I’ve written about “friendly flora” or probiotics before, but this article that was originally published by FitLife.tv expands on the topic and includes things I wasn’t aware of. It’s a great reminder of just how important it is for us to make sure we’re getting enough prebiotics and probiotics in our diet and includes a juice recipe at the end to help insure that happens…..
7 Signs You Should Be Taking Probiotics
Have you taken an antibiotic over the past year?
Well, if you are like most people these days, you have.
Did you know that antibiotics completely destroy your healthy gut bacteria?
Even if you took one 7 years ago – if you have not replenished the good guys within your gut, chances are really high that you are struggling with imbalance, maybe unknowingly.
But antibiotics are not the only thing hindering your health.
Do you struggle with:
- Irregular mood
- Skin issues
- Erratic sleep patterns
- Crazy cravings for sugar and other unhealthy foods
- Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea or cramping after meals
- Healthy weight management
If you answered yes to any of these, you should know that these are just some of the symptoms of an imbalanced gut.
You’ve heard me say it before, but it’s important that you realize the impact your gut health has on every single part of your body – physical, mental and emotional.
Remember, 70-80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEm is in your gut.
Just these 2 factors alone are enough to show that when your gut is out of whack, so are you… on some level anyway.
You’ve likely heard the term probiotics thrown around and maybe you already use them, which is great!
But maybe you’re like many others still confused about WHY they matter when it comes to your health.
I want to make that really clear for you.
PROBIOTICS are the beneficial bacteria within our gut.
They are the guys that:
- Keep harmful bacteria and microorganisms in check
- Aid in digestion and nutrient absorption
- Make sure your body receives the vitamins, minerals, fats and amino acids from the foods that you are consuming – totally necessary!
- Are needed for the generation of certain B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and some short-chain fatty acids
- Contribute to proper immune function
They crowd out bad bacteria, preventing the bacteria’s ability to host in the body, which inhibits infection, INFLAMMATION and disease.
Proven by researchers at UCLA, the correction of healthy bacteria in the gut can optimize neurotransmitter function, leading to improved mental health and may even improve learning and sharpen focus and memory.
So yeah, they are kind of a big deal.
Probiotics are abundant in fermented foods, but most often their probiotic concentration is not enough to be used therapeutically when the gut flora has been drastically depleted.
Therefore, use fermented probiotic-rich foods as an ongoing part of the diet to keep your levels up as a form of prevention. Then choose a high-quality probiotic, as a form of nutrition therapy.
Well, according to the research I have done on the subject, most of us are!
We live in a toxic environment, my friend.
There are chemicals and pesticides in:
- our food
- in the air we breathe
- the water we drink
Despite our best efforts, toxin exposure is inevitable in our modern society.
But we can help minimize the effects and I have a solution to do just that.
But first, here are 7 signs that YOU need to MORE probiotics in your life…
Antibiotic literally means “anti-life” – that’s pretty powerful.
They are designed to kill and they don’t discriminate between the good and bad bacteria, unfortunately.
TIP: Double dose your probiotics for the length of time you were on an antibiotic post-treatment to ensure you are repopulating the good guys! (example: if you were on an antibiotic for 14 days, double dose for 14 days afterwards to help repopulate and get your system back on track.)
2. Food Poisoning
Bad bacteria is lurking in your gut when this happens and it’s important to fight the bad guys.
Probiotics help replenish the good guys and get your digestion moving as it should.
TIP: Taking probiotics regularly gives the body a better defense against any foreign invaders you may come into contact with.
3. Digestive Disturbances
Be sure you are consuming a healthy diet first.
Eliminate hard-to-digest foods such as processed, packaged and fried foods, dairy, gluten, sugar and soy and aim to eat more REAL foods as nature intended.
Probiotics will further support your efforts to bring balance to your gut.
TIP: Ginger is great if you are experiencing any type of digestive distress. I love using extra ginger is most of my green juices, but it’s also great as a tea or as a delicious addition to your meals.
4. Skin Conditions
Our external environment is a direct reflection of our internal environment. That includes rashes, acne, rosacea, eczema, etc.
If your skin does not clear from diet and probiotics alone, you may consider using digestive aids such as apple cider vinegar to promote stomach acid production and enzymes.
Other agents to heal the intestinal lining include l-glutamine and aloe vera.
TIP: Be sure to have your hormones checked, too, to rule out any imbalances so often associated with acne.
5. Mood Disorders
The health of our gut is so closely tied to the health of our brain.
That’s why improving the integrity of your gut has such an effect on the function of your neurotransmitters.
TIP: Further supporting your body with B vitamins and paying attention to the health of your kidneys are also key factors to a balanced mood.
6. Weak Immunity
Signs of weakened immunity may be that you have low energy and need naps or caffeine, have allergies, food sensitivities, skin problems, or asthma, catch colds easily, have high blood sugar and/or digestive issues, your mind feels foggy, you wake up feeling sluggish, have trouble sleeping, and/or take longer to recover from exercise or injury.
Healthy bacteria can train your immune system to distinguish between “foreign” microbes and those originating in your body, making probiotics the best front line against infection.
When your gut is balanced, your risk for illness diminishes significantly.
TIP: Focus on supporting your entire body with healthy foods, daily movement, positive mindset and supplementation where necessary.
7. Yeast Overgrowth
When people hear “yeast,” they often think yeast infections.
The truth is, yeast overgrowth shows up in many different ways.
It might be belly bloat, foggy thinking, sugar and carb cravings, skin problems, gas, low mood, irregular sleep…
There are so many things to consider when it comes to this very common problem and it doesn’t affect just women and it’s not only relative to yeast infections.
Chronic yeast overgrowth is opportunistic, meaning, given the opportunity to FEED, it will! And the results are those which I mentioned above. The best way to clear the root cause of your symptoms when dealing with yeast overgrowth is to cut off it’s food source and repopulate!
So where do you start?
Cut out the culprits that FEED this guy, such as:
- refined sugar
- (reduce) natural sugars (even from fruit)
- get rid of sugary carbs
Yeast overgrowth LOVES these things. Now is not the time to be generous and giving to this sneaky bugger.
TIP: Taking a probiotic helps to bring the good guys back in the picture and rebalance the ratio of good to bad guys, knocking out the overgrowth of this nasty critter and helping you eliminate the root cause of those annoying symptoms.
To support the health of your gut, here’s a delicious juice recipe for you.
G-Health Juice Recipe
- 1 cucumber: a natural diuretic, reduces inflammation, relieves stomach acid and provides soothing cleansing effect.
- 2 celery stalks: aid in bowel movements, promote healthy kidney function and detoxes the body.
- 1 lime: stimulates digestion, eliminates toxins and purifies the liver and other organs.
- 1 inch piece ginger: a digestive superfood great for stimulating healthy digestion. It soothes the stomach and helps the body digest everything properly.
- 1 small handful fresh mint or cilantro leaves: kills microorganisms that are associated with digestive issues, stops cramping, soothes digestion, great for detoxification.
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar: contains valuable minerals, live enzymes, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, helps normalize pH and promotes the growth of friendly bacteria. It’s also great for detoxification.
- Juice all ingredients except the ACV, you’ll mix that in at the end.
FYI, you can get a wide variety of brands of probiotics at one of my favorite places to shop iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus can take advantage of their wonderful Specials and Trial Offers section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 and up, and there’s no sales tax. There’s an extra 5% off on orders over $60.
Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and also has a huge selection of probiotic-related products. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase of $25 or more through the link on my webpage you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward–I got a $10 gift card–when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!
p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on any future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine