Did you know that flu season isn’t actually a season at all? flu viruses are detected year round in the United States. Now, they are more prevalent during the fall and winter with the peak months being between December and February. So, now that we are right smack dab in the middle of flu high season, I want to stray just a little from our normal dialogue of supplements for training to a different kind of supplementing.
This particular supplement is going to help promote an iron stomach! I’m not talking six packs, I’m talking probiotics.
Probiotics are basically bacteria that help keep the natural balance of organisms in the intestines and are very important to maintaining health, proper digestion and immunity.
The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting” and biotic, meaning “life”. The discovery of probiotics came about in the early 20th century when Elie Metchnikoff, known as the “father of probiotics” observed that rural dwellers in Bulgaria lived to very old ages despite extreme poverty and harsh climate. Metchnikoff’s theorized that health could be enhanced and senility delayed by manipulating the intestinal micro biome with host-friendly bacteria found in sour milk! And the birth of probiotic research began.
The average human digestive tract contains 400 types of probiotic bacteria that help reduce the growth of harmful bacteria. And, interesting fact: You have 20 times more bacteria in your stomach than you do cells in your body!
Why should you take probiotics? Well, there believed to protect us in two ways. The first is promoting a healthy digestive tract. We know that our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria, so what gets in the way of this? Poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria. (sound familiar LEO’s?). The other way that probiotics help is the impact that they have on our immune system. Our immune system is our protection against germs. When it’s not functioning properly, we can suffer from allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders and infections.
You can find probiotics in many food sources such as yogurts, kefir and other fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. You can also find probiotics in aged soft cheese, sourdough bread, sour pickles. Probiotics can also be found in pill or liquid form and are usually in the refrigerated section of the natural vitamin area in the grocery or health food store.
Now, caution needs to be taken by everyone who chooses to take a probity. Especially, children, pregnant women, elderly people and people with compromised immune systems. So, if you fall into any of these categories consult a physician before starting on a probiotic.
So, do yourself a solid…look into probiotics, stay clear of falling into the grips of the flu this season!
Stay safe and stay on point!
Check out my segment on The BOLO Podcast, where I talk about probiotics!