When you think of the word “guts” you probably picture a person achieving a dangerous feat without fear or imagine a graphic, gory horror scene.
But when we talk about guts in a medical sense, we’re talking about the organs that make up our gastrointestinal system.
Many people might think that our guts are just there to process our food as it passes through our bodies, but they’re so much more important than that to the way our bodies function and for our overall health.
More and more studies have shown that when the bacteria in our gut is imbalanced, our overall health and response to disease suffers.
Probiotics are one of the best ways to ensure our gut stays healthy, and provide a good balance of gut bacteria in our systems.
So, if you’ve got the guts, follow along as I detail a few good reasons that should make you want to add probiotics to your daily regimen.
Bacteria in a Pill
Probiotics are so incredibly important when you want to get your gut right.
But what are they?
You’ve probably heard that probiotics are bacteria, and that might have made you worried or concerned. Why would you want to consume bacteria? That’s gross, right?
Here’s the thing… it is bacteria. However, it is what we consider good bacteria.
In fact, most types of bacteria are good bacteria. There just happens to be a handful of bad bacteria that give the rest a bad name.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are either the same or very similar to the good bacteria regularly found in our bodies. They can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements to give us many more health benefits than you might expect.
Why You Should Be Consuming Bacteria
Digestive System Health
The main reason we should all be taking probiotics is that they help to balance the friendly bacteria in our digestive system. They work with the bacteria in your gut to regulate its ecosystem.
One of the ways your gut health can be set off-balance is by having a poor diet with an overabundance of refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, pastries, and breakfast cereals. Probiotics can help remedy that.
Almost every disease you can think of would be handled by your body better with better gut health. That’s not to say that all diseases affect your gut, but that your body will respond to your illness better if your gut health is in check.
When you do get ill, there is a good chance your gut health will be thrown off-kilter. Then, when your doctor puts you on antibiotics or other medication, it is possible that those treatments will disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your body even further.
Diarrhea can occasionally be a symptom of antibiotics, and probiotics can be a great tool to reduce its severity while you heal from your other illnesses.
If you often find yourself with a loose, watery bowel, or your stool does not look healthy, you should definitely consider adding probiotics to your diet, and seeing if they help settle things down.
While it’s easy to see the correlation between probiotics and gut health, many people are surprised to find that probiotics also help with mental health.
A lot of scientists have begun calling our gut our “second brain.” A large amount of our nervous system links to our gut, and information regularly goes on a loop from the brain all the way down to the gut and back again.
Many people suffering from poor gut health like those with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, ileitis, or any other type of inflammatory bowel will find themselves battling with their mental health.
Taking a supplement for Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus (which you’ll find in most probiotics) has shown to help improve mental symptoms like depression, anxiety, stress, OCD, autism, and issues with memory in many patients.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that heart health is very important.
Amazingly, certain probiotic strains can help to keep your heart healthy. They’re able to do this by lowering the low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol, and help your body maintain healthy blood pressure.
When you introduce probiotics with lactic-producing bacteria it will break down the bile in your gut. While bile is a naturally occurring fluid, it can become very thick and viscous. Breaking down the bile prevents it from being reabsorbed into your bloodstream as bad cholesterol.
Fighting Infection & Allergy Reduction
Probiotics have the ability to activate regulatory T cells, which fight infection by recognizing and blocking certain viruses from attacking your system. This boosts your immune system, which can help decrease the severity of certain allergies and lessen the symptoms of eczema.
Losing Weight & Staving Off Hunger
Weight loss can is another thing probiotics can help with. Probiotics can prevent dietary fat in your intestines from being absorbed and stored in your body by helping you excrete that fat through your feces.
Another way probiotics can help you lose weight is by making your stomach feel fuller. You’ll fill up quicker with smaller meals and will feel full for longer periods of time.
Pairing those things together can help you to burn more calories while storing less fat.
I have to say, probiotics are one of the easiest supplements you can take. They’re one of the few things that can be given to pregnant mothers, babies, and even dogs, horses, and other animals if they have the right ingredients. Different mixtures help different people, and there are a lot of good companies that make quality probiotics.
That said, I have made my own probiotic that I’m proud of, with the type of ingredients that I’ve always wanted to see together. So if this article’s piqued your attention, and you’re interested in treating your body to great gut health please give it a try.