What Are Probiotics?
Eating a healthy diet of plant-based foods may well offer the level of nutrients the body needs to thrive but it takes a healthy gut to reap the full nutritional benefits. The health of your gut or digestive system relies on a healthy supply of good bacteria to keep things running smoothly. When good bacteria levels are lacking, nutrient absorption is compromised, and so is the body’s immune system. This is where probiotics can help. Read on to see exactly what probiotics are and the health benefits they have to offer.
The Skinny on Probiotics
The body’s digestive tract houses trillions of bacteria organisms, both good and bad. There are actually more bacteria in the intestines, alone, than cells in the entire human body. Good bacteria support the digestive process in many ways, including:
- Extract nutrients from the food we eat
- Help protect the body against harmful materials, such as bad bacteria, viruses, and pathogens
- Help keep digestion processes running smoothly
Probiotics contain good bacteria that resemble or are the same as the bacteria that reside in the digestive tract. Certain foods contain high levels of good bacteria. Probiotics can also be taken in supplement form. Supplements contain different species and strains of bacteria; however, the two most common types are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Each type of bacteria carries out different roles in the digestive process, which means different types of probiotics offer different health benefits.
Good vs. Bad Bacteria
The digestive tract contains a mix of good and bad bacteria, though a healthy gut maintains about an 80/20 balance of good to bad. An unhealthy diet made up of fatty meats, sugary treats, processed foods, and refined sugars increases the number of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the gut.
When the bad bacteria outnumber the good, these conditions open the door for sickness and disease to develop. Chronic health conditions like skin problems, allergies, weight gain, and even depression can develop as a result. Including a healthy dose of probiotics in your daily diet not only helps increase the number of good bacteria but also helps keep levels of bad bacteria in check.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics offer a range of health benefits. Since bacteria strains can vary, so can the beneficial effects, depending on the type of food or supplement ingested. Here are a few of the health benefits you can expect to reap from including probiotics in your daily diet:
- Reduce inflammation throughout the body
- Promote healthy immune system functions
- Help with weight loss and weight management
- Help eliminate a range of digestive problems, including bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome
- Support blood pressure levels within a normal range
- Allergy relief
- Support healthy cardiovascular functioning
- Provide relief from occasional constipation and diarrhea
Sources of Probiotics
While probiotics are bacteria-based, foods that provide the same benefits as probiotics contain a certain type of yeast. This yeast results from a fermenting process, so certain fermented foods can be a good source of probiotic materials. Fermentation involves converting the carbohydrate portion of a food into organic acids. Food-based probiotics also contain prebiotic materials, which act as food for the good bacteria that’s already in your digestive tract. Foods that offer probiotic benefits include:
- Pickled cucumber
- Fermented kale
- Fermented beans
Like most any other product on the market, probiotic supplements run the gamut, as far as quality, price, and effectiveness go so. While many brands claim to be high in bacteria content, the acids in your stomach will kill off most of the bacteria before they even reach your colon, which is where they’re needed most. For these reasons, it’s important to select a quality, broad-spectrum probiotic supplement that’s able to do what it says. Our Professional Strength Probiotics supplement coats the gastrointestinal tract in good bacteria, and contains the clinically proven Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 strain..
The Hallelujah Diet – Help Maintain a Healthy Gut the Natural Way
Probiotic-based foods and supplements provide ways to build up the good bacteria in your gut, which is essential to keeping the body healthy. Eating a plant-based diet made up of fruits and vegetables offers another way to support and strengthen your gut health. The Hallelujah Diet consists of whole, nutrient-packed, plant-based foods.
Our diet contains high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These are chemical compounds that have disease-fighting effects. Our menu plan also supplies the body with high levels of fiber. High-fiber foods feed the good bacteria in your gut and also help the digestive tract better absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. If you’re looking for a way to keep your gut healthy for the long-term, our Hallelujah Diet does just that.
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