Pro vs. Anti
Probably have you a little confused with that title, hu? Might have you thinking, “Why the hell would I want to ingest bacteria?!” or another one, “How do I eat bacteria and what does it taste like?”. The thought of actually putting these demons in your body might sound disgusting and completely opposite of what we learned growing up (think of all those anti-bacterial soaps), but you actually need some bacteria in your life. Now, before you become an anti-hand washer trying to gather up bacteria, you need to know that not all bacteria is good.
There are so many different strains of bacteria out there; some good and some bad. This is why no matter how many times you get a flu shot, you still might get sick. When doctors put together the shots, they are doing this based on the common bacterias going around causing the sickness, but if they don’t have the right strain, then the shot does nothing. “Well, what kind of bacteria am I looking for then?…” Glad you asked.
The bacteria we’re going to be talking about today is the good stuff that your body needs; pro-biotics. You’ve heard of anti-biotics, which kill//eliminate bacteria that are usually causing harm to our bodies. Well, pro-biotics are living microorganisms that help our bodies; more specifically, they help restore and repair our gut health. These tiny little creatures help to breakdown, eat, fight, and digest everything that goes into your gut. It’s really weird to think that when you take a pro-biotic you’re actually ingesting living organisms. #MindBlown. But to put it all in a nut shell, Pro-biotics=good bacteria and anti-biotics =bad bacteria. With me so far?
If you’re still with me you now understand that our bodies need bacteria and are actually good for our health, but you might be wondering how exactly they help us. So, let’s breakdown all the positive benefits that come from a pro-biotic.
Pro-biotics can help reduce bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoproteins).
Remember how I said they eat and fight everything that goes into the gut? Because these little soldiers have our back, they break down bile helping lead to less cholesterol going through our system.
They help to keep the heart healthy.
Simply put; lower LDL levels can lead to a healthier heart.
Help with digestive issues.
Because pro-biotics help with the breakdown of food; when we don’t have enough in our system it can lead to bloating, constipation, gas, and other not so fun side effects.
Keeping the immune system strong
We all know our immune system is our defense against infections and getting sick. Usually when we think of someone who is always sick, they are often referred to as having a weak immune system, but this might not be the whole issue. We constantly have a war going on in our bodies. It’s the oldest tale in the book; good (bacteria) vs. evil (bacteria). At the end of the battle, whichever bacteria there is more of can determine our health. If we have more bad bacteria in our system then we typically get sick more or don’t feel at 100 and vice versa. So, to help with the war we send in more and more troops (good bacteria) to overthrow the dictator. (If you stuck with me during that metaphor then props to you because that was a long one)
Can help with depression/anxiety/negative moods.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and hormone that helps with our feelings of happiness and joy, so how does our gut have anything to do with this? Well, scientists have found that nearly 90% of our serotonin receptors are found in our gut lining! Needless to say, if our gut is all jacked up and not working how it should, then serotonin production and uptake won’t be optimal leading to a feeling of always being bummed and not so cheerful.
Just like almost all nutrients/vitamins that the body needs, we can find pro-biotics in everyday foods and supplemental form. Some common sources are:
Kimchi (a fermented Korean side dish)
Kombucha (fermented green/black tea)
Various supplements in powder and or pill form (I recommend the pro-biotics from Complete Wellness. They’re high-quality, taste great, and you can save money when you use code: LIFTAWAY at checkout)
Note: If you didn’t notice the trend; a lot of fermented foods are great sources of this good bacteria.
How often do I need pro-biotics?
A general rule of thumb is that you can take/should take pro-biotics everyday because we are always using our digestive system and fighting off bacteria, but there are some instances that pro-biotics should be a staple.
After taking an anti-biotic
Earlier we discussed how anti-biotics kill/eliminate bacteria, but the bad thing about this is that anti-biotics do that just a little to well. They kill any bacteria that may be in our systems. Yeah, there are different anti-biotics for different types of bacteria, but they all have one mission; eliminate bacteria. So, after ending an anti-biotic, I recommend quickly getting on a pro-biotic to help repair and build up the good bacteria again. Notice how I said after? Due to the nature of anti-bacterias it just doesn’t make sense to take a pro-biotic because they’re just going to be eliminated.
Normally when we travel we aren’t eating the best and are exposed to a lot more germs, so again, by increasing our good bacteria we can help fight infections that may be trying to come in, along with digesting our food a little better.
Never used a pro-biotic
If you’ve never used a pro-biotic it could definitely be smart to look into it to reap all the benefits we’ve been talking about. Think of how old you are and how much your digestive system has been working over those years breaking down different foods and/or taking anti-biotics; help give that gut a boost in it’s health with some pro-biotics.
You are always sick
Like I mentioned earlier, if you are always sick it might not just be that you have a weak immune system, but could be partly due to the fact there you just don’t have enough of the good guys fighting for you. Also, normally when we are sick we get put on an anti-biotic and we all know what that means…
I know I just threw a whole bunch of information at you and hopefully it made sense. If you have any questions, want to know more about pro-biotics, or want me to cover a certain subject next time; just shoot over an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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