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Probiotics, Life Giving Organisms
The human body is filled with bacteria, fungus and yeasts some of them are beneficial others are not, but they are all part of the flora and fauna that live inside us. These include probiotics which are bacteria that live in our digestive system.
Scientist have not been able to determine exactly how these do their work but they agree that probiotics are necessary to maintain acidity in the stomach and digestive track and they improve and boost the immune system preventing disease.
These are life-giving microorganisms which are very important in the transmission of nutrients from the intestine to every cell in your body. They are alive and very active but their lifespan is not long so they must be replenished constantly.
They can be ingested in pills which are available in a soil based formula or in a lactic acid based formula. The first is recommended for those who are lactose intolerant because lactic acid formulas may produce gases and discomfort. Foods which require a fermentation process are also good sources because the fermentation process creates the best environment for the probiotics to grow and multiply.
The most commonly used source of probiotics is plain yogurt which is made by fermenting milk and sometimes adding flavors, bits of different fruits and coloration to it. Since they are bacteria, they reproduce during the fermentation process of different types of foods.
If you have a limited budget the easiest way to ingest probiotics is probably yogurt because other sources like Sauerkraut and Kimchi are not readily available fresh but pasteurized. Pasteurization kills most of the available bacteria.
Ailments Caused by the Lack of Probiotics
Stomach pain and bloating are two of the ailments caused by not having enough probiotics in your digestive system. The pain can become severe and the bloating is always uncomfortable, they are both caused by excess gas produced by yeasts like Candida which are populating the stomach instead of good bacteria. Since they are responsible for the proper digestion and dilution of food, in their absence chunks of food remain in your digestive system and rot causing gasses and pain.
This condition can also cause either constipation or severe diarrhea, in the first case, it is caused by undigested food which is stuck to the intestinal walls blocking or almost blocking the passage of other liquids causing a backup.
This backup can be dangerous if not treated immediately because it could make the intestine burst. In the second, due to the excess acidity in the stomach the food is completely dissolved and just runs out without leaving behind any nutrients or benefits.
Excess acidity can also cause heartburn and if not taken care of will eventually turn into an ulcer. In the absence of bacteria the pH levels in the stomach may go either way, acid or alkaline, when it involves high alkalinity yeasts, like Candida start to grow and multiply adding another series of pains and consequences to your already weak body.
The absence of probiotics affects other parts of the body too. The first and most noticeable symptoms are extreme fatigue and joint pains. These come together but the first sign is the inability to do the simplest task or even movement.
You truly feel like a truck ran over your complete body and backed up for a second pass. In extreme cases the person will lie in bed and sleep hour after hour and not even strong analgesics will get rid of the pain in every joint of the body.
Even the slightest movement can be the source of excruciating pain. This is caused by the lack of lubrication and nutrients reaching the joints because of the problems caused in your stomach’s pH levels. All this will go away after you have managed to stabilize pH levels and increase the amount of good bacteria in your system.
Lack of probiotics can lead to infections
Yeast and vaginosis infections are also promoted by the lack of probiotics in the intestine. Urinary infections and even the proliferation of Helicobacter Pylori which causes severe heartburn to the point where the gastric juices can rise all the way up to the esophagus and burn its walls are attributed to the lack of probiotics.
Jock itch and other skin affections are also caused by the change in stomach and intestine pH levels. All the above mentioned affections are produced by excessive amounts of yeast that weaken the immune system which then permits the yeast to multiply. So you see, this a very delicate situation you must be aware of and must solve as soon as you detect it.
Food Sources of Probiotics
The most commonly known source of probiotics is yogurt. A minimum of one cup of yogurt daily will maintain and increase bacterial growth in your intestinal track. It is not really important if it is flavored or not but natural yogurt is the best.
Adding a few strawberries or some mango to add flavor will not hurt either. It is not necessary to ingest yogurt all day, in fact, it does not help at all, probiotics will grow and multiply at their own speed, no matter how much yogurt you drink.
A bowl of miso soup for lunch is also an excellent idea, miso soup is made with fermented soybeans and it does not only contain lots of probiotic bacteria but has many antioxidants and is rich in vitamin B.
Soft, cheese made through fermentation like Gouda are also a great source of bacteria, although there are many different strains of good bacteria in our system not all of them are able to survive through pasteurization and cooking processes.
The point is, that if just a few survive and manage to get to your stomach, those few will multiply exponentially and establish a new colony. Sourdough bread is another perfect source; the fermenting process that takes place for the dough to rise is caused by bacteria which are excellent for your systems too. Remember this the next time you are at the deli choosing the type of bread you want for your sandwich.
Many types of food and vegetables we eat daily have probiotics in them so there is no excuse for getting sick because of the lack of them. Examples of these are asparagus; oatmeal, honey, red wine, bananas, maple syrup and many other legumes, the permanent addition of any of these to your diet will definitely improve your general wellbeing and especially your digestion.
A great example of a breakfast meal would be a large cup of cold yogurt mixed with banana slices. When you are out to dine or for lunch, don’t drink a beer, have a nice glass of red wine. These are simple things you can do without spending extra money on probiotic supplements while at the same time taking care of your health issues.
The effects of the lack of probiotics in your system for too long can be devastating and will always take a long time to get rid of. It is always better to prevent than to fix a problem. Even if your digestive system works fine, the ingestion of probiotics is always beneficial because it renews and strengthens the existing colonies.
This is a call to action to those who neglect their eating habits and the maintenance of their digestive system, it is the motor that feeds and nurtures all your body so it must be taken care of properly and permanently. Taking probiotic supplements or eating food containing them must become a habit, not just a means to get rid of this or that health problem. Doing this will allow you to have a better and fuller lifestyle.