Make probiotics your new best friend

/ March 5, 2014/ Holistic Nutrition/ 0 comments

What are probiotics?

Probiotic means “for life” and is the name o health-promoting friendly bacteria. The most important are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. In lamest terms, think of them as the good bugs your body actually needs.

NOw, did you know we have nine time as many bacteria in the gastroinstenstinal tract as there are cell in the human body? The type and quantity of bacteria in your gut play an important role in your health. Why? because probiotics help numerous body functions such as:

  • Digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates
  • Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins
  • Keeping bad bacteria under control
  • Preventing allergies

There is growing evidency that toxic compounds produced by bacterial breakdown of food causes degenerative diseases. Gut flora can affect:

  • Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes
  • Common cold, influenza, and pneumonia
  • High cholesterol and hypertension
  • Acne
  • Eczema and atopic dermatitis

The problems start when the normal bacteria becomes parasidic or overgrows and becomes out of balance with the other gut bacteria.

The ideal ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85 percent of good bacteria and 15 percent of bad bacteria which is necessary for:

  • Proper development and function of your immune system
  • Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
  • Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients

What are the benefits?

Here is a list with some of the many known beneficial actions that probiotics perform:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Anti-viral
  • Immunomodulatory (regulates immune function)
  • Anti-infective
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiproliferative
  • Antidepressive
  • Antifungal
  • Cardioprotective
  • Gastroprotective
  • Radio- and chemo protective

Can I get them from diet?

Definitely! fermented foods that are traditionally made such as yogurt and sauerkraut support our digestive health because these foods are rich in naturally beneficial bacteria. The following foods are rich in probiotics:

  • Unpasteurized fermented foods (pasteurization kills the probiotics)
  • Lassi (Indian yoghurt drink)
  • Fermented milk, such as kefir
  • Pickled fermented cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
  • Natto (fermented soy)

If you have been taking antibiotics, you do not eat foods that contain probiotics, or have a deficiency, a probiotic supplement is a must! The supplement must contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

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