While most of us consider ourselves to be independent beings, you might be surprised to know that on a microscopic level, our bodies aren’t entirely our own. We host an immense number of minute organisms and bacteria. Some are beneficial for our health and others aren’t which is why they can have a huge impact on how our bodies feel, function and behave on a daily basis.
Did you know that probiotic means “pro-life” or “for-life”?
With probiotics filling up supermarket shelves, let’s dig a little deeper to understand how they operate and interact with our bodies to create wellness.
Here are 12 fun facts:
- Probiotics are living microorganisms that provide us with a wide variety of health benefits, including producing vitamins A, K, B1,3,5,7,9,12 and essential fatty acids which supports our immune system and helps us digest the food we eat.
- Stress, antibiotics, a poor diet, exposure to toxins and food chemicals can reduce the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the body and contribute to disease.
- Each individual has their own unique population of microbes which can be found on and within the body such as; mouth, pharynx, vaginal tract, arm pits, intestines, skin and nose.
- Good bacteria prevents unwanted microbes from entering the blood stream and therefore helps to keep us healthy.
- There are 10 times more bacterial cells in the body than human cells.
- It is estimated that there are over 400 species of probiotics in our bodies.
- Probiotics are responsible for 70% of our immune response.
- Probiotics play a major role in helping maintain hormonal balance in women.
- Our appendix incubates probiotic bacteria.
- Probiotics increase the digestibility, bioavailability and processing of a large number of nutrients such as copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, potassium and zinc.
- A vaginal birth is a baby’s first dose of probiotics.
- Probiotic foods have been healing for millennia.
As you can see you there are many benefits of taking probiotics. Here are 5 foods that are loaded with probiotics – just click on the links below for the recipes.
- Behnsen, J. et al. Probiotics: Properties, Examples, and Specific Applications. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine.
- Goodrich, J. et al. Human Genetics Shape the Gut Microbiome. Cell. 159 (4).
- Aagaard, K. et al. The placenta harbors a unique microbiome. Science Translational Medicine. 6 (237).
- Ashraf R, Shah NP. Immune system stimulation by probiotic microorganisms. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(7):938-56.
- LeBlanc JG, Milani C, de Giori GS, et al. Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host: a gut microbiota perspective. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;24(2):160-8.
- Campbell-McBride N. Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Natural Treatment for Dyspraxia, Autism, A.D.D, Dyslexia, A.D.H.D, Depression, Schizophrenia, Revised and Expanded Edition. 2015.
Happy changing habits.
This article was previously published in 2016