Plant-Based Nutrition

Probiotics: Everything You Need to Know for a Healthy Gut

Hey guys Veggie Lisa here, I know that many of you have probably heard of probiotics and the benefits of probiotics but do you really know what they are?

Being a nutritionist, I already knew that having probiotics in your diet had plenty of health benefits for your gut. What I didn’t realize is that there are recent studies that found even more possibilities to the benefits that probiotics can have on your body, which can create life changing results!

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I want to help you guys get to the bottom of probiotics and how they help with maintaining a healthy Gut. Probiotics help to increase the good bacteria in your gut. Having bad gut health can make it hard to be active and lose weight. It also just makes everyday activities uncomfortable. So I’m going to cover the main things you need to know about maintaining gut health and how doing so can help your body.

Here’s the layout of what I’ll cover:

Gut Health

-Negative Side effects
-Benefits of Proper Gut health

Benefits of Probiotics

– Probiotics Effect on Gut Health
-Difference between probiotic and prebiotic
-Effect on Weight
-Effect on Brain
-Possible Side Effects

Gut Health

Negative Side Effects

Picture this, you’re getting ready for a date and you want to look your absolute best. You’re going to meet at a nice restaurant and you want to wear your favorite dress.

The only problem is that you feel so bloated. It makes you feel self-conscious about everything you try on. Everything feels tight and uncomfortable. Your whole demeanor and confidence in how the date is going to pan out is completely changed.

Okay guys, no need for a show of hands but I think we’ve all dealt with stomach and digestion problems. I think it’s safe to say that most of us have had moments where we’ve had stomach cramps, digestion issues, and nausea. And somehow it always happens at the absolute worst times!

One of the possible reasons for these problems is bad bacteria in your gut. Having too much bad bacteria in the gut can create a number of negative symptoms like the ones just described.

Gut complications can make it impossible for you to eat normally because of nausea and digestion problems, which can also make you to feel constantly uncomfortable.

This can also give you anxiety about being social because you never know how your body is going to react. Trying to think of an exit strategy for every social activity is exhausting. No one should have to deal with these problems regularly and there may be some solutions that you can try to remedy some of these issues.

 Benefits of Proper Gut Health

Like I said before, if these things are a big issue for you then you’re most likely dealing with bad bacteria in your gut. The balance of good bacteria in your gut can have a major effect on your digestion, weight loss, and even your quality of life!

Good bacteria in our bodies can help digest food and destroy disease-causing microorganisms. They can also assist in the process of vitamin production.

Probiotics are microorganisms. If you’re wondering what that is, essentially it means they are live bacteria that can live on and in your body. Microorganisms outnumber the human cells by approximately ten to one! Now don’t start to feel squirmy, they can do great things for your body.

Good bacteria can not only help with digestion and boosting your immune system but can also impact your brain. Studies show that properly balanced gut health can also offer mood support! There are also studies that show that gut health can have an impact on the brain and how it functions.

Benefits of Probiotics

Effect on Weight Loss

measuring waist

There have been several studies on how probiotics can affect your weight. A lot of these studies provide interesting insights on the connection between good bacteria and how much fat your body takes in.

In one study the researchers gave a group of young men a high-calorie diet so that they would gain weight. Participants were either given a probiotic supplement or a placebo. The men who had the placebo gained a significantly larger amount of weight than those who had the probiotic.

Another study shows that the specific strain of probiotic called Lactobacillus gasseri was shown to have an effect on weight. The researchers suggest that Lactobacillus gasseri may discourage dietary fat absorption within the small intestine, which inhibits calories taken in.

I’m not saying that taking a probiotic is like taking a miracle weight loss pill, but it is possible that they could help you in the process of losing weight. Essentially probiotics could help you to lose weight because of the role that good bacteria has in the process of digestion. It’s possible that it may inhibit fat absorption from the calories that you eat, which would make your body absorb less fat.

Effect on Gut Health

Having proper gut health is important for not only weight loss but for your overall health! Probiotics can help your gut because they are the same or similar to the good bacteria, or microorganisms, that live on or in our bodies.

The imbalance of gut bacteria can create negative symptoms like gas, diarrhea, and indigestion. The good bacteria can help ward off these digestion problems because the good bacteria can kill off the bad bacteria that can cause some of these problems.

Many things can inhibit the bodies balance of good bacteria like stress, antibiotics, and infections. Antibiotics can throw off the balance of the bacteria in your gut because they kill good and bad bacteria.

