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Gut health: Why you need to consider taking probiotics

Good food choices are good investments. Picture by Sarah Blocksidge pixabay

Good food choices are good investments. Picture by Sarah Blocksidge pixabay

Published Feb 7, 2023


Maybe you’ve heard someone say you are what you eat or healthy eating is a way of life.

As we all know, our foods contain nutrients that support the growth of bacteria, and our bodies contain millions of healthy as well as bad bacteria, collectively called gut flora. Having a healthy gut is essential for overall health.

According to ADM's OutsideVoice research, consumers are more interested in the relationship between gut health and immunity, the impact of metabolic health on weight management, eating to improve mental health, interested in personalised nutrition, and planning to spend more money on health and wellness-related items.

Additionally, it notes that plant-based diets are gaining popularity and that 77% of consumers wish to take additional steps in the future to maintain their health. Good food choices are good investments.

As a means of achieving balanced overall health, Willco Janse van Vuuren, Managing Director of Relief Pharmaceuticals, says probiotic supplementation and regular exercise can increase our general well-being.

He says the use of probiotics as part of a personal daily wellness regime, along with exercise and a healthy diet, can have a positive contribution to an individual’s health.

“There is no better gift to share with loved ones than the very best version of yourself. Probiotics can help you get there.”

Van Vuuren explains probiotics are a mixture of live, healthy bacteria and/or yeasts that are good for you overall, but especially for your digestive system.

In recent years, research has shown that probiotics can also have a positive impact on mental health. The connection between the gut and the brain, also known as the gut-brain axis, is a complex and bidirectional communication system that can affect both physical and mental health.

Why would you need probiotic supplements?

The balance of good bacteria in our gut is disrupted by factors such as poor diet, stress, and sometimes medication, so probiotic supplements assist in restoring this balance.

“When the balance of good bacteria in our gut is disrupted, it can lead to a variety of health issues such as digestive problems, weakened immune system, and even mental health issues,” said van Vuuren.

He asserts that probiotics can also enhance general health and quality of life, even to the point where those with autoimmune illnesses and irritable bowel syndrome may get some alleviation. He noted, "there are advantages for the whole body, from better skin health to advantages for your heart; it also enhances calcium absorption for better bone health and offers immune systems a well-deserved boost.

However, just like in relationships, things work better in pairs. Good gut health needs more than just a probiotic supplement. It requires a commitment.

“Regular exercise can improve gut health by promoting regular bowel movements and reducing inflammation. It can also help to improve the balance of bacteria, which can help to protect against certain gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, exercise can also help to reduce stress, which can have a positive impact on your gut health. It all works in tandem with one another to combine into a powerful wellness journey.”

Can I get probiotics from food?

There are certain foods that contain good bacteria that can help your microbiome.

A good balance of bacteria can be achieved by consuming yoghourt, sourdough bread, cottage cheese, and kombucha.

Taking probiotics supplements can be beneficial in the following ways:

● Probiotic supplements have been shown to provide a wide range of advantages, one of which is enhanced skin health by lowering inflammation and enhancing the skin's barrier function.

● They have a positive impact on mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

● Probiotics help with weight management: Probiotics can help to regulate appetite and metabolism, which can lead to weight loss.

● Improve oral health: Probiotics can help to improve oral health by reducing the build-up of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

● Improve respiratory health: Probiotics can help to improve respiratory health by reducing the risk of respiratory infections.

● Improve bone health: Probiotics can help to improve bone health by increasing the absorption of calcium and other minerals.

● Improve heart health: Probiotics can help to improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease.

● Improve the immune system: Probiotics can help to improve the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and white blood cells.

● Improve sleep quality: Probiotics can help to improve sleep quality by reducing inflammation and regulating the production of neurotransmitters.