The Benefits of Probiotics


March 19, 2015
In 1-Day Renewal, Nutrition

Suja Juice Benefits of ProbioticsLiving inside each of our digestive tracts are about 100 trillion different types of bacteria. In fact, about 7 lbs of our physical bodies is made up of bacteria that lives inside of our intestines. (1) This might sound gross to some people but this bacteria is actually vital to our overall health. Gut flora helps us properly digest our food, absorb vital nutrients and enzymes from the foods we consume, protects us against harmful compounds and keeps us healthy by protecting our immune system. (2) If it wasn’t for healthy gut flora, we would all be sick constantly. Recently, there have also been studies suggesting that gut flora can affect our mental and emotional well-being. In short, the healthier our gut, the healthier our bodies and minds. (2)

Probiotics are a culture of good bacteria. We can find this culture in supplements, dairy products and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. Probiotics are really just one form of bacteria, and bacteria can also be found everywhere from our food to the dirt our food grows in, to desks, public bathrooms, etc. Some of this bacteria is healthy, some isn’t. (3)

So what are the benefits of probiotics? There are so many that it would be impossible to summarize all of them here, however, we will outline 4 of the most important benefits of probiotics.

Digestive Health

Probiotics are historically known to affect and improve digestive health. In fact, this is why most people add probiotics to their diet either in the form of supplements or foods with naturally occurring probiotics. Probiotics have been shown to help with IBS, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Additionally, there has been some research done that healthy gut bacteria helps us to better absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat. (4)

Immune Health

Other than digestive health, one of the main functions of healthy bacteria is to increase our immune response and strengthen our immune system. Our immune system prevents us from getting sick and is responsible for helping us recover. Our immune system can be compromised by a variety of factors such as taking antibiotics, eating an excess of processed foods, not getting enough sleep; even stress can have a detrimental effect. Probiotics help to increase the function and effectiveness of our immune system. (5)

Skin Health & Allergies

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our gut bacteria could have an effect on our overall skin health. One study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found women with a history of seasonal allergies who took probiotics during pregnancy reduced their babies risk of childhood eczema by 30%, which is an early sign of allergies in babies. (6)

Women’s Health

Women are especially at risk for unhealthy gut bacteria. Getting pregnant and taking birth control can both affect your overall gut health not to mention other factors mentioned earlier such as antibiotic usage. In women, a lack of good bacteria can show up in the form of UTIs and yeast infections. These infections can be particularly difficult to get rid of. However, studies have shown that adding probiotics to your diet can help to prevent the overgrowth of these harmful microorganisms that cause infection. (7)

Anya Kaats & Suja Juice

SOURCES

  1. “100 Trillion Bacteria in Your Gut: Learn How to Keep the Good Kind There.” Merocla Medicine. Mercola Inc., 1 Oct. 2003. <https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/02/optimized-gut-health-benefits.aspx>
  2. Myers, Wendy. “Probiotics – The Foundation of Health – Liveto110.com.” Live to 110. Live to 110 LLC, 9 Feb. 2015. Web. <https://liveto110.com/probiotics-the-foundation-of-health/>
  3. Feature, Mary. “What Are Probiotics? Benefits, Supplements, Foods, & More.” WebMD. WebMD. 9. Oct. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics>
  4. “Probiotics Are Essential to a Healthy Gut Flora.” Mercola.com. Marcela Inc, 24 Sept. 2011<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/24/one-of-the-most-important-steps-you-can-take-to-improve-your-health.aspx>
  5. “How to Boost Your Immune System – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health. Harvard Health Publications, 2015. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system>
  6. “Probiotics: The Secret to Lowering Your Child’s Eczema Risk.” Mercola.com. Mercola Inc, 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/03/probiotics-lessen-eczema-risk.aspx>
  7. “Probiotics and Fermented Foods for a Healthy Immune System.” Mercola.com. Mercola Inc, 14 July 2012. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/14/gut-microbes-for-healthy-immune-system.aspx>
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Anya Kaats

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Anya is a natural foods industry vet, and was a key member of Suja’s marketing team from 2013-2015. Having struggled with dietary & digestive issues from a young age, Anya adopted a modified paleo diet during college and noticed a huge improvement in her overall health & well-being. She developed an immense passion for whole, unprocessed food and nutrition and is thrilled to be able to merge her passion with her professional career. Anya is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC) with a degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Check out her blog “Anya’s Eats”.