Probiotics– do we need them and why?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, that play a key role in our immunity, hormone balance and emotional health. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep our gut healthy.

Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements.  They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups.

Lactobacillus- the most common probiotic, which could be find in yogurt and other fermented food as kombucha, miso and kefir.

Bifidobacterium- lactic acid bacteria, which can be find in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese.

Why do we need a probiotic suplements?

There are several reasons. Our busy schedules and western diets, full of refined sugars, artificial colors and flours, trans fats, hormones, pesticides and antibiotics- give bad flora an advantage in our fight for health.

When we lose “good” bacteria in our body, for example after we take antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them. They can help balance our “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep our body working the way it should.

Symptoms showing that we need probiotic:

* Yeast infection such as thrush, vaginitis, cold sores and rashes.

*Diarrhoea or  constipation

*Headaches, migraines, joint or muscle pain and cramps

*Bloating

*Depression, fatigue

How do “bad” bacteria affect our health?

Bad bacteria are detrimental to us, usually producing toxic chemicals in our bodies. Some of these chemicals can cause inflammation resulting in pain, bloating and damages of the muscles of the bowel as resulting in constipation.

How do “good” bacteria affect our health?

They keep the levels of bad bacteria to a minimum when in high numbers. Also can recycle hormones including estrogen, thyroid hormones and dietary estrogen’s promoting hormone balance helping to offset PMS and menopause symptoms.

Good bacteria digest fibre that our digestive enzymes are unable to attack. As a result  of that  they produce vitamins and minerals that we absorb, such as B12, K1, K2 biotin and folate. All of these micro nutrients are involved in energy production, bone and artery health and nerve function.

How do we maintain a high numbers of “good” bacteria?

  • eat lots of vegetables, beans and fruit.
  • eat fermented foods as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha
  • avoid artificial sweeteners and simple sugars
  • eat whole grains
  • eat a plant-based diet
  • take a probiotic suplement
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