In the age of internet and media, by now you must have definitely heard about probiotics, you also probably know that they are healthy and all this information must have left you wondering if you should be taking them.
Before you stock up on supplements and pills, it would be helpful to understand how they work and whether your body really needs them. Inside our digestive tract, there exists bacteria – both good and bad. Probiotics are healthy bacteria present in our gastrointestinal tract. You may associate the word ‘bacteria’ with something that is harmful, but it’s actually the other way round. And we’ll show you how.
The Pros in Probiotics
Probiotics act like internal healers. They aid digestion and nutrient absorption and balance our immune system. They regulate the movement through our intestine. They help your body eliminate toxins. Moreover, with regards to female health, a woman's gut flora can also influence the health of her child.
Studies also suggest that gut bacteria may have a significant effect on brain function and mental health. Probiotics are being considered as potential treatments for depression and anxiety. Afterall, what you eat is what you become, eh?
It is important to know that our gut bacteria are extremely vulnerable to lifestyle and environmental factors. There are a number of things that can disrupt the ratio of good and bad bacteria that exists in our body.
When this ratio is disturbed it can cause dysfunction and digestive problems like gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation or even complicated diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Which is why a sufficient intake of probiotics becomes essential.
Owing to the fast paced millennial lifestyle we’re a generation that even buy organic food online and it becomes seemingly hard to resort to non-pasteurized food. However, pasteurization is also important to eliminate harmful bacteria. That’s when a probiotic can provide additional support. People who suffer with regular tummy troubles and digestive problems should consume probiotics to boost the gut flora. Also, those who are gluten or lactose intolerant can depend on probiotic foods. You can find probiotic yogurt or milk in the markets. These products contain live active cultures that make them healthier.
It is advised by many doctors and nutritionist to consume about two cups of yogurt everyday. Drinking lassi or buttermilk is one of the best ways to get your daily dose of probiotics.
How to Take Your Probiotics
One thing is clear: when it comes to getting the most out of your probiotics, you need as many live bacteria as possible to make it past the harsh acids of your stomach to reach your gut intact. What's more, you’ll need to give the good guys enough food so they can survive and maintain their balance over the undesirable strains. Indeed, the more probiotic fiber your beneficial bacteria get, the more they'll thrive, and the more they'll be able to edge out the other strains you don't want.
Here’s a step-to-step guide on how to best consume your daily dose of probiotic-
1. Take your probiotics in the morning, before breakfast.
Try to take your probiotics first thing in the morning, about 15 to 30 minutes before you eat breakfast. This not only gives them enough of a head start to travel through the digestive system before they get busy setting up shop, it also makes it really easy to turn taking your probiotics into a habit, so you'll do it regularly.
2. Drink lots of water.
Try to drink a big glass of filtered water either just before or as you're taking your probiotic, so you can dilute your stomach acids and give your good guys that much more of a fighting chance to make it to your intestines alive.
3. Follow up with a healthy breakfast and prebiotics.
Try to eat a healthy breakfast that's going to favor beneficial strains of bacteria, instead of feeding the unwanted ones. Your bacterial good guys love fruits and vegetables, as well as good fats and fibers, while unwanted gut bugs thrive on sugar and processed foods. Buy breakfast cereals online to save time and focus on getting your breakfast bowl Instagram ready!
What are the benefits of taking probiotics?
Now that we have the steps in order, lets us focus on why probiotics?
Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of consuming a few billion a day for your health might seem literally and figuratively hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria.
Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of-
- irritable bowel syndrome
- ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- pylori (the cause of ulcers)
- vaginal infections
- urinary tract infections
- recurrence of bladder cancer
- infection of the digestive tract caused by Clostridium difficile
- pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
- eczema in children.
Backed by science and supported by claims of various nutritionists around the world, we’ve come to see how essential consuming probiotics on a daily basis is. And the time to do the same is vital too. Including your daily dose of healthy bacteria in breakfast is indeed the best and most efficient way to help the probiotic work its magic. It not only keeps your stomach light and cool for the rest of the day but also improves your gut health by providing ample time to the body for processing the good bacteria.
And to help you incorporate probiotics in your brekkie bowl, we’ve just the right recipe for you-
Morning Soothing Smoothie-
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons Nourish Organics Lean Muesli
1 teaspoon ashwagandha
1 tablespoon honey
Handful of fresh berries (optional)
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
Pinch of vanilla powder (optional)
Method-Mix all the ingredients in your mixer and blitz well. Garnish with mint leaves and serve cold.