Do you ever have those days where you’re simply feeling puffy, bloated, (even backed up)? We’ve all been there, and when our belly isn’t happy, we aren’t happy. It’s like the wife of our body: treat it right and it will maintain equilibrium and bliss between all of our systems.
All kidding aside, our digestive system is the epicenter of our being for a lot of functions and purposes. It can dwindle our immune system , it can cause us anxiety and stress, and it can make us feel agitated when it goes on strike and refuses to expel waste (no one is happy when this happens). On the upside, a happy belly can bring us increased energy, less bloat, less colds and viruses, vibrant skin, and a peaceful mind. It all depends on how we treat it.
There are countless ways to maintain a happy belly and digestive system. So many that it would take a book to navigate through each chapter. Yet, we all have to start somewhere. A good place to start? With Probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are organisms that help replenish your gut’s friendly bacteria to support ideal digestive function and to benefit our health. Probiotics can come in capsule form, powder form, as well as naturally in foods. You can also see in an earlier article about probiotics, I discuss some of the benefits including decreasing inflammation, and being good for the heart. Now, we are going to explore how probiotics directly play a role with digestion.
How do probiotics make our gut happy?
1. They help magnify a detox: Probiotics can help calm your stomach when your are going through a detox that uses herbal blends or mainly juices. Some people experience an acidic feeling the first couple of days when going on a juice cleanse, so ending the day with probiotic rich foods like miso soup or yogurt may reduce an upset stomach.
2. They support proper digestion: When combining probiotic use with a clean diet (the diet aspect can always be tricky), we can experience enhanced digestion. What does this mean? To start, when our gut is clear, we can better absorb vitamins and nutrients, and eliminate the waste more efficiently. When your gut is working efficiently, our digestion can be seamless and you can experience less bloat.
3. They boost immunity and can protect against colds: This article in Science Daily connects the link between immunity and our gut. As stated by Dr. Natalia Shulzhenko in the article, “Our intestines contain more immune cells than the entire rest of our body.” So how do probiotics relate? Little research confirms 100% that there is a connection between probiotics and increased immunity directly. Although, if these organisms can keep our gut strong and healthy, then our gut can properly fend off against harmful bacteria which can diminish our immune system.
4. Probiotics can bring you peace of mind: Do you know about the the connection between mind and belly? There is a network of nerves that run up and down from your esophagus to your anus, which wind their way through your intestines and stomach. The bacteria in your digestive tract, good or bad, can be affected by these nerves when you mentally feel stressed. Some studies have shown that taking probiotics for 30 days decreased feelings of anxiety and depression, try it for yourself and see how you feel.
5. Can ward off candida (or yeast infections): Probiotics can help fight off candida or pesky yeast infections by balancing the flora levels in your gut. The beneficial bacteria in probiotics can also overcome the candida yeast to eventually crowd it out from your system.
6. Can boost our confidence in the form of clear skin and fresh breath: Have you heard that your face reflects your diet? When you are eating foods that are processed or have a high glycemic index, it could build up inflammation in your body which can be reflected on your face as blemishes. Again, the combination of probiotics and an anti-inflammatory diet can not only keep your gut clear, but your skin clear as well. To take it up a notch, this study also shows that taking a certain probiotic helps fight off oral infection and bad breath. Nothing dwindles our confidence more than inflamed skin and foul breath!