Probiotics benefits begin in the gut. There are actually 10 times more probiotics in the gut than cells in the body. Digestive tracts are critical to health because 80% of the entire immune system is located in the digestive tract. The secret to restoring the digestive health is all about balancing out the good and bad bacteria in the gut. So, if you are going to be healthy, you must consider consuming probiotics rich foods or supplements daily.
Historically, we had plenty of probiotics in our diets from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting our food to keep them from spoiling. However, because of refrigeration and bad agricultural practices, our foods contain little or no probiotics today. Probiotics killers includes: prescription antibiotics, sugar, grains, emotional stress, chemicals, tap water etc.
There are several kinds of probiotics, and their health benefits are determined by the job they do in the gut. They include:
1. Lactobacillus - there are more than 50 species of lactobacilli. They are naturally found in the genital, digestive and urinary system. Food that are fermented like yoghurt contain these bacteria. Some of the lactobacilli found in foods and supplements are Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. gasseri, L. planetarium etc.
2. Bifidobacteria - there are approximately 30 species of these bacteria. They make up most of the healthy bacteria in the colon and appear in intestinal tract within days of birth especially in breastfed infants. Some of these bacteria are Bifidobacterium bifidum, B. longum, B. infantis etc.
3. Saccharomyces boulardii - it is the only yeast probiotic.
4. Streptococcus thermophiles - this produces large quantities of the enzyme, lactase, making it effective in the prevention of lactase intolerance.
Benefits of probiotics
1. Improves digestion.
2. Reduces cold and flu.
3. Fights Helicobacter pylori in ulcer patients.
4. Gives better breath as it helps to destroy candida.
5. Increases energy from the production vitamin B12.
6. Enhances immune function.
7. Heals leaky gut syndrome.
8. Battles cancer.
9. Helps in weight loss management.
10. Makes skin healthier as it treats eczema and psoriasis.
11. They also treat common conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infectious and antibiotic-related diarrhea, urinary and vaginal health diseases etc.How do you get more probiotics in your system?
1. Consume more probiotic-rich foods e.g. yoghurt, goat milk, cheese, ginger, onions, garlic etc.
2. Eat more sour foods e.g. Apple Cider Vinegar. They contain certain type of acids like acetic acids, healthy acids that create a certain type of PH in the body that support the growth of probiotic in the system. One tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar can be added to drink twice daily.
3. Feed the probiotics in your system- probiotics need fuel to live in your body as they are living organisms. They need good soil like fermentable fiber to survive. Consuming high quality fiber in your diet can cause probiotics increase in your body i.e. soluble fiber e.g. chia seeds, flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, organic fruits and vegetables.
4. Take a quality probiotic supplement.Take care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that resides there. Maintaining a healthy gut goes way beyond just taking a probiotic supplement. What you do from day to day is just as important since all sorts of lifestyle factors have shown to affect your gut bacteria.