What's the big deal about probiotics?

There has been a lot of talk about probiotics lately, which is the bacteria in our gut that contributes heavily to our health and wellness. Our gut has been described as our "second brain" because it’s the second largest part of our neurological system and about 80% of our entire immune system is located in our digestive tract. 

That means what we directly put into our stomachs affects our overall wellness.  With our busy lifestyles, it’s not easy to eat clean EVERY single time.  Digestive health affects every physiological system in our body, and that is why adding probiotics daily can amp your wellness in all areas. 

You may have heard of the term neurotransmitter serotonin. Gut bacteria creates 95% of this neurotransmitter.  Majority of our brain cells are influenced by serotonin, including brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory, learning and temperature regulation.  More than 40 diseases have been linked to bacterial imbalance, including depression, arthritis, IBS, and cancer. 

There are a lot of probiotics killers that we ingest every day: chlorinated and fluoridated water, non-organic meat and dairy that contain antibiotic residue, stress, GMO foods, sugar, antibiotics and other medications. If your digestive health is not restored, your imbalance gut can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, yeast, virus, fungi, and parasites. 

The best way to fix this is to minimize the foods that feed bad bacteria and to start consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements.

If those weren’t reasons enough, here are few more. 

Immunity:

One of the main functions gut bacteria is to stimulate immune response.  In a study of students, those who were given probiotics displayed increased production from lymphocytes - a marker of immune response.

I can personally attest to this. This winter I started taking probiotics consistently, and have been able stay sniffle free.

Flat Tummy: 

Researchers at Stanford University found that obese people had different gut bacteria than people that fell under the normal weight range.  This was the first indication that gut flora plays a role in weight.  In a another study, women who were postpartum that added a probiotic capsule, experienced reduced waist circumference.

Keeps the flower healthy:
(I once had a 80 year old client call it that and it was adorable)

Your mom might have told you to eat yogurt when when you have a yeast infection or an UTI.  That is due to its probiotic properties. (Although with the amount of sugar in commercial yogurt, I don’t recommend it.) Studies have shown that L. acidophilius can help prevent vaginal infections and manage an already active one. 

Probiotics also play a big role in maternal health since pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginal infections.  “Bacterial vaginosis has been indicated as a contributing factor to pre-term labor, making probiotics a potential boon for fetal health.”

No More Allergy Attacks:

One large study found that women taking probiotics during pregnancy had a 30% reduction in the instance of childhood eczema (an early sign of allergies) in their infants.  “Researchers selected women who had a history of seasonal allergies -- or whose partners had histories of allergies. The infants who received probiotics in-vitro also had 50 percent higher levels of tissue inflammation, which is thought to trigger the immune system and reduce allergy incidence.”

So where can you get the best quality probiotics?

Kimchi

Miso

Sauerkraut

Kombucha Tea

Kefir

Capsule (I use Health Force Ultimate Probiotic) 

Notice yogurt is not on the list.  Commercial yogurts have too much sugar for it to be truly be beneficial.  

Be good to your gut and your gut will be good to you. 

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