After publishing Bacteria is Your Friend, I decided that, that post could only suffice as an ice breaker to an important topic near and dear to my heart, and health. So, I’ve decided to make a series out of it! I’ve been anxious to write about this subject since I finished up my probiotics/prebiotics class last semester at Uconn. This class changed my life and opened my eyes, to what I now believe is the secret to good health, PROBIOTICS. In this series I want to discuss the importance of these “bugs,” but more along the lines of their nutritional and holistic importance. I also want to enlighten my readers on a subject they probably know little about, seeing as how probiotics are microscopic and receive far less credit than they deserve. Food companies, doctors, and the media touch little on the importance of probiotics, so… Tricks giving them the publicity they deserve!
Probiotics; what are they?
In simple terms, probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) that live in our bodies, primarily in our gut, that confer a health benefit to the host. The host meaning, you, me, your dog, your grandmother, basically any living creatures body contains these microorganisms! Like I stated in Bacteria is Your Friend, many people think bacteria is generally bad, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Did you know, we are made up of 2-5 pounds of these friendly microorganisms? Stewart Brand says it best when he states, “If you don’t like bacteria, you’re on the wrong planet.”
What do they do for us?
- Keep our immune system strong
- Prevent infections and other illness’s
- Help with digestion, regularity, and motility
- Reduce bloating, gas, stomach gurgling
- Reduce diarrhea, especially antibiotic associated diarrhea
- Could aid in weight loss
- Improve hair, skin, nails, etc.
- Reduce if not eliminate seasonal allergies, colds, and even food allergies
- Improve oral health
- Improve overall mood
- Help decrease stress and increase happiness
- Speed up the healing of external wounds
- Have positive effects on damaged organs in the body
- Improve brain health
- Could help prevent cancer
- Could aid in the recovery of cancer
- Overall health!
Many folks associate probiotics with digestive health, but most of us don’t know how essential probiotics are for overall health. Those of us who don’t spend our days consumed about wellness, in most cases, fail to see the whole picture of what health really is and how you attain it. You see, everything is related in the body, mind, and soul. Its not just about one thing working well, its about everything working well together. Think of probiotics in this same way. Probiotics won’t just solve your constipation; it will also help with your mood, your hair growth, not catching the flu from your friend, etc, etc.
Now that you have a brief understanding about what probiotics are and how they greatly contribute to your health; I hope you’re as excited as I am about this new series! This is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen!