Most everyone knows by now to take probiotics after a course of antibiotics to get the “good” bacteria back in your gut.
But why, and what exactly are probiotics?
Although scientists are still working to unlock their secrets, the art of making probiotics is as old as civilization itself. Probiotics are created by the natural process of fermentation, or culturing. The transformation of grapes into wine, barley and hops into beer, milk into yogurt and kefir, soy into miso and cabbage into sauerkraut are all familiar examples of this phenomenon.
And these simple and most primitive life forms work wonders inside the digestive tract. What they can do for you is so complex that modern science is only starting to comprehend just how miraculous they are.
So having your gut bacteria weigh in on the “beneficial” side is vitally important to all aspects of good health.
Here are 5 important reasons you want to be consuming or taking probiotics:
- Good gut bacteria perform such essential functions as producing digestive enzymes and breaking down food.
- They convert inorganic matter like iron into life-sustaining nutrients and promote their absorption.
- These bacteria produce B vitamins that help prevent inflammation in the digestive tract and help to maintain pH balance.
- They also strengthen immunity in a variety of ways by preventing pathogens from attaching themselves to the intestinal wall.
- Studies have found that consuming probiotics can strengthen your body’s entire immune system and help ward off infections such as the flu.
You can take probiotics either as a supplement or in the form of fermented dairy products such as yogurt or kefir. But whatever you choose, make sure it contains live and active cultures. Just saying something is “made with” active cultures isn’t enough.
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