More than 70% of the human immune system reside in the gut. Gut health is critical to overall health.
Probiotics are beneficial organisms, most of which are normally found in the healthy human gastrointestinal tract. Probiotic organisms work through several interrelated mechanisms to promote health at the molecular level. They conquer potentially dangerous organisms in the intestine, reducing the risk of infection or toxin-mediated diseases. They regulate immune responses which enhance healthy reactions to dangerous infectious organisms, and they suppress excessive inflammation. Additionally, probiotics promote the function of the intestinal inner lining, enhancing its ability to act as a barrier to the entry of potentially dangerous organisms and chemicals.
A poorly functioning immune system is at the root of many chronic degenerative diseases.
Negative changes in the intestinal microbiome are firmly associated with chronic diseases that include inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and the metabolic syndrome. Due to modern diets and lifestyle, as well as environmental factors such as pollution and the use of antibiotics, the beneficial bacteria in your microbiome is at risk which can lead to an increased incidence in metabolic and inflammatory chronic diseases. Even simple aging gradually shifts your intestinal bacterial population towards a disease-promoting, rather than a disease-preventing, state.
The good news is that probiotics can help restore balance and cellular communications with regard to the body’s healthy bacterial population. You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt.
Signs of an Imbalanced Gut
- Excess intestinal gas
- Too little or no intestinal gas
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic bad breath
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Moodiness, anxiety
- Skin problems
Foods that promotes inflammation
- Corn and Soybean oils
- Pasteurized dairy
- Refined carbohydrates
- Conventional meat
- Trans fats
Restoring your digestive health is all about balancing out the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Consider consuming probiotic rich foods and supplements.
Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are different and have different roles in the digestive system.
- Prebiotic fiber is a non-digestible part of foods like bananas, onions and garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, the skin of apples, chicory root, beans, and many others. Prebiotic fiber goes through the small intestine undigested and is fermented when it reaches the large colon. This fermentation process feeds beneficial bacteria colonies (including probiotic bacteria) and helps to increase the number of desirable bacteria in our digestive systems (also called the gut) that are associated with better health and reduced disease risk.
- Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are naturally created by the process of fermentation in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and others.