Enlist your Microbial Army!
Strange but true fact:
Our bodies are made of more bacteria than human cells, and the gut alone contains trillions of microbes (bacteria and fungi).
In fact, it’s estimated that the body is composed of10 times more bacteria than human cells. And the intestines are home to more microbes than any other part of the body!
That’s a lot of microbes - and potentially not necessarily in your favour if you happen to have an overgrowth of bad bacteria! (FYI: women often have more gut issues than men!)
As women, we are natural multi-taskers, but often stressed out & worn out, running around after kids, holding down jobs as well as running the household.
It is only natural therefore that we find ourselves lacking in energy & reaching for a combination of different vitamins & minerals to help us keep up with our lives.
But what if a daily probiotic was all you needed to feel fantastic?
One of the well-publicised selling points of probiotics is the way that they can transform your digestion. With just one daily dose of probiotics, you are feeding your body the healthy bacteria that it needs to heal your gut, ridding yourself of symptoms like stomach cramps, wind, diarrhea, constipation, bloating (especially after eating foods containing gluten or dairy) indigestion and acid reflux.
But that’s not all they are good for…
As the gut is known by many as the “second brain”, it’s no surprise then, that maintaining a healthy gut can really boost your mood, supercharge your brain activity, eliminate feelings of anxiety, as well as helping you sleep.
Vaginal Health & UTI’s
Millions of women all over the world suffer from chronic (defined by 4 or more per year) yeast infections as a result of overgrowth in bad bacteria. These can be painful and often have us reaching for over the counter products, or even calling our GP’s to prescribe us antibiotics. Fact is that antibiotics kill all our bacteria.
Furthermore, 30-40% of these antibiotically treated infections reoccur, as the antibiotics become resistant, due to being overprescribed.
Antibiotics are not the permanent answer– probiotics are. Probiotics can both prevent & cure yeast infections by killing the Candida yeast and establishing a well-balanced flora.
In the process, probiotics will encourage a healthy urinary tract, which will also prevent painful urinary tract infections.
Pregnant Women & Nursing Mothers:
For any of us who are mothers, the health of our baby is of utmost importance to us. From the time of conception we want to protect our baby’s health, and with probiotics, you can do just that!
Probiotics in Pregnancy:
1. Establish a healthy immune system for your unborn baby, give them the defense they need for life outside of the womb.
2. Reduce the possibility of your baby developing allergies and asthma.
3. Alleviate constipation, which is often a complaint due to changes in hormone levels.
4. Regularly taking a probiotic during pregnancy, will boost your Vitamin B production. When passed along to baby, this will help to regulate metabolism, prevent anemia and keep the skin and nervous system healthy.
5. A daily probiotic can also prevent against yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, which are common during pregnancy. These can also trigger pre-term labor if left untreated.
Probiotics for nursing mothers
1. Boost your baby’s immune system, which is important once they begin on solids
2. Prevent eczema.
3. Keep colic at bay - any new mother’s worst nightmare, and no fun for baby either.
So by now, you know: What’s going on in your microbiome matters and it's likely you need a gut re-boot...
The first thing to do is clean up your diet of foods that trigger inflammation (like gluten and dairy).
If your gut were a garden, this would be the equivalent of weeding.
Then, introduce some anti-inflammatory foods (like dark leafy greens and avocado), as well as the daily inclusion of fermented foods (like miso, sauerkraut, kombucha etc)
Thirdly, get moving – whether it be daily walking, swimming, cycling or yoga, exercise will really help your digestion & gut motility, not to mention reduce stress & release your happy hormones.
Lastly, I believe that women should add a digestive check-up to their yearly schedule. Typically it involves blood and stool samples (not pretty I know) but the insight these tests provide is extremely valuable. They can reveal what parasites and probiotic strains are in your gut. This is linked to having good nutrient absorption, immunity and even preventing cancer.
A nutritionist can then personalize your regimen, recommending enzymes and probiotics that have more of the bacteria strains you need (further proof that there is no “one size fits all” -your microbiome is as individual as your fingerprint!)
No doubt about it though, probiotics are your secret weapon for optimal health.