Spring is in the air! Which means a lot of people are dealing with seasonal allergies, sinus infections, etc. So I thought it was a good time to repost something from a few years ago about probiotics. We all need plenty of good bacteria to keep our immune systems healthy. I hope this information is helpful. =)
Recently I read this funny quote: “Support bacteria. It’s the only culture some people have.” =)
Even though it’s meant as a joke, there’s a lot of truth in it. We do need to support bacteria.
Right now it seems like most people, doctors, and companies are trying to rid the earth of all bacteria! Practically every product from hand soap to trash bags is now labeled “anti-bacterial.”
Newsflash: God created bacteria. It serves a vital role in the earth’s natural processes. It isn’t going away anytime soon.
I think all this emphasis on “anti-bacterial” is actually very damaging. The bad bacteria are just getting stronger and more resistant to the chemicals and drugs used to kill them. And the good bacteria are being killed off more and more.
Yes, I said GOOD bacteria. Believe it or not, we need bacteria.
Did you know that approximately 80% of your immune system is in your gut (intestines)?
Whenever I used to hear that statistic, I assumed that was the doctor’s way of trying to get me to eat healthier. =) But it’s much more than just eating a healthy diet.
Can you guess the reason why 80% of the immune system is in the gut?
Because that’s where the GOOD bacteria live!
Think of the good bacteria as the cowboys in the white hats, and the bad bacteria as the rustlers in the black hats. Good guys verses bad guys. When the bad bacteria enters our bodies, it’s the good bacteria that’s able to fight it off. The good bacteria also fights viruses, candida, and other invaders.
If there’s not enough of the good guys in our bodies, then we’re in trouble.
Because the good bacteria is such a huge part of the immune system, not having enough can cause all kinds of health problems. This includes everything from digestive problems to many things you wouldn’t expect, such as: arthritis, chronic fatigue, skin problems, allergies, etc.
Certain foods are rich in good bacteria – saurkraut, yogurt, and other fermented foods. However, it’s hard to eat enough of these foods to get all the good bacteria you need. (Not to mention that most brands of yogurt contain more sugar than ice cream! Eating yogurt in order to get good bacteria isn’t worth the trade off of the sugar damage, unless it’s plain and unsweetened yogurt.)
So it’s important to supplement with good bacteria.
There are various factors to consider when purchasing a “probiotic” (good bacteria) supplement.
Some things to look for –
*at least 5 different strains of bacteria (not just “acidophilus”).
*a total culture count of at least 15 billion
*delayed release so it will reach your intestines before being broken down
*full potency until date of expiration
*no extra ingredients or additives (such as no corn, soy, yeast, etc.)
A lot of probiotic supplements do not meet these standards, so always read labels to find a good one. Also, what your body needs will change over time, so it’s good to switch the kind of probiotic you take after a while.
Having plenty of good bacteria in your body is essential to the function of your immune system and thus, your overall health. It’s an easy step to take that could possibly yield amazing results in how you feel.
Remember it takes time for your body to repair and heal itself. When starting a new supplement or program keep this in mind. With some supplements/programs you’ll see results faster, but for major improvements in your health, three months is a general rule of thumb.
So go find some good bacteria and give it your support. You’ll be amazed how much it supports you and your health in return! =)