Most people do not realize how valuable Probiotics are for preventing several different health conditions. Many physicians believe that you can get enough beneficial flora from food and do not understand the value of taking a probiotic daily.
The second I feel anything coming on a sniffle, irritated throat, nausea, change in stool I automatically double or triple my probiotic usage to fight whatever foreign invader is trying to creep in. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and normally colonize in the intestinal tract, they have incredible benefits for digestion, increasing the production of essential B vitamins, as well as acetic and lactic acids. As a result, probiotics prevent harmful bacteria and yeast from inhabiting the colon.
Not only do probiotics improve digestion, but they are also crucial for your overall health and even in preventing illness. Probiotics have been shown to boost the immune function and increase your defenses against infections, including urinary tract infections and candida. They also help regulate estrogen levels within the body.
The average American usually over consumes alcohol and sugar along with a high fat diet. These food choices, and any use of antibiotics, can reduce the number of beneficial probiotics in your system and predispose your body to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi. Pathogenic organisms like Candida often flourish in this environment.
I have worked with numerous clients that have been given antibiotics to treat such common conditions as bronchitis and sinusitis and consequently have developed Candida. This happens because antibiotics kill all the good bacteria – then it is a never-ending cycle! Luckily, studies have found that taking probiotics immediately following a course of antibiotics can prevent up to 50% of candida infections. Candida loves to set up camp in the sinuses, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract and will continue to create infections in this area until it is stomped out for good.
Everybody knows that eating a healthy, balanced diet is important. But getting the most out of your diet depends on the health of your digestive tract. For that, you need a chorus of bacteria and fungi that live harmoniously inside your colon. You’ve got nearly four pounds of those live microorganisms inside you right now, friendly as well as pathogenic (disease causing) ones. Together, they’re known as the intestinal flora.
In the past we use to think that the intestinal bacteria were relevant only when dealing with digestive problems such as diarrhea. Today, we know that if your gut’s microbial balance of power shifts and the “bad guys” take over, the result is likely to include diseases unrelated to diarrhea, including eczema, respiratory allergies, kidney stones, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, liver disease, hormonal imbalances and type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, diseases caused by an intestinal flora upset can be vastly improved or even reversed by restoring bacterial balance. Using probiotics is the best way to restore that balance and begin repair of the gut microbiome.
Probiotic’s come in different blends for different treatment plan’s, they can actually be targeted to address different issues. It is always best to rotate your probiotics for good variety and diversity.
Along with probiotic treatment you must work on improving gut integrity through diet and supplementation the following suggestions can help get you started:
- Eat Cultured foods– whenever possible, include fermented foods in your diet such as:
- Organic yogurt and kefir
- Cultured Soy like tempeh and tamari
- Cultured vegetables such as kimchi, dilly beans, raw sauerkraut
- Fermented tea products called kombucha
- Eat mostly vegetarian that is centered around whole grains, vegetables and fruits
- Avoid refined carbohydrates
- Avoid saturated fats and refined sugars
- Get your B’s and C’s – B vitamins particularly Vitamin B1, Folic acid and pantothenic acid every day, along with mineral buffered vitamin C creates an environment that helps friendly bacteria survive and thrive in your intestines.
- Take probiotic supplement of at least 10 billion live bacteria daily. Studies show that many probiotics on the market are not as useful as they could be. Not only do these products barely survive processing and shelf time but they also don’t survive the digestive juices that break them down. That is why it is so important to choose a high quality probiotic supplement that is manufactured to withstand environmental factors but also the acidic nature of the digestive track. Always purchase from a provider that is using studied products
- Add in prebiotics though your diet – Friendly bacteria ferment prebiotics into substances that stimulate the growth of more of the good guys and also boost their survival. The most familiar prebiotics are fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), oligo fructose, and inulin. Prebiotics are abundant in certain foods such as chicory, onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus and bananas, they are also available in supplement form usually powder that can be mixed in smoothies. When pre and probiotics are taken together, the result is a powerful synergistic effect that makes friendly bacteria tougher and longer lived.It is very important to always be on pre and probiotics to live in health and wellness. Start shifting your thoughts to prevention, be proactive and do what you can to keep your immune system healthy.
Your gut is 80% of your immune system this is where it all starts
Cindy Crandell RN, CN, Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Web MD probiotics- What are probiotics? Benefits?
Susan Lark – Womens Wellness