What are probiotics?
Have you ever wondered, gotten grossed out, or been in awe by the fact that yogurt and other food groups contain “friendly” bacteria. The thought of eating something made from bacteria or live cultures just seems odd. But in reality, our body already carries good and bad bacteria. We need as much of these helpful micro-organisms as possible to keep the bad bacteria in check. These microorganisms are called probiotics. Long before Chobani took over the modern yogurt empire, ancient humans in Greece and India highly valued the benefits of fermented food items like yogurt and the impact it had on our body. Today, there are many studies and probiotic food trends in the market to prove its added value. It’s now added in virtually everything. Probiotics are basically sneaky little fairies that make sure your body functions at an optimum level.
Food vs. Pill vs. Which one?
Probiotics can be found in food items such as pickles, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, yogurt and so much more. One can choose from consuming these food items rich in the happy bacteria or taking supplements. Probiotic supplements are specially formulated to be more potent with different types of strains. There are many different brands that carry a variety of strains of bacteria usually measured in CFUs, also known as colony-forming units. Since specific strains affect our body differently, it is best to choose a supplement that has many strains that target different functions. Although studies have been inconclusive on how and which particular strains affect each part of gut, it is safe to say that eating healthy makes the helpful bacteria in your stomach flourish to create health benefits so increasing them by supplement daily can only add to the probability of restoring your health. With daily use you can expect to see results in two weeks!
Probiotics are your body’s allies as they help produce vitamins, absorb nutrients, and get rid of toxins. Triple whammy! One of the most well-known benefits of probiotics is that it aids in proper digestion, which is a huge contributing factors to many illness. Gut health is connected to our brain and primary immune defense so it’s super important to increase good bacteria strains in order to keep the body in balance. Studies have linked neurological disorders such as depression and autism, low immunity, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and other chronic conditions due to imbalance of optimally functioning gut.
Did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract? We often think maintaining good immunity is balanced through vitamins and healthy food, but our gut health is actually the MVP when it comes to making sure our defenses are up. Our stomach is lined with lymph nodes that communicate inflammation to the immune system to attack viruses and bad bacteria. When there are false alarms of threatening inflammation, the immune response creates other illness such as chronic infections, allergies, and flu. This also occurs when we take antibiotics and the good bacteria in our body are also killed as a result. This is why it is really important to take probiotics to make sure your diet replenishes the good bacteria in your gut.
Allergies are caused by overreactions or misguided information by the immune system to allergens. It’s a case of crossed signals because allergens like pollen, dust, soy, and wheat aren’t necessarily bad, but our immunity signal backfires to these substances to create allergies.Why is this happening? Part of the contributing factor is altering our food with too much sterilization, excessively clean hygiene, vaccinations, and use of antibiotics or antifungals that completely wipe out our antibodies. These conundrums can be stopped and maintained when we take probiotics to keep our immunity in check.
If you’re a woman, you’re more likely aware of the commonly known strain of bacteria acidophilus due to yeast infections. When the acidophilus population goes low, scary things can happen. Ladies and fellas alike can suffer from yeast infections, but it is way more common for women and dare we say traumatizing. Over the counter drugs can be painful and useless for recurring yeast infections forcing women to resort to crazy measures to knock them out. We have heard of everything from making promises to sweet baby jesus to shoving yogurt up your hoo-ha. But, there is an easier way! Keep your happy bacteria population in check by either taking a supplement of just acidophilus, or a multi-strain probiotic.
When you make the connection to the gut and chain reactions it causes above, you can clearly see how the imbalance creates major haywire reactions in our bodies. Everything is connected and like the eternal world, our body has its own ecosystem balanced by the good vs. evil bacteria. So give it the boost it needs and make sure your gut is healthy enough so you can follow its feelings straight to healthy town.
The Half Hippies
Prescript Assist: Broad Spectrum Probiotics & Prebiotics
GreenMed Info: Probiotics & Mitochrondria
Body Ecology: How Probiotics Can Help You Prevent and Fight Allergies