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The popularity of probiotics has grown tremendously in recent years. Study after study seem to link the right balance of bacteria in our gut to measurable benefits to our (physical) health. These benevolent bacteria can help you to maintain good health, and can also help to treat a wide range of health problems like oral health issues, irritable bowel syndrome, and even certain skin issues. But now research suggests probiotics may even help us to maintain good mental health!
Your gut contains a variety of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics help increase the good bacteria, bringing your gut into balance.
For instance, if you take antibiotics for an infection, the antibiotic kills bacteria indiscriminately. This means that while it will kill the bacteria that caused your infection, it also kills the good bacteria that your body needs. Probiotics helps to keep the good bacteria alive, and to replace the good bacteria that is killed by the antibiotic.
Gut health is often reflected in other parts of the body. Skin conditions like eczema can often be improved with probiotics. They can also improve oral health, urinary and vaginal health, and improve your immune system to prevent allergies and colds.
A recent study conducted in the Netherlands at the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition, located in the Netherlands, showed that probiotics may help improve mood by fighting anxiety and depression.
In the study 20 healthy participants without any current mood disorder took probiotic supplements for 4 weeks, and 20 other participants only took a placebo for the same period. The results showed that those who took the probiotics began to show “reduced reactivity to sad mood” and reported less reaction to mood swings than those participants that only took the placebo.
So what is the link with adrenal fatigue? Well, people who are suffering from adrenal fatigue quite often experience symptoms such as anxiety and mild depression. Chronic or intense stress can make you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope and saddened. But this research shows that eating a healthy diet that includes probiotics can help improve your mental state and bring you back to a positive state of mind.
Probiotics are linked to many more healthy advantages. They can also give you a stronger immune system, improve digestion, increase energy, improve bad breath by killing candida, give you healthier skin, fewer colds and flu, and possibly even weight loss. Prescription antibiotics, sugar, GMO foods, grains, emotional stress, and chemicals and medications can all kill the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can help remedy this, as can changing your diet.
Probiotics can be taken as a supplement in pill form, or they can be found in foods. Ideally, you should try to get your probiotics from foods, but a supplement can work.
Foods you should look for to increase your probiotics:
Fermented foods are typically a great source of probiotics. As with anything, of course, you should make sure that you check labels and look at things like sugar content, calories and serving sizes.
Additionally, you can often find prepackaged foods that contain probiotics. Nutrisystem is an excellent low cost example of this, with their Turbo10 shakes containing probiotics.
You can find probiotic supplements in pill form, as well. It’s important if you take a supplement that you follow the instructions carefully.
As mentioned above, there are some foods that tend to have a detrimental effect on the good bacteria in your gut – these same foods also tend to have that effect on probiotics. Therefore, it’s likely that some changes to your diet would be necessary to maximize the effectiveness of the probiotics.
This can be done in many ways, however. A good start is merely increasing the amount of probiotic-rich foods in your diet. Increasing these foods may naturally lead to a decrease in other, less healthy foods.
Reducing your sugar intake is another key to maximizing your probiotic effectiveness. Find sugar-free substitutes for your sweet tooth cravings, or substitute honey or raw sugar for the refined sugar you currently use.
If it all seems overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, prepackaged meals could come to your rescue again. Going with a meal plan like Nutrisystem eliminates the need for you to try to figure out what to eat and what not to eat, by providing you with plenty of healthy, balanced options to choose from.
Add in a probiotic supplement, some yogurt or kombucha, and you may notice a quick change in how you look and feel. Over time, you could transition away from Nutrisystem and back to creating your own meals as you feel more confident doing so.
Side effects from probiotics tend to be very mild, and are actually usually an indication that the probiotics are working. If you have any side effects, they’re likely to be along the lines of gas, bloating, loose stools or other bowel systems. These symptoms might be disagreeable and unpleasant, but they shouldn’t last long or be painful.
Probiotics are easy to incorporate into your diet, and can improve your health from the inside out. When your gut health is in balance, the rest of your body will benefit. Start easing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, and see the difference it can make.
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