Probiotics: Take Care of Your Gut & It Will Take Care of You
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to your digestive system and overall health. Even though most people think of bacteria as harmful, probiotics are often called “good” bacteria because they are necessary for optimum health. The more researchers study probiotics, the more they realize just how important they are.
Probiotics are especially vital for women
Probiotics are necessary for the optimum digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. They are especially valuable for women, because beneficial bacteria—mainly Lactobacillus strains—are vital for the good health of the vagina and urinary tract. They maintain a slightly acidic environment that prevents the growth of yeast and “bad” bacteria.
More than 100 conditions can be helped with probiotics, including irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, food and wheat allergies, acne, and the common cold. Probiotics have multiple beneficial functions, including antibacterial, antiviral, antiallergenic, and antioxidant.
Are you out of balance?
A healthy digestive system has a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. How can you tell if your gut bacteria are out of balance? Symptoms of gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, nausea, and headaches can be an indication. If you get sick often, this can be another sign. Scientists have discovered that the majority of our immune system cells are located in our digestive system, which makes a healthy gut essential to warding off diseases.
The “second brain” in your gut
It turns out, “gut feelings” are real. Feeling depressed or moody can also signal an imbalance in your gut bacteria. The digestive tract houses your enteric nervous system, which scientists have discovered acts like a “second brain.” It’s two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells along the walls of the gastrointestinal tract, and not only does it control digestion, it also communicates with your brain. Additionally, the gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain; nerve cells in the gut produce 95% of your serotonin. New studies are revealing that the health of your gut can actually affect your mental health: researchers have found that irritation there can send signals to your central nervous system that affect your mood.
How to maintain a healthy balance
Gut bacteria are sensitive and can be negatively affected by a variety of factors, including excess sugar consumption, antibiotics (including those found in meat), refined grains and processed foods, antibacterial soaps, pesticides, and pollution. Taking an antibiotic, which kills all bacteria, can really throw your gut out of balance. Eating mostly whole foods, and choosing organic when possible, will help limit your exposure to some of these factors. To boost your “good” bacteria, you can eat fermented foods and yogurt with live cultures. Taking a high quality probiotic supplement will also help replenish your balance of healthy bacteria.
We included probiotics in our Movita organic multivitamin for women because we wanted to create a supplement that provided all of the vital ingredients for supporting good health. The probiotics in Movita come from whole, organic food sources and include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. For more information, visit www.MovitaOrganics.com.