Probiotics. A Love Story.
Did you know that many scientist now consider the colony of bacteria and yeast in your body an organ? It’s called the human microbiome or microbiota. Now unless you’ve been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard of probiotics at this point. Probiotics may hold the key not just for better health and a stronger immune system but they can be used therapeutically to treat digestive issues, mental health, and neurological disorders. The science keeps accumulating on the wide variety of benefits probiotics have which goes beyond what was previously believed. This blurb is a little guide to probiotics including where to get more of them in the right balance
But first things first. what are probiotics?
Basically they’re the bacteria that line our digestive tracts and support the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients from food, produce and modulate certain vitamins and antioxidants, and to ward off pathogens. Did you know that bacteria out number our human cells a hundred to one? Yes, we are actually more bacteria than we are human. Probiotics are living beneficial bacteria that reside mainly in our digestive tract. Among these bacteria, are at least 2000 known different types which can help aid in supporting immune function, healthy digestion, skin health, mood and food cravings.
A few things that probiotics are responsible for: the produce vitamin B 12, butyrate and vitamin K 2. Modulating the right balance of beneficial to commensal bacteria, yeast and fungi. Probiotics can also lend to creating enzymes, necessary for breaking down and regulating biological mechanisms in the human body. It’s also believe they stimulate secretion of IgA and regulatory T cells which are integral to the immune system.
People who do not have a diverse colony of probiotics can suffer from a wide variety of health concerns including IBS, candida, auto-immune disorders, food sensitivities, depression, ADHD as well as lower immune system.
Wait a minute!! Our ancestors never had these types of health issues and they obviously never took a probiotic capsule in their entire life! This is true. In fact, historically most of our probiotics came from our diets. If you look at many cultures around the world they still include probiotic rich foods as a major part of their cuisine. These are known as fermented foods. Raw goat yogurts, sauerkraut, beet Kvass, sourdough bread‘s, vinegars and even beer and wine are all fermented foods which have varying amount of probiotics.
Unfortunately today with our food practices, a majority of our vegetables and other foods have been soaked and chlorine, sprayed with harmful pesticides, or heated to high temperatures which all damage the natural probiotics and good bacteria naturally found within them.
Don’t be discouraged because there are plenty of ways that we can introduce probiotic in the form of foods back leaving you with clear skin, a clear head, increased energy and improve digestion.
Reasons for depleted diversity of beneficial bacteria: Sugar, tap water contaminated with chlorine and fluoride, both which kill beneficial bacteria. Genetically modified foods which are sprayed with harmful pesticides. Prescribed antibiotics, as well as those found in conventional meat and other animal products. Emotional stress. And other noxious chemicals and medications in the environment.
The importance of probiotics.
Protection against pathogens toxins, infections.
Absorptions of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron, glutathion, fatty acid‘s and vitamin B 12 (which is necessary for energy production).
Produce butyrate, vitamin K2, enzymes and B vitamins all necessary for energy production and detoxification
Improved functioning of intestinal mobility, bile secretion, pancreatic function and immunity.
Optimization and modulation of the immune system and the inflammatory response.
Easy ways to get more probiotics and your system and reap the benefits
Eat more fermented foods. Food such as Apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and kimchi all have a rich diversity of probiotics. For just a few dollars you can make your own sauerkraut which is delicious whether scooped on top of eggs, into soup or eaten on its own. Try taking a shot of apple cider vinegar with every meal in order to increase absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
Other probiotic rich foods include high-quality goat milk yogurt, almond or cashew yogurt. Kiefer and for some kombucha can also be beneficial.
Feed your probiotics! Remember probiotics are a living organism and they need food in order to survive.. Prebiotics are basically a fancy name for high-quality fiber. Their favorite source of prebiotic fiber include Chia seeds, flax seeds, green plantains, Jerusalem artichokes. Leeks, onions, dandelion greens and garlic.
Lastly you can add and high-quality probiotic supplements. Be very cautious though because the majority of probiotic supplements out there don’t actually contain very many living probiotics. I will link to my favorites below.
Healthy eating is obviously the best investment we can make in our lives. but it can definitely seem like an investment at times. That's why I love Thrive Market! They provide 100% GMO foods, clean skin and body care products, high quality supplements, and amazing superfoods! All this at a fraction of the price they go for at my local coop or health food store. Order online and get it right to your door. AND the best they sell great probiotics (Garden of Life and Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics are my favorite), as well as starter cultures for you to begin making your own fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir, and sourdough! For a limited time you can use MY LINK to get 20% off your first three orders. That means you'll save 20% off the already Whole Sale Prices! I've been using them for a little two years and love them!
But HOW DO I MAKE FERMENTED FOODS? Well stay tuned for the week ahead where I'll provide you with a few recipes and tips to use at home! And if you're in the Twin Cities Area I provide in person Workshops on Wild Fermentation so you can get hands on experience, contact me directly for dates and details! Love you always, bacteria and all!