Well, I suppose they are trending right now, but they are much more than that. Probiotics are imperative for optimum health! They help us to maintain balanced gut bacteria, which is of EXTREME important for digestive, immune, respiratory, mental, and physical health. So, no… they aren’t just a trend. They are here to stay!
Before I explain to you what these microscopic helpers are all about, let’s talk about their arch nemesis:Antibiotics.You know this word, ehh? I bet you’ve been on them a few times, at least, am I right? But what are they? Well, I’m so glad you asked! They are super powerful medicines that erradicate bacterial infections, and really all your gut bacteria in general… including the good kind! If used properly, antibioticscansave lives, but they are vastly over prescribed beginning in early childhood (and don’t forget how much is in our food supply), which is leading to a huge deficiency in all the good bacteria that we need for digestive, immune, and even mental health! This surge in antibiotics has contributed greatly to our need for more probiotics, in order to begin to replace which has been lost.
Probioticsare the beneficial live microorganisms that are found naturally in our bodies, and also in certain foods and supplements. They are known as the “good bacteria” that keep your gut working in proper order. Balanced gut bacteria is directly necessary for healthy digestive function, but also has profound impact on your immune system and mental/behavioral health. Studies have shown that taking daily probiotics can be extremely effective for the treatment of a wide variety illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, bipolar disorder, autism, candida, ADHD, and so much more. They will even help with less severe issues like acne and bloating. Oh, and did I mention they can help you lose weight?!? Another important part of this whole gut health equation isprebiotics, which are essentially what feeds the probiotics and encourages them to grow and function fully. These can be found naturally in many vegetables, especially cruciferous ones like cabbage, broccoli, and kale. They can also be found in celery, asparagus, garlic, and even in whole grains!
Having plenty both of these things is of utmost importance for your health. You will be pleasantly surprised with how much a simple probiotic can do for you! Gut health is vastly more important than we give it credit for. Check out these statistics on the importance of overall gut health:
The standard American diet consists of virtually no probiotic foods, which is a huge problem, especially in light of our excessive use of antibiotics. Our ancestors from many different cultures have used probiotic foods for thousands of years. These fermented foods include saurkraut, sourdough bread, soy sauce, kimchi, miso, pickles, tempeh, yogurt, cheese, and so much more. Fermentation was used in the past as a method preservation, but as it turns out, there was so much more to it!
*Please note that the shelf-stable versions of these foods now available in most stores are not truly beneficial and do not contain live probiotics, but instead contain harmful chemical preservatives. Because of this, it is important to buy these foods from the fresh/refrigerated section from a trusted source and/or make your own.
Check out this link for great fermented food recipes!
Now, you can also choose to take your probiotics in isolated/extracted form (capsule or liquid), or you can combine modalities and do both, which is what I do. The capsules can be found in the refrigerated area of the vitamin section in most grocery stores. To avoid any potential for “bad brands,” I recommend purchasing these from a trusted local health food store.
Probiotics for kids? YES! You will be so glad you did. It’s super important, in my opinion, especially if they have ever been on antibiotics or eat commercial meat. Since having my daughter on probiotics, her mood, behavior, appetite, and overall health has drastically improved.
Now, go buy some for the whole family… you’ll be so glad you did!
Source: New feed