What Are Probiotics And Do They Really Work?
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics meaning “for life” in Greek, are friendly bacteria that help your body to thrive. Studies have shown that they are, in fact, an integral part of your well-being, positively influencing your immune system and helpful in lowering blood pressure.
Not having the proper balance of good-to-bad bacteria can wreak havoc throughout the body.
Probiotic bacteria appear to affect gene activity and cellular reactions in the human intestine. They also help your body to better digest and assimilate your food. Drinking a probiotic-rich beverage, or taking a capsule supplement each day, will go a long way to assuring your intestinal and overall health.
Can You Get Probiotics from Foods?
Long before the invention of the probiotic supplement, ancient cultures were benefiting from probiotics with the use of cultured, or fermented foods. So yes you can absolutely get natural healthy bacteria from cultured foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and some cheeses provided they are not pasteurized. Natto a fermented food is also another good source. Let’s also not forget raw milk which you can convert to kefir and is quite easy to make.
- One half packet of kefir start granules in a quart of raw milk, leave at room temperature overnight. Then store in your refrigerator. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir.
- Lassi, a pre-dinner yogurt drink. This traditional practice is anchored on the principle of using sour milk as a probiotic delivery system to the body
- Raw yogurt, sauerkraut, and buttermilk
- Pickled fermentation’s of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots.
What Benefits do Probiotics Provide?
Friendly bacteria have a powerful effect on your intestinal tract’s immune system and your systemic immune system, offering broad-spectrum protection throughout the body and supporting your overall health.
Probiotics perform a wide variety of functions. One of which is to help normalize your weight and as protection against a host of chronic illnesses including allergies, as well as supporting intestinal function and improving both diarrhea and constipation.
Microorganisms present in your gut, can also affect how well you age. Taking probiotics will increase your beneficial flora which will in turn support your body in fighting off illness. Insulin resistance and significant reductions in blood sugar concentrations in diabetics were also noticed by the use of probiotics.
Here are a few additional ways probiotics can assist your health
- general healing- fighting off illnesses
- reduced risk of allergies
- healthy gut flora-wards off infections
- helps to control blood pressure
- metabolic syndrome patients
- optimal brain function
- relieves anxiety
- skin conditions
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and colon cancer
Reseed your Intestinal Tract with Good Bacteria
One of the highest concentrations of chemical detection and signaling molecules are contained in the intestinal tract. Imbalance in gut bacteria often affects other areas of the body outside of the intestines and in time, the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria activates many of these detectors.
They then can trigger the development of disease in different areas of the body.
To reverse these influences that trigger the development of chronic disease, and restore the balance of our intestinal flora, the use of fermented foods and probiotics are a must.
Sickness is not normal
Through the overuse of antibiotics (both as medicine and in our food supply) as well as the use of other medicines, we have damaged the system that is in place to protect us, our microbiome! Specifically this can include poor nutrient absorption, digestion, and immune function. So nowadays even if you are eating some fermented food, it’s still a good idea to supplement with Probiotics.
Probiotic supplements are available everywhere, but choosing a specific brand, one that will actually be beneficial for you can sometimes be daunting. If you are not familiar with what to look for in a high-quality product please click here to see my review, where I will show you the most effective ones I have been using for years. If there is one supplement you should be taking it is Probiotics!
PS: I hope you enjoyed this article- If you have any questions or want to leave your own personal comments, join the conversation below, I want to hear your thoughts on Probiotics!
For more on Probiotics and my product recommendations click here
To your best health,
– photos courtesy of wiki commons