Friday

Top Benefits of Including Probiotic Food on Your Diet


Guest Writer, Maggie Baker


Mainstream diet plans are ever-changing and consistently contradicting themselves. Finding what diet is best for your body can be a daunting task when trying to sift through the amount of new information available. Bacteria is often only thought of negatively and as a source of illness. Many people are unaware of the estimated 100 trillion “good” bacteria that are essential to our survival. Probiotics are nothing new and already exist inside our bodies working to keep us healthy in many different ways. These live microorganisms can be easily consumed by increasing your intake of certain prebiotic foods or taking specific probiotic supplements.









1. Balance The Friendly Bacteria in Your Digestive System



Your digestive tract is responsible for a lot more in your body than just digesting three meals a day. When your gut is healthy, it functions to filter out harmful bacteria, your body's waste, and other potential toxins. Probiotics play a large and complex role in your overall digestive health. Many things from poor food choices to excessive stress and overuse of antibiotics can all cause an imbalance in a delicate community of microorganisms in your gut that are working hard to keep you healthy. Antibiotics, especially, kill off whatever is making you sick as well as any helpful natural bacteria in your gut. There are many different fermented foods to eat that can help boost your immune system and recalibrate the balance of bacteria. These include numerous varieties of fermented soybeans, dairy, and vegetables.



2. Improving your mental health

For years there has been compelling evidence that there is a gut-brain axis, a direct connection between your mental health and the health of your gut. Research has linked several psychiatric disorders to changes in your microbiome, and it has also shown that specific probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum may help improve symptoms of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.



3. Improved Immune Response And Reduced Allergies In Children

Not all probiotics are the same, but several strains may specifically work to boost immunity and reduce the risk of certain infections like the common cold. There is even some evidence that certain probiotics can be useful for alleviating skin conditions like severe acne, rosacea, or eczema. It may be especially useful in reducing inflammatory responses in children like lactose intolerance, asthma, and other allergies.



5. Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Not only do probiotics aid in digestion and mental health, but there is a decent amount of evidence that suggests a relationship between unbalanced gut flora and diseases such as obesity and diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and even Alzheimer's. Certain probiotics can help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation throughout the body. The naturally occurring bile in your stomach needed for digestion is mostly made of cholesterol. Adding probiotics to your gut may help prevent the bile reabsorption, thereby keeping it out of the bloodstream as cholesterol. Some recent studies proved that regular consumption of the probiotic L. acidophilus could reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by up to 10%. 




6. Reduce Candida infections in different organ systems of the body.
You may have an overgrowth of candida in your gut if you notice an increase in mood swings or yeast infections or have trouble dealing with seasonal allergies and digestive issues. Candida is a type of naturally occurring yeast in your body but can quickly overgrow if your gut health is thrown off balance most commonly by antibiotic use. Although you may not receive a candidiasis diagnosis from some doctors, the alternative community agrees that one of the best ways to rebalance your gut flora is through diet. The purpose of an anti-candida diet is to starve the excess harmful bacteria by removing the foods and beverages it’s most likely feeding on. 

With the popularity of probiotics increasing, there is a wide variety of options. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and there is no clearly stated daily intake value to go by. Your best bet is to increase the number of fermented foods incorporated in your regular diet instead of trying to find the supplement with the most organisms. If you have any pre-existing immune conditions, you may have a higher chance of issues. Doing your own research and consulting with your doctor is the best way to ensure you are on your way to a healthy gut. 

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Be sure to check out my "Bee Kind" nature based character development unit and my ebooks as well: A Wife's Guide to Studying ProverbsTopical Devotions for Pregnancy and Early Potty Teaching. Or, if you're looking for a way to get 30 raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, contact me here

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