Why Probiotics Are Great For You

Did you know that you have about 3 to 4 pounds of microorganisms in your colon that you cannot survive without?

Hundreds of different species (both beneficial and pathogenic) live symbiotically in the colon. The beneficial microbiota (probiotics) produce vitamin K and B vitamins, aid in digesting foods, help neutralize toxins, and prevent the pathogenic bacteria from dominating.

You can get these beneficial bacteria either by consuming fermented foods or taking a probiotic supplement.

By repopulating your colon with beneficial bacteria and supporting their growth and wellness with an organic whole foods diet, you can bolster immunity, improve intestinal health, support a healthy pregnancy, and more.

Probiotics boost immunity. 

One recent study showed that college students who supplemented with probiotics for 12 weeks had improved immune systems.

All students caught colds, but those taking probiotics experienced shorter duration of symptoms, 34% less severity of symptoms, and a higher quality of life during the illness.

If an individual resorts to antibiotics, probiotics can still be used to reduce the negative side effects of those antibiotics.

Probiotics can also reduce the risk of diarrhea caused by antibiotics.

RAND, a non-profit research organization, pooled results from studies that examined whether probiotic use can prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and found that probiotic use resulted in a 42% lower risk of diarrhea.

This is good news for the 30% of antibiotic-users who commonly experience diarrhea while taking the drugs!

Probiotics can help you have a healthier pregnancy.

Supplementing with probiotics during the last trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased immunity and anti-inflammatory effect.

Probiotics can change the internal environment of the mother and may even prevent pre-term birth. Furthermore, a baby's exposure to beneficial bacteria may even lead to better immune function and overall health of that child's lifetime.

Probiotics can help repair your gut. 

If intestinal integrity is weak from food allergies, toxins, malabsorption disorders, inflammatory conditions, or antibiotics, taking prebiotics (food for the probiotics) can help regrow a new and better gut.

A study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois demonstrated that supplementing the diet with prebiotics (fibers that beneficial bacteria use for energy) called fructooligosaccharides will support intestinal healing and repair.

Avoid genetically modified foods

To support intestinal health and boost beneficial bacterial populations, avoiding genetically modified food, especially corn, will drastically improve the health of your gut. GM corn is genetically engineered so that every single cell of the plant produces a toxic insecticide that, when ingested, causes the pest's intestines to rupture and burst apart.

Researchers have found that when humans eat this GM corn, the intestinal microorganisms start producing this toxin as well, indicating that the gene for that toxin translocated from the food consumed, into the DNA of the bacteria. The colonic bacteria continue to produces this toxin even after you have stopped eating GM corn, indicating that the bacteria pass the gene on to their offspring. If you have any bloating, constipation, cramping, diarrhea or other GI symptoms, avoiding genetically modified food will promote the health of your intestine and colonic microflora.

Do you want to nourish your GI tract, boost your immunity, get rid of fungus or candida infections, and promote overall wellness? 

Eating an organic, whole foods diet will create a more alkaline environment and provide plenty of fiber for beneficial microorganisms to thrive, and in turn help you to do the same. Include fermented foods like kimchi and saurkraut to boost bacterial populations. You can even make your own high-potency fermented veggies or yogurt at home with a culture starter kit.

If you prefer to boost your microflora with a supplement instead, look for a high-quality (preferably from health-care practitioner) probiotic supplement of at least 50 billion microorganisms to restore intestinal microflora. Be cautious when choosing a probiotic supplement because these living organisms can die or be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria if the manufacturing practices are not carefully watched and monitored.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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