GUTSY: PROBIOTICS + WHY YOU NEED THEM
We all know self-care is crucial. Taking time to unplug and wind-down means you’re better equipped to support your community and take on the day. But despite what social media might have you believe, self-care is less about luxurious flower filled baths and aromatherapy massages (although indulge in these as you please) than everyday healthy rituals that help keep your body and mind energized. Like something as simple as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, eating a diet rich in whole plant-based foods, practicing positive thinking, and consuming probiotics!
Probiotics offer many health benefits by promoting proper intestinal environment (also known as "gut flora") and stimulating the gastrointestinal tract, but the advantages go beyond your gut.
There’s no denying the mind-gut connection, but can probiotics actually have an affect on your central nervous system function? Mood and psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety have been linked to gut microbiota function. Probiotics are known to produce neurotransmitters including serotonin and norepinephrine which may produce effects similar to antidepressants.
Research shows we need the right amount of good gut bacteria to keep pathogens at bay and that probiotics successfully stimulate the immune systems, leading to fewer respiratory infections and medical complications overall.
Allergic diseases are noninfectious inflammatory conditions that cause us to produce antibodies in response to common exposures to allergens. The occurrence of allergies have increased significantly in the last 50 years, and some scientists hypothesize that the increase is due to reduced exposure to microorganisms early in life—resulting in an unbalanced immune response. Since people with eczema and other allergic disease have a different gut microbiota compared to people without allergic disease, it may be possible to alter the microbiota using probiotics in order to relieve symptoms.
Candida is an overgrowth of yeast somewhere in the body. This can be caused by a number of things like overconsumption of sugar, taking antibiotics, lack of sleep, hormone imbalance, weak immune system, pregnancy, and uncontrolled diabetes. Yeast infections are more common in women and not at all fun. If you have to take antibiotics for any reason, I highly recommend taking a probiotic during/afterwards to replace the good bacteria that the antibiotics stripped away. Probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms of candida and can even help type 2 diabetics lower fasting blood sugar levels, keeping both symptoms and root causes in check.
The systems of the body interact in a complex, interconnected web. Therefore, it makes sense that a healthy gut can aid in alleviating symptoms of high-cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even congestive heart failure! One study evaluated 11 randomized clinical trials involving people that were not taking cholesterol-lowering agents and found that taking probiotics supplements lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to people who did not take probiotics.
Imbalances in the gut’s microbiome can lead to a host of skin issues. Conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and acne are really inflammatory conditions, and often a manifestation of something that is happening deeper within the body. When you fix the gut, skin issues often resolve as well.
plant-based probiotic sources
- The Probiotic + Digestive Enzyme I take daily
- Pre + Probiotic Supplements
- Coconut Yogurt
- Miso (try chickpea miso if you're sensitive to soy)
- Pickled Vegetables (not to be confused with bread + butter pickles)