What Is Gut Health And Why Are Probiotics Important? (Part One)
Probiotics have been highlighted on virtually all media in little snippets on how they can help you with X, Y, and Z! While the research on probiotics is still in its infancy, what has emerged is so important to our overall health and wellness.
Our health shop online carries countless brands and potentcies of probiotics to support you! If you’ve just begun your probiotic quest, navigate the topic with us as we break down its foundations!
Gut trouble? Explore the vast and incredible world of beneficial bugs — probiotics!
Why Try A Probiotic?
Before we even get into what probiotics are, let’s address why you would even want to take a probiotic in the first place. It’s true that you can get probiotics naturally through some fermented foods and beverages such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and pickles. To reap the therapeutic benefits of probiotics, it’s important to take them in a much higher potency, however eating them on a daily basis is great for maintenance!
You may benefit from a probiotic if you experience the following:
- Poor oral health
- Weight issues (overweight/obese)
- Loose stools
- Poor gut health
If you could stand to address any of these issues, a probiotic could give you the much needed and often missing support.
Now, that we know how probiotics are extremely helpful, let’s examine what they are.
Probiotics are beneficial bugs!
This Is What A Probiotic Is…
- Microscopic bugs
- Good bacteria
- Some yeasts
They live in a flourishing ecosystem within your gut that assist your body in many functions, namely immune support and nutrient absorption. These critters make up the same number, if not more, cells in your body, so it’s no wonder they’ve received scientific curiosity — we’re more alien than human!
When probiotics congregate they are often referred to as your microbiome, and when intact, this system help balance health and wellness in your entire body. Think of the health issues that may stem from an unbalanced microbiome including joint pain, chronic fatigue, and inflammation, and how traditional medicine rarely sees this as the first line of treatment! According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, more than 60 to 70 million Americans each year suffer from digestive issues, equaling over $100 billion dollars!
Money may be saved with probiotics!
Probiotics And Immune Health
Did you know up to 70 or 80 percent of our immune system is in our gut? The gastrointestinal tract is the largest surface internally, so it has to be able to defend its large territory, thus a majority of the immune system residing here.
Research is beginning to understand the impact a healthy gut is to our immune health and some medical professionals have begun treating patients in this way. By first addressing what’s going on in the gut (which includes healthy eating patterns) they can better treat the symptoms of the issue.
When the microbiome is disrupted and taken over by harmful bacteria, illness and other health issues may occur.
We are all born with a microbiome.
An infant largely gets its first exposure to probiotics from a vaginal delivery and through breastfeeding. If these are not an option, there are companies that make infant probiotics that gently support and colonize beneficial bacteria in your baby.
It’s also important that they get exposure to all kinds of bugs, to help them build the good ones and fight the bad one. Too often these days children are exposed to a hyper-sterile environment and this results in poor immunity and a healthy microbiome in children.
At one point in time, we were getting enough probiotics from our food system, but with the inception of modern medicine and antibiotics, refrigeration, and poor agricultural practices (removing and stripping the foods of their natural probiotics for sanitation) all the good bugs were lost.
Among the most widely researched probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, however there are many different strains and potencies (how many good bugs are in the probiotic) available.
We’ve only begun examining the fascinating world of probiotics, so stay tuned for part two!