Most people’s focus of attention is not on their gut, much less the proportion of “good” bacteria vs “bad” bacteria. Here are seven signs you should take a good look at how probiotics can help you to better health (physical and mental).
7 Signs You Desperately Need More Probiotics + How To Get Them
Do you spend very little time thinking about your gut? If so, you are not unlike millions of other people who tend not to think about what they cannot see. However, inside your gut is a real living colony of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are good and some are downright bad. Each day is a battle between the good and the bad in your gut. A lot of times, unfortunately, the bad claim victory, your immune system is compromised and your health suffers.
When your gut microbiome is out of balance many disturbing things can happen. You may have depleted energy, poor skin, frequent colds and flu, foggy thinking, stunted metabolism and a host of other conditions. Some scientists even say that an unhealthy gut can eventually lead to heart disease, obesity, asthma and even cancer.
If you have a war happening in your gut, it is bound to result in compromised health, both physical and mental. Don’t despair, there are many things you can do to restore your microbiome balance. Of course, eating a clean diet loaded with plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, healthy fat and protein is a great place to start. Managing stress, getting plenty of sleep and being active are other ways that you can keep your gut healthy.
However, even when we do all things right, we may still need help in restoring the balance. This is where probiotics come into play. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that can help restore a thriving colony of good bacteria in your digestive system. They help keep your gut healthy so your immune system can fight off intruders and you can enjoy wellbeing.
7 Signs You Need More Probiotics
#1. You are taking or have taken an antibiotic in the last five years: Sure antibiotics can help us feel better when we are suffering from an infection, but did you also know that antibiotics destroy all your good gut bacteria while killing the bad bugs that are making you sick? This leaves your digestive system out of whack . Other drugs that also rob your gut of good bacteria include birth control pills, pain medication, and anti-inflammatories.
#2. You have had food poisoning: If you have had to suffer through the misery of food poisoning you won’t soon forget it. Neither will your gut. Food poisoning destroys your healthy bacteria while the bad bacteria moves in and sets up camp. If you have never repopulated your good bacteria after food poisoning, chances are your health will suffer.
#3. You have an unhappy digestive system: Perhaps your gut is always angry, you might suffer from stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea or food intolerance. Any of these things can be a sign that you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your stomach and you need a probiotic.
#4.You suffer from a skin condition: Chronic dry skin, eczema, or even just dull and listless skin can be a true sign that you do not have enough healthy bacteria in your gut.
#5. You get sick often: Does it seem like you go from one cold to another, and can never seem to stay well? This is a good indication that your immune system is compromised and your gut is not healthy.
#6. You have yeast overgrowth: Any kind of issue with yeast is a sign that you do not have enough good bacteria in your digestive track.
#7. You are depressed: Ninety-five percent of serotonin ( the happy hormone) is made in your gut. If your gut is unhappy and full of bad bacteria, you won’t have enough serotonin. Once you get your gut back where it needs to be, you will find your mood improving and your outlook change.
How To Get More Probiotics
As always, getting probiotics from food is the best solution. The top sources of probiotics include:
You can read more about these foods and learn more about how to get more probiotics into your diet here: Top 12 Probiotic Foods For Better Gut Health
Alternatively, here are some probiotic drink recipes you can make at home: 19 Powerful Probiotic Drink Recipes To Heal Your Gut
The Best Probiotic Supplements
Many of the foods mentioned in the list above are “acquired” tastesso if you can’t get enough probiotics from your diet, then you should consider taking a probiotic supplement.
Probiotic Quality Matters
When you go shopping for a quality probiotic you have to be extremely careful. Many probiotics are nothing but fillers and dead bacteria – no good at all to your gut. The best probiotic supplement is the one that includes the most varied number of strains of bacteria. Different strains of probiotic bacteria have different functions and are concentrated in a variety of locations in the digestive tract. When a probiotic supplement contains multiple strains they are generally much more effective than those that only contain a couple of strains.
So there are 7 signs that you may need more probiotics. Here are more reasons to make sure your body is controlled by friendly bacteria…
Benefits of Probiotics on Your Gut and Overall Health
When asked about the location of their immune system, many people don’t know. A surprisingly large number of people don’t associate their immune systems with any specific part of their body.
Rather than being confined to a particular organ, about 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gastrointestinal tract in the form of receptor cells. Because of this prime location, what happens in your gut can powerfully influence your immune function.
When your gut is healthy, you have a large, thriving population of beneficial or friendly bacteria, or probiotics, supporting your immune system receptor cells. They help form a protective barrier within your colon and intestines. Ideally, you want about 85 percent of your gut bacteria to be of this beneficial type.
