What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living bacterial micro-organisms that have positive implications on the microbiome. Every living being has an ecosystem of bacteria in their body, and most of these living bacteria reside in the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are necessary for human health, and their functions range from promoting digestion, to fighting off infection and harmful microorganisms. In this article, we will be discussing the main benefits of probiotics, and will also be sharing tips that can help you keep your microbiome healthy.
The Benefits of Probiotics
1. Digestive Health
Probiotics support the GI system by minimizing bloating, constipation, and improving overall stomach and digestive health. Probiotic supplementation has been shown to be very beneficial in the reduction of acid reflux, ulcerative colitis, IBS and more.
2. Immune Support
When there are more good bacteria in the body than bad bacteria, the immune system is stronger and better at fighting off pathogens. Probiotics help support the immune system and when a person has plenty of good probiotics, their odds of getting sick are greatly reduced. Taking probiotics as a preventative measure year round, and doubling up on dosage at the onset of illness can support the immune system in a major way.
3. Cognitive Function
Probiotics help promote good brain health by reducing inflammation and promoting mental wellbeing. Because there is a direct correlation between the health of the gastrointestinal tract and the brains health, a healthy GI tract influences the health of the brain. This connection is made via the central nervous system, and the connections are transmitted thought the vagus nerve. Probiotic supplementation has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of ADD and ADHD, along with more severe cognitive disorders, such as severe depression, dementia and even autism related conditions.
How to Daily Incorporate Probiotics
1. Supplement With a Probiotic
One of the best ways to support your microbiome is to take a high quality probiotic. Look for a freeze dried probiotic that contains several different strains of bacteria and no harmful fillers or artificial ingredients. Because the soil of today contains less healthy bacteria than ever before, and most people have taken antibiotics during their lifetime, which can be harmful to the microbiome. Because of these two factors, probiotic supplementation can be especially beneficial.
2. Eat Probiotic Rich Foods
Food like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, yogurt, miso and kombucha are all rich in probiotics and supply the body with beneficial bacteria. Most of these foods are not as commonly consumed in America as they are in other countries, but incorporating these into your diet can improve digestion and promote overall health.
3. Consume Plenty of Pre-biotics
Pre-biotics are high fiber foods that act as food for probiotics. Bananas, onions, asparagus, apples, raspberries, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, barley, cabbage and garlic are just some of the many probiotics rich foods. Adding in both probiotics and pre-biotics to your diet can help improve your immunity and maintain a healthy microbiome all year long.