When someone mentions probiotics most people immediately think of yoghurt or those inner-health plus adds with a bunch of blueberry looking characters bouncing around the TV screen, but not many people actually understand the purpose or up-most importance of probiotics in our diet and the incredible healing properties they possess.
So before I get into probiotics and their magic we need to understand the environment in which they live; The gut!
The human gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 Trillion) microorganisms. To put that into perspective there is 10 times more bacteria in the gut than there are cells in the body, and over 400 different species of bacteria.
Some of these bacteria are bad and some are good; when the gut is flourishing with healthy 'good' bacteria it promotes healthy gastrointestinal function, protects us from disease and infection, comprises more than 75% of our immune system and regulates our metabolism.
However, unfortunately our modern lifestyle consisting of highly processed and sugary foods, toxins from processed wheat and seed oils as well as alcohol, antibiotics and birth control pills directly contributes to the excessive growth of the unhealthy 'bad' bacteria. This unhealthy imbalance in gut flora has been linked to depression, candida, auto-immune diseases, autism and increased risk of disease and infection.
So do I have you convinced probiotics should be your new best friend!? I hope so!
Anyhoo, let's move onto how you can get these healthy little bacteria friends into your gut so they can work their healing magic!
Before you go stuffing your face with all good bacteria, you need to consider what else your putting down the hatch, so to speak, and by that I mean what your consuming that could be feeding the bad bacteria. First thing, is to limit or even eliminate processed foods, alcohol and refined sugars from your diet, this isn't just going to help your gut, this will transform your life! From your sleep, to your skin, to your mood and quality of life. I'll be blunt and just go out and say it, if you really want to be healthy then there is no place for processed foods and alcohol in your diet on a regular basis. Sorry to be the party pooper, but there really isn't.
Once we have sorted out the unhealthy contributions we can focus on stocking up on the good, and I don't know about you but just thinking about feeding my body with health, life and vitality again get's me pretty excited!
There are many ways in which you can get probiotics but not all probiotics are created equal so how do we know what to look out for?
Well, there are probiotic supplements which may be the 'convenient' way but not necessarily the best. This is because the FDA regulates probiotics like food and not medicine meaning these companies don't actually have to prove that they work to sell them on the shelves of your local pharmacy. This is why we recommend incorporating foods rich with probiotics into your diet instead.
Some of these foods include:
- Real Greek Yoghurt.
- Sauerkraut or Kim Chi.
- Miso Soup.
If you are ever unsure about where to find some of these foods, the internet is packed full of great tips and recipes on how to make your own! The taste of some of these foods can be a little different and may take a little getting used to if you are not used to eating them but with a little persistence you'll really grow to enjoy having them in your diet.
Well, that was the case for me anyway, but everyone is different!
I found after consuming these foods and limiting the amount of toxic foods I ate I could incredibly improve my health, my moods and overall quality of life. It fought off some fatigue I was struggling with for a while like a champ because my immune system was back fighting strong and not consistently overworked and run-down.
So do yourself the favor of showing your immune system a little TLC by making friends with bacteria again (the good bacteria of course). After all it's working overtime to take care of you, it's about time you started taking of it too.