Optimizing and supporting the beneficial bacteria in your gut is one of the most powerful things you can do for your health and well being, including your immune health. As long as you can help your body maintain this optimal balance – 85 percent beneficial to about 15 percent “other” microbes – you support the health-promoting benefits of probiotics.
The Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics, or beneficial gut microbes, influence many functions in your body. In addition to your immune health, researchers have found they affect your body weight, energy and nutrition, and your brain, both psychologically and neurologically. Your microflora impacts the expression of your genes, too, which can have a powerful effect on your health.
Some of the most important benefits of probiotics include:
- Healthy immune function
Did you know that your intestinal lining, or mucosal barrier, is about the size of a tennis court? Over 300 square meters in size, that’s a lot of territory for beneficial bacteria to patrol and support health!
Your good bacteria play a vital role in the development and maintenance of this mucosal immune system in your gut. They compete with the less-friendly microbes for both food and attachment sites on the receptor cells. As long as you have a healthy balance of microbes, they’re usually able to prevail.
At home in your gut, your beneficial microbes partner up with your immune cells to help maintain your health in many different ways. Supplementing with probiotics may even help protect against the additional stressors on your immune health involved with strenuous athletic training.
Probiotics also support your normal healthy response to allergens. Beneficial bacteria train your immune system to distinguish between non-harmful antigens and undesirable antigens, and to respond in a normal, appropriate way.
- Weight management
One potential benefit of probiotics that has received much attention lately is the ability of certain strains to help with weight management in people with obese tendencies.
A study on infants found that those who had high numbers of beneficial bifidobacteria appeared to have an increased level of protection from excess weight gain. Bifidobacteria flourishes in the guts of breast-fed babies, which may be one reason why breast-fed babies have a lower risk of becoming obese.
Additionally, researchers are learning that obese people’s gut microbes differ from those of lean people. Lean individuals tend to have higher amounts of various healthy bacteria. In a study with mice, when certain microbes were transplanted into normal-weight mice, those mice started to gain twice as much fat.
Increasingly, research confirms that probiotics play a key role in weight management. One human study showed how obese individuals reduced their abdominal fat by consuming a probiotic-rich fermented beverage for a 12-week period.
If you’re struggling to manage your weight, I suggest you take full advantage of the potential benefits of probiotics!
- Digesting and absorbing carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and waste removal
Your body needs beneficial gut bacteria to absorb certain undigested starches, fiber, and sugars in foods. When you have a good balance of bacteria, you can efficiently convert these carbohydrates into valuable sources of nutrients and energy.
Another important benefit of probiotics is for your body’s production of vitamin K and B vitamins. Probiotics also promote mineral absorption from the foods you eat. Equally valuable is their ability to help metabolize and break down body wastes.
- Psychological and emotional health support
Many people are also surprised to learn that their guts are essentially their second brains. Proof of this can be found in the fact that your gut produces more of the mood-influencing neurotransmitter serotonin than your brain does.
Studies show probiotics can benefit the communications within your gut-brain axis. You have two nervous systems, one in your brain and spinal cord, and another in your gastrointestinal tract. Made from the same type of tissue, they are connected to each other via your vagus nerve, which is the primary route for information sharing between your gut and your brain.
Because of this profound interrelationship, whenever you’re dealing with any type of learning disability or neurological or psychiatric concern, I suggest you look closely at your gut health. Sometimes supporting your emotional and psychological health can be as simple as healing and sealing your gut lining.
Your diet is indeed linked to your mental health!
- Skin health support
Considering there are about 100 trillion microorganisms living on and in your body, it’s difficult to separate the ones living within and on the surface. Research suggests the two may be closely related, as your body is a living ecosystem.
There’s no doubt in my mind that probiotics benefit your skin health, and especially the skin health of children. Skin issues, particularly those commonly seen in infants, are thought to be due to a delay in the development of immune function.
This, in my opinion, confirms the importance for women who plan to become pregnant, along with pregnant mothers and infants, to receive a supplemental probiotic supplement.
For moms-to-be who supplement with probiotics during pregnancy, there’s an added bonus. A study suggests that taking a probiotic supplement during the first trimester of pregnancy through the end of exclusive breastfeeding may help you lose weight after your baby’s arrival. This is in addition to the multitude of probiotic benefits for your newborn as well!
Green Planet Nutraceuticals has an excellent probiotics product. It contains 40 billion organisms, more than twice the average product. It is manufactured in the U.S.A. in an FDA approved facility using the highest quality natural ingredients. Pick up a bottle at our Amazon.com listing.