Probiotics – Everything you need to know!
with Suzan Terzian, Certified Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Consultant
Everyone is curious about probiotics, so I thought I would shed some light on what this health trend is all about. Probiotics are simply the good bacteria in your body, mainly in your gut. Nicknames for probiotics include gut bacteria, gastrointestinal flora, microbiome, micro biotic health, gut flora and friendly bugs.
We tend to think of our gut in terms of food digestion only, but there is so much more to this amazing organ than that. So much of our immunity resides in our gut, which is the first line of defense for our bodies from any harmful bacteria that may want to invade it. So in order to be healthy and have more healthy bacteria, we must create a thriving environment for them to live, and that environment is greatly affected by our diet and lifestyle habits. An imbalance in this ecosystem within us allows the ‘bad guys’(pathogens) to overpower the ‘good guys’, (healthy microflora). There are numerous studies going on right now that are looking at the role of probiotics in weight loss, prevention of respiratory infections, dental carries in kids, and as one method of treatment for inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. It’s obvious to see that the health of our gut is such an essential component to our overall health and wellbeing.
Fact: our bodies are more bacteria than they are human cells! The higher the level of probiotics in our body generally means the healthier we are. When we have too much bad bacteria or low levels of probiotics our body doesn’t work as well as it should.
Reasons why probiotic levels in our bodies may change:
- Over the counter medications
- Poor nutrition
Symptoms that you need to add some healthy probiotics to your diet:
- Gas & bloating
- Constipation / diarrhea
- Sugar cravings and cravings for refined carbs
Reasons to take probiotics:
- Probiotics are essential in the absorption and synthesis of a variety of vitamins and minerals
- They promote immunity by stopping the bad bacteria from overgrowing
- Probiotics are effective in the treatment and management of a variety of gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis, chrons, and certain intolerances
- Ladies, a healthy population of gut bacteria is a major contributor to our vaginal health. It can help prevent UTI’s and yeast infections
- Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. It is extremely important to replenish your probiotic stores during a course of antibiotics with probiotic supplements. Take your probiotic supplement a few hours before your antibiotic to help rebuild your gut flora immediately.
My shopping list for a HEALTHY FUNCTIONING GUT
- Buy fresh unprocessed locally grown organic foods
- Healthy fats (avocado, coconut fat, olive oil)
- Protein (spirulina, grass fed organic meat / eggs etc)
- Complex carbohydrates ( sweet potatoes, butternut squash, white potatoes, etc)
- Sour pickles
- Take a high quality probiotic supplement daily with a CFU of 30-50 billion (CFU – colony forming units)
Remember to feed the probiotics with PREbiotics
- Prebiotics: leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, legumes and apple cider vinegar
Golden Rule: Avoid sugar…
Sugar nourishes the bad or pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi in your gut, which will harm your health more than your weight.
I hope i was able to shed some light on the importance of probiotics for our health. I’m looking forward to your quesstions, so ask away!
Suzan Terzian is a Canadian Nutritionist, whose Health& Wellness Consultancy is based in Bodytree. Email [email protected] or call 024434448 to find out more or make a booking.