Probiotics can help your body to maintain a good community of beneficial microorganisms. They can also help to normalize the digestive tract’s barriers against the less desirable microorganisms.

The Difference Between Probiotic and Prebiotic

Prebiotics help the growth of beneficial bacteria over the harmful ones. They are found in foods like asparagus, garlic, onion, wheat bran, and banana. Fibrous Carbohydrates fuel the good bacteria, which encourages their growth.

Since probiotics are a part of the microbiome themselves, they are different than that of prebiotics. Yet they both encourage good gut health. They stimulate an immune response by out-competing bad microorganisms. Probiotics are found in foods like miso soup, kimchi, and yogurt. Products, or supplements, that have probiotics and prebiotics are called “symbiotic” because they contain both.

The Gut’s Effect on The Brain

lisa running

Something that I found shocking, is that the gut and the brain seem to communicate! Honestly, I would have never thought that my stomach communicated with my brain, other than to let it know it was hungry! But then I think about how digestion problems affect my mood and it makes more sense.

As it turns out, it’s possible gut microbiome can influence neural development, brain chemistry, and a wide range of behavior. Researchers think that it could affect emotional behavior, pain perception, and how your body responds to stress.

The gut and brain work together in influencing behavior such as anxiety and confidence. More research is needed to really know how the brain and stomach communicate but it does appear to be a two-way street, so to speak. This is because the brain can also inhibit the gut when stressed, so they both affect one another.

Some researchers suggest that the gut communicates by utilizing the immune system itself. They think that this occurs through the use of immune cells and chemicals, which they synthesize to send as messages to the brain.

Others say the vagus nerve is how both the brain and the stomach communicate. The vagus nerve is a nerve that helps in the process of sending signals back to the brain. This nerve is associated with multiple nervous systems.

The enteric nervous system controls the gut and intestines. The gut has its own independent nervous system, it’s the only organ that does. Which means that its functions must be important. Something that I didn’t realize is that there are 100 million neurons within the gut wall alone. This is one of the reasons why some call the gut the second brain.

The bacteria in the gut makes hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes including learning, mood, and memory.

Something really interesting is that gut bacteria manufactures approximately 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin! This has a huge influence on your mood and GI activity. Low levels of serotonin have also been linked with depression and anxiety. This suggests that gut health potentially has more of an influence on our overall well-being than previously thought. In other words, it’s not something that should be ignored.

Natural Remedies

lisa at the grocery store

One of the best reasons to have probiotics in your diet is that it’s a natural way of treating stomach problems. Pain killers and other pills can actually hurt the walls of the stomach by causing ulcers. Ulcers are holes created in the walls of the stomach.

By using a probiotic you can assist the good bacteria and possibly eliminate some of the bad symptoms caused by gut issues. That means that you may not have to use pain killers to alleviate your symptoms.

Taking a probiotic can be a better option than the short relief of taking a pain killer because of the potentially harmful side effects that can come from pain killers.

This can ensure your gut has plenty of bacteria to help with digestion and also to help keep your body functioning at top notch. If you are struggling through indigestion, stomach problems, gas, or diarrhea, then you may want to start getting more probiotics and prebiotics into your diet!

Side Effects

There are little to no side effects with healthy individuals taking probiotics for gut health. It can’t treat an infection if you have one, but studies show that it could help in the process if paired with an antibiotic.

However, those who are critically ill should consult their doctors before taking probiotics because taking in bacteria when the body is weak can be problematic for some.

Conclusions

Having a healthy gut can be truly life changing for your overall wellness, a healthy gut can help you manage your gut problems so you can go back to being active and social. There is research that shows a correlation of gut health and its effect on behavior. Other research shows that gut health can have an effect on weight loss and nutrient absorption. It’s clear from both that having a healthy gut can have a positive effect on your life.

IdealRaw Probiotic contains six strains of probiotics that have been handpicked to provide the best results for obtaining a healthy gut. This will help you in having better quality of life, letting you focus on obtaining your goals and living a healthier happier life.

probiotic-benefits of probiotics

 



Lisa Danielson

Lisa Danielson

Vegan Nutritionist

Major advocate for all things green and vegetarian. With the nickname “Veggie Lisa”, I am here to help you love veggies as much as I do! With my tips and tricks for preparing delicious veggies, you’ll never think plants are boring again.


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