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What are Probiotics and can they help us in our search for good health?

Probiotics for good health

Probiotics are microbe rich foods or supplements that help our digestion by encouraging the growth of “good” bacteria. We all have millions of bacteria living in our large intestine and throughout our gut and these microbes play an important role in processing the nutrients from our food.

Each person has a unique “biome” or microbial environment in their gut. Our biome is both genetic / inherited and is also affected by diet, certain illnesses and medicines. When we have taken antibiotics or had a stomach bug the healthy balance of bacteria is lost and our immune system and our digestive system is compromised. Also too much sugar and too much highly processed food in the diet favours certain unhealthy, yeast forming types of “bad” bacteria.

These food choices are now known to have a detrimental effect on our ability to digest well and fight infections because of their effect on our biome. Eating probiotic foods like sour dough bread, sauerkraut and kefir (a kind of yogurt drink) provides a rich source of “good” bacteria and including them in our diet will benefit our healthy biome. Taking probiotics supplements is recommended after a course of antibiotics or after having a stomach bug to restore balance to the gut flora.

The research around the biome is very exciting and may hold the key to whole new ways to fight infection and even control weight gain.


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