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Love your gut  

Did you know that 95% of the happy-go-lucky hormone called serotonin is made in your digestive system. Serotonin helps control mood and if out of balance, can lead to symptoms like depression and anxiety. Because almost all of our serotonin is made in our gut, it is important that our digestion is working optimally. So what does that mean exactly? Having a good gut microbiome (micro-by-ohm) is a great place to start. Our microbiome is made of bacteria (both good and bad) that help us digest food, protect us against germs and help us produce vitamins and hormones, among many other things. There is a fine balance between the good and bad bacteria in our gut and if too little of the good ones are present, unpleasant symptoms usually occur- like gas, bloating, anxiety, depression and lower immunity to name a few. Low levels of the good bacteria can occur from: frequent antibiotic use, poor food quality with little to no fermented food,stress and even oral birth control. Here is where probiotics come in. Probiotics can help you get the good guys back into your system to help you feel better.

Are probiotics really all that?

Probiotics have become a hot topic in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. What are they exactly? Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for you. Did you know you have more cells of bacteria in and on your body than your own cells?  Not all bacteria are bad, and the good ones play a big role in our overall health.

How do they work

Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work but so far, these friendly bacteria have shown to have a big and positive impact on your digestive system. Reduction in bloating and regular bowel movements are some of the many ways probiotics can help you.

On top of helping you process your food, probiotics can also help with:

  • Cold and flu prevention
  • Allergies
  • Skin issues like eczema
  • Vaginal concerns like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis
  • Depression and mood regulation

Here’s what to look for when choosing a probiotic

  1. Make sure they have live bacteria in them- this will usually be stated somewhere on the box/bottle. This ensures that they will actually help contribute to your gut.
  2. Choose ones that are a minimum of 10 billion CFU. Look to see if they include the beneficial strains Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
  3. Look for guaranteed potency. This also, should be stated somewhere on the box/bottle as its important to make sure the amount claimed will still be present at the time of expiry.

Don’t most yogurt have probiotics in it? They do but, unfortunately, there aren’t enough probiotics in them to move the dial forward in your health if used just on their own without supplementing.

You can diversify the way your body  gets probiotics by eating probiotic rich food. Adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, miso or kombucha into your daily routine is a great way to amp up your probiotic intake.

Conclusion

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help your mood, digestion and immune system. When choosing a probiotic supplement be sure that it contains live cultures of at least 10 billion CFU that is guaranteed upon expiry. Diversify your probiotic intake by also adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee or kombucha to your daily routine.

Do you use probiotics in your daily routine?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Emmanuelle Ravez Gomez    RMT,CDT
 Tel: 416-533-2639
emma@thebodymindclinic.com
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