Probiotics are essential supplements when it comes to supporting your overall health. From looking after your heart and mental health to hindering allergies and eczema to encouraging healthy bowel functions, they can greatly benefit everyone. We regularly recommend probiotics to our clients at our functional nutritionist center in Tulsa, OK, as part of their journey back to health.
So, what exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that work within your gut to support your body in a variety of ways. So, where can you find these magical microorganisms? The good news is that you can find them in dietary supplements, fermented foods, and the natural microbiome in our bodies.
Having a healthy microbiome has been found to prevent various health conditions, including SIBO, ulcerative colitis, IBS, and adult acne. Probiotics have many jobs within the body, such as helping you digest food, absorb water, fend off dangerous bacteria that can harm the gut microbiome, and synthesizing essential vitamins like B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin. Let’s go more in-depth about how probiotics work within your body.
Our nutritionist Tulsa and the immune system
Did you know that 80% of your immune system is in your gut? That is why having a healthy gut is so important. Good bacteria can help to control inflammation that is caused by harmful bacteria. Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of autoimmunity, so keeping this at bay is crucial for your health.
Balancing your gut
Probiotics work their magic in your gut by influencing the right balance of gut flora within the body. While everyone’s gut is made up of good and bad bacteria, good bacteria help to protect the cells in the intestinal wall from any pathogens trying to infiltrate the gut. Probiotics also help repair damaged tissue by supporting your immune system and the cells that will build the extracellular matrix. This keeps your intestinal lining in good shape.
Probiotics also prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing issues in your gut and, therefore, your whole body. By feeding them correctly, you will help them to multiply so that they can quickly outgrow the harmful bacteria.
Keep bowel movements regular with our nutritionist Tulsa
You need to get rid of waste products and toxins from your body to stay balanced. Constipation can raise your blood pressure, so regular bowel movements can also help to prevent this. Probiotic bacteria can account for up to 70% of healthy bowel movements, so you must get enough good bacteria to keep it bulked up. Probiotics can also make you more regular, ensuring that waste is not stuck in the body for too long, creating a feeding ground in your gut for harmful bacteria.
Probiotics can also positively impact your weight. They play a huge role in digestion and promote short-chain fatty acids’ production, which then affects metabolism and energy production. They may also inhibit the body from absorbing fats in your diet and help to release satiety hormones that let you know you are full and stop eating.
How can you add probiotics into your diet?
The best way of getting probiotics is through your diet or supplements, so let’s look at the types of foods you can eat to get probiotics into your body:
- Fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir & sauerkraut
- Probiotic yogurts
- Prebiotic foods such as garlic, leeks, apples, bananas & asparagus
If you have a gut infection such as SIBO or candida, it is better to avoid fermented foods as they feed the “good” bacteria, the “bad” bacteria, and yeast. Prebiotic food also feeds both good and bad bacteria. Too much bacteria feeds off the unwanted food within your small intestine, producing hydrogen as a byproduct. This is bad news because the hydrogen will provide single-celled organisms in your small intestine called archaea, potentially leading to SIBO.
Relying on food alone to get your probiotic intake is almost impossible. You don’t know which strain of probiotics is in certain foods or how much you would need to eat to get your daily amount. You may also have to avoid certain foods because of the issues mentioned above. This is why a daily, high-quality supplement is also vital.
If you would like to find out more about probiotics and how they can be of benefit to you, get in touch with our functional nutritionist center in Tulsa, OK, and begin your journey back to health.