The use and benefits of probiotics are nothing new. The consumption of some fermented foods and cultured milk products can be traced back to ancient times. However, in recent years, the increased interest in probiotics has been a growing trend. Americans are spending nearly three times as much on probiotic supplements than they did 10 years ago.
The health of your colon and digestive system is vital to your overall well-being. The key is to maintain the proper balance of friendly flora vs. bad bacteria in your gut. And probiotic foods and supplements can help you do this.
Intestinal flora impacts much more than your gastrointestinal tract; it affects your entire immune system and nervous system. You might be surprised to learn that about 80% of your immune system is contained in your gut, and living inside your gut are 100 trillion bacteria. To put this into perspective, this means there are 10 times more bacteria in your gut than there are human cells that make up your entire body!
Another fact that might surprise you is that there are as many neurotransmitters in your gut as there are in your brain. So when you have a “gut feeling” about something, maybe there’s more to it than just a hunch?
Signs of an Imbalance in Your Gut
Things that can cause an imbalance of bad bacteria vs. good flora are poor eating habits, pollution and other toxins, taking antibiotics and stress. When bad bacteria overtakes your system, symptoms can include bloating, low energy and fatigue, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, inflammation, headaches, cravings for sweets, and weight gain.
Besides the obvious discomfort from these symptoms, serious issues can result from poor colon health and improper digestive function.
Many physicians and natural health practitioners recognize the benefits of probiotics and recommend them to their patients to promote colon and digestive health as well as general wellness.
What are Probiotics?
According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (Microorganisms are tiny living organisms that can only be seen under a microscope, such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts.)
Most probiotics are healthy bacteria that are found naturally in people’s guts. The most common two groups are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and within each group there are different species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus. And within each species, there are different strains.
For optimum health, eating fermented foods and taking a daily probiotic supplement can help, such as Healthy Choice Naturals Balanced Probiotic GI Support Formula. The benefits of probiotics provided by this powerful supplement come from the more than five billion friendly bacteria it contains from all seven probiotic strains proven to support colon and digestive health.
In order to get all the benefits of probiotics in the products you choose, they must contain adequate quantities of live microorganisms, preferably in the particular strains that are known to be most effective, such as Bacillus Subtilus, L. Rhamnosus, L. Casei, B. Longum, L. Acidophilus, B. Breve, and L. Plantarum. All of these are included in the more than five billion friendly organisms contained in Healthy Choice Naturals Balanced Probiotic GI Support Formula.
Food sources that contain probiotics are yogurt, unpasteurized and refrigerated pickles and sauerkraut, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, select juices and soy drinks. The live microorganisms in probiotic products are either present naturally or are added during processing.
Read Product Labels
To choose the best probiotic foods and supplements, read product labels. The highest quality products will include information about:
- The specific strains or varieties of probiotic organisms contained in the product.
- The number of organisms that are in a single dose and how often it should be taken.
- Recommended uses based on scientific studies.
- Storage information because some products require refrigeration while others can remain viable at room temperature for a length of time. Look for products that are viable “through the end of shelf life” rather than “at the time of manufacture.”
- Company contact information.
For more information about the benefits of probiotics supplements, go to http://shop.healthychoicenaturals.com/Balanced-Probiotic-Supplement-p/probiotic.htm.