The Gut-Healing Superheroes

Probiotics: these tiny, beneficial microorganisms have been making big waves in the world of health and wellness. Found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in supplements, these friendly bacteria offer a host of benefits for our bodies. Let's dive into the fascinating world of probiotics and how they positively affect human health.

Understanding Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, particularly your digestive system. While the term "bacteria" might raise alarm bells, it's important to note that not all bacteria are harmful. Probiotics are the good guys, and they help maintain a balanced microbial community in our gut, also known as the microbiome.

The Gut-Mind Connection

One of the most intriguing aspects of probiotics is their impact on mental health. Emerging research suggests a strong connection between gut health and the brain. The gut is often called the "second brain" because it contains a vast network of neurons and produces neurotransmitters like serotonin, which play a key role in mood regulation. Probiotics can influence this gut-brain axis, potentially improving mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Immune System Support

Our immune system's health depends significantly on the gut. Probiotics help boost our immune defences by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting the growth of harmful ones. They also enhance the gut's barrier function, preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream and causing inflammation.

Digestive Harmony

Probiotics are renowned for their digestive benefits. They can alleviate common issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhoea by restoring balance in the gut. In particular, they are effective in managing conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Skin Glow and Allergies

Believe it or not, the benefits of probiotics extend to the skin. A healthy gut can translate to a radiant complexion, as probiotics may help manage skin conditions like acne and eczema. Additionally, they can reduce the severity of allergies by modulating the body's immune response.

Food sources of probiotics include:

Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. It’s made from milk fermented by probiotics, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

Health benefits associated with eating yogurt include:

  • improved bone, heart, and gastrointestinal health

  • reduced risk of diabetes

  • reduced risk of breast and colon cancer

  • improved weight management

Additionally, yogurt may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. This is because the bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which is also what gives yogurt its sour taste.

But keep in mind that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. Processing can sometimes kill the live bacteria. For this reason, make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. It’s made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains are not cereal grains but rather cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that look a bit like cauliflower. Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, making it a more diverse and potent probiotic source compared to yogurt.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. In addition to its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut is rich in fibre as well as vitamins C and K. It is also high in sodium and contains iron and potassium. Sauerkraut also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health.

Make sure to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a fermented, spicy Korean side dish. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient, but it can also be made from other vegetables. Kimchi is flavoured with a mix of seasoning, such as red Chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, spring onions, and salt. It contains the bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii and other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health.

Pickles

Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been preserved in a solution of salt and water. They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour. Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria, which may improve digestive health. They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.

It’s important to note that pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics.

Summary

Probiotics are more than just a trendy health supplement; they are essential for maintaining a healthy gut, a robust immune system, and even a happier mind. By incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet or choosing the right supplement, you can harness the incredible power of these tiny gut superheroes to enhance your overall health and well-being. Remember, a healthier gut today can lead to a happier, more vital you tomorrow.

How BioMed can help

Claudia, your Biomed Health Care Professional, can determine whether you are deficient in vitamins and/or minerals using computerised screening known as Bioresonance Testing and Quantum Analysis. The results of this screening can help Claudia formulate a personalised health care plan which may include supplements, bioregulatory medicine or IV Therapy

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