We are not alone!!
There are more than 100 trillion microorganisms living all over our bodies, including but not limited to our gut, mouth and skin..…ewww!
Actually this is a really great thing, since a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria is vital for everything from proper digestion to balanced blood sugar.
Reduced blood pressure, improved cholesterol, hormone regulation and improvement of skin conditions such as eczema are also linked to our close friend bacterium.
Cold & flu season is just around the corner and we need to boost our immunity
Healthy flora can help with that!
Need to lose a few pounds? Bacteria to the rescue! When those in our large intestine are balanced, they actually help our body to burn off fat.
Lots of us experience stress, anxiety and/or depression – good bacteria help to regulate the inflammation that is associated with all three of these conditions.
There are many more studies being conducted as we speak, including the benefits of probiotics for autism and speedy muscle recovery after endurance training. Stay tuned!
Supplements are the easiest way to get a high concentration of probiotics
Look for those that contain various strains (ie: lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, etc.) and at least 1 billion bacteria per capsule (all this info will be on the packaging.) Good brands include Pearl (which doesn’t require refrigeration, making it easy to take on-the-go).
New Roots also has a quality product called Acidophilus Ultra and Bio-K is another great brand that offers a variety of products. Take the supplements for two to three months, then give your body a break for at least six months (this way we don’t become dependent on supplementation and our body will continue to produce good gut flora on its own.)
There are also a ton of food sources of probiotics
Try these out (your friends will thank you)
- Yogurt (buy plain flavours to avoid added sugars, which feed bad bacteria)
- Kefir (similar to yogurt but contains different and more numerous probiotic strains)
- Miso soup (a traditional Japanese dish)
- Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- Kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage – the Asian form of sauerkraut)
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
- Pickles (yes even the common green pickle has probiotics!)
- Tempeh (a fermented soy bean product with a nutty flavor)