You may be familiar with the benefits probiotics can provide to the body after you’ve finished a round of antibiotics but did you know they can play a key role in the healthy function of your immune system this cold and flu season? Whether you’re taking them as an oral supplement or ingesting them through fermented or cultured foods, take a peek at why probiotics can boost your immune system and keep you healthy this winter and beyond.
Our gut is filled with hundreds of species of bacteria in the digestive tract and, aside from helping us to digest our food, some of those bacteria are increasing the number of T cells in our body and correcting deficiencies in our immune system. While the exact connections of boosting the immune system cannot yet be pinned down the evidence is clear that using foods and supplementation to increase the presence of friendly bacteria in your gut will help you to feel healthier this winter, with minimal effort.
Probiotics can benefit the system whether you are taking them long- or short-term and they are virtually non-toxic and can be used anytime and in so many different forms. If you’re not a fan of yogurt but would like to eat your probiotics, consider these fermented veggies or this coconut drink. Would you rather ingest your probiotic through supplementation? There are several types on the market and while most require refrigeration to keep the bacterial strains thriving, there are shelf-stable varieties like Taurin-Dophilus from Kroeger Herb. There are thousands of types of beneficial bacteria, but lactic acid bacteria and bifido-bacteria are some of the most commonly used and most commonly studied ones.
The benefits of probiotics reach far beyond simple gut health. While the research for immune support continues, science has proven the benefits of probiotics for yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, or after a round of antibiotics. Touting probiotics for cold and flu health is a fairly new concept but as research continues it has been proven that people who regularly take a probiotic (in food or supplementation form) get fewer colds.
With so many options for probiotics on the market, take the time to consider which form may be right for you. It can be confusing as to which will work best since the term “probiotic” encompasses so many types of products in one category. We’re happy to help! Check out our website for more information and learn more about how the health of your gut can not only impact your immune health but also your mood.