DO YOU HAVE THAT GUT FEELING?
Should we be afraid of bacteria? These living organisms outnumber every living cell in our bodies by a 10 to 1 ratio. Not only that, these same bacteria can account for as much as 7lbs of our total body weight. Wow! As humans, we have a tendency to focus on the negative (that is what is easiest to recall). Many of them are ‘famous’ such as; E.coli, H. pylori and Salmonella. But, did you know that Cholera, The Black Plague and Anthrax are also bacteria? All of these are very well known bacteria, but, they are well known because they cause issues and are harmful to humans (and animals).
How often do we recognize the good bacteria within our own bodies? Have you ever heard of Acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus, maybe even L. Plantarum? All are good bacterias or probiotics. Considering that bacteria far outnumber regular cells within the body, you can’t afford to forget about them when it comes to your health. This is true for all of us; those young and old, sick and healthy. Every single person has bacteria in their body.
So, what are these probiotics that everyone talks about and what can they do for our health? Well, they traditionally would be found in our system. The human body is designed to have good gut flora. We, absolutely require these bacteria to live abundantly.
When you think of good bacteria that will benefit your health, the primary thought comes to mind is the immune system. Probiotics are an excellent resource for keeping a healthy and efficient immune system. These amazingly powerful good bacteria can improve and empower your natural immunity in multiple ways. First understanding that all bacteria require the same ‘food source’ be it carbohydrates, fats or proteins. Negative pathogens cannot survive if there is no food to supply their needs.
Keeping a healthy balance of the good bacteria then prevents these other microbes from gaining a foothold within your body. Second, in the bacterial world, it’s all about ‘survival of the fittest’. If you have incredibly powerful probiotics inside your gut, they will not only keep this area strong and well protected, they will fight for the territory.
This is especially true for those probiotics that are proteolytic (meaning they digest or eat proteins). Third, it’s been widely speculated that in special regions of the bowel called ‘Peyer’s Patches’ that probiotics set up ‘schools’. Allowing your good bacteria to help teach your lymphocytes (white blood cells) all about the bad pathogens they can encounter. That means that probiotics help to promote preventative immunity as well!
This all leads to the foundation for not just immediate health, but long-lasting health. Which is what everyone desires. You want to feel good right now and today. But, more than that you will want to feel great tomorrow, and the next day. You want vibrant health a year from now, five years and so on. By giving your body a healthy, regular dose of beneficial gut flora your set the standard for your overall health. With a strong base of probiotics and natural gut flor, you give your body the absolute best ‘army’ for defences that can simultaneously launch an ‘attack’ when it encounters pathogens. It’s important to always look enduring results when it comes to your health. Concentrate not on what will help you right now, but what is going to sustain you long term.
Whilst these probiotics are improving your immune system by doing what comes naturally to them something else happens. Something amazing! A product that is produced by while these bacteria eat away all the bad stuff they come in contact with is vitamins. Probiotics, your healthy gut flora, will naturally generate vitamins. Those essential nutrients that the body must have to achieve and maintain the perfect balance of wellness. These include vitamin K (helps with bones, kidneys and blood clotting), Vitamin A (helps with eyesight, bone growth and plays a role in the formation of white blood cells) and many if not all the B vitamins (Niacin/B3, Folic Acid, B6 and B12). Probiotics are also well known for their involvement in the synthesis of vitamin B12, which is one of the hardest vitamins to attain. As well many B vitamins are known for their positive effect on moods and mental conditions. In other words, they are the brain-boosting, feel good and happy vitamins–and probiotics generate these – amazing!
Photo and video provided by NPR – http://www.npr.org
Now we know that these influential gut flora help our immune system, create critical nutrients, but, do they do anything else? Absolutely; beneficial flora is necessary to maintain balanced hormones. These can range from cholesterol(a precursor to steroid hormones), insulin, estrogen and oestrogen. The results have not been limited to just those. Many have reported results from adding in probiotics to improve other areas such as; improved skin (reduction in acne), lactose intolerance, improved calcium absorption, irritability, anxiety, obesity, Crohn’s Disease, constipation or diarrhea, colitis, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gas, polyps, diverticulitis and more. With more and more research coming forward linking good healthy flora to numerous advantages the question becomes why have we as a society become so afraid of bacteria?
We need to promote the good bacteria that are in our bodies and do our best to help them thrive. A great and simple way to do this is through prebiotics and fermented food. A prebiotic is something that can be found in foods that is indigestible to a human, but, is pure food for bacteria. These prebiotic nutrients can be found in garlic, chicory root, jicama, onion and asparagus just to name a few. Fermented foods are specific foods that have been allowed to ‘ferment’ (allowing yeast or bacteria to culture on food). Many people shy away from these foods, but many of them are extremely common. So much so that you may not recognize them. Beer and wine are both produced from fermentation (although alcohol is not the healthiest option). There are a vast number of fermented products you can buy at a grocery store or make yourself, such as; cheese, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, pickles and kefir. Many of these like kombucha has been shown to have significant health-promoting properties. Making these fermented and prebiotic foods excellent for your gut.
In an ideal situation, there would be naturally occurring bacteria on the foods that you would eat. That freshly picked garden carrot would be full of not only life-giving enzymes but life-sustaining bacteria. Today most distributors of foods are so wary of making you sick that they radiate, cook, wash and pasteurize our food. Sure these methods will kill any bad bacteria on the food, but also good ones as well (not to mention the loss of enzymes and other nutrients). Add to this daily stress, smoking, caffeine, antibiotics, chemically treated water, flying and anti-bacterial soaps our world and everyday lives no matter how perfect all impact our good bacteria that are constantly fighting the ‘war’ on behalf of our health. To combat this anti-bacterial onslaught you can give your body probiotics. By regularly giving your body those extra soldiers (probiotics) you can conquer those everyday battles and win the war – giving you the best health attainable. It’s important that we do this often because stress and daily life will happen – which means that just as your healthy bacteria can grow – so can the negative. You always want to stay that one step ahead. The aim is to be proactive with your health, which is more about prevention and regularly doing more beneficial habits and reducing negative actions.
It’s very humbling when you consider how much we are at the mercy of the pathogens that are around us. Which is why so many people buy anti-bacterial products. What if we approach from the other end of the spectrum. Not, living in fear of what we ‘could catch’. But rather, living with security and faith in our strong and healthy immune system. Supported chiefly by healthy intestinal flora.
DID YOU KNOW! Nearly every chemical that controls the brain is also located in the stomach region, including hormones and neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, Glutamate, GABA and Norepinephrine. 95% of the Serotonin in the body lies in the digestive system.
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We have done something few have ever done before. A clean probiotic with:
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- low immunity
- chronic yeast infections and/or urinary tract infections
- overgrowth of Candida
- sinus infection
- post-surgical infection
- poor digestion
- toxic waste build-up
- Crohn’s Disease
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- abnormal intestinal pH
- stomach ulcers
- inability to produce vitamins (especially vitamins B & K)
- nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12
- parasitic infection, fungi and mould overgrowth.