut. Health issues such as joint pain, fatigue and even autism can be caused by what is in your gut. A study in 2011 showed that participants that consumed probiotic products every day, for breakfast, for 30 days, showed a decrease in stress and anxiety.
After all, we are what we digest – as your digestive health affects the physiological system in the body.
If you’re going to lead a healthy lifestyle, you must consider consuming high probiotics foods.