Benefits of Taking Probiotics

March 30, 2014

Probiotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. They are available in supplements and foods. The idea of taking live bacteria or yeast may seem strange at first.

 

The digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria. They help keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. Experts say that 70% to 80% of our immune systems are located in the gut, so a healthy gastrointestinal tract is important not just for our digestive systems but for our overall health.That is where probiotics can come into play. These live microorganisms, known as "good bacteria" may improve and maintain the health of your gut and therefore your health. 

 

It's important to realize that your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to lifestyle- and environmental factors, such as: Sugar / fructose, Refined grains, Processed foods, Chlorinated and fluoridated water, Antibacterial soaps etc, Agricultural chemicals and pesticides, Pollution, Antibiotics (including antibiotics given to livestock for food production)

 

All of these factors throw your gut flora out of balance.How can you tell whether your health is already starting to suffer from a lack of healthy bacteria in your digestive system? The following symptoms are all signs that unhealthy bacteria have taken over too much real estate in your gut, and that you probably need to add some healthy probiotics to your diet: Gas and bloating, Constipation or diarrhea, Fatigue, Nausea, Headaches, Sugar cravings, and cravings for refined carb foods

 

Probiotics may come in the form of tablets, powders, drinks, or in some fortified foods.

 

Probiotic rich foods:

Lassi ( Indian yogurt drink)

Plain unflavored yogurt

Kefir

Sauerkraut

Miso

Pickles

Tempeh

Kimchi

Kombucha tea

 

Just make sure to steer clear of pasteurized versions, as pasteurization will destroy many of the naturally occurring probiotics. For example, most of the "probiotic" yogurts you find in every grocery store these days are NOT good choices. Since they're pasteurized, they will be associated with all of the problems of pasteurized milk products instead. They also typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, or artificial sweeteners; all of which will only worsen your health.

 

If you do not enjoy the taste of fermented foods, then taking a probiotic supplement is definitely advised.

 

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