Boost Your Immunity: Probiotics and Gut Health

October 1, 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s already October! We love the fall, and while we talk often about our love for the cooler weather and the changing leaves, fall and winter are also considered cold & flu season. Whether you have children bringing home germs or you are in the workplace, it always seems that colds, viruses and the flu lurk and linger October through April, and strike when you are least expecting it.

Yes, hand washing certainly helps the spread of germs. There’s no argument there, but did you know that there are several other simple measures you can take in your everyday life to boost your immune system? Over the next several weeks, through our newsletter, we are going to roll out a series on boosting you and your family’s immune system. Who is ready for less visits to the doctor’s office this year?

Step 1: Improving Your Gut Health
Improving your gut health can protect and boost your immune system. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, there are trillions of bacteria in your stomach, and the bacterial DNA in your stomach controls digestions, immune function, produces vitamins and nutrients, and even safe guards against infections (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/5-steps-to-kill-hidden-ba_b_739213.html) Protecting and improving your gut health can play a central role in keeping you healthy this cold and flu season. Read on to learn more about how probiotics can improve the health of your stomach and keep you well this season.

The key to having a healthy stomach is maintaining the balance of bacteria in it.  Both good and bad bacteria exist in the stomach. The good bacteria aids in reducing inflammation and regulating your immune system, while bad bacteria can promote allergies, asthma, eczema and inflammation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/5-steps-to-kill-hidden-ba_b_739213.html ). It is essential to keep the gut flora balanced. There are several ways you can help yourself do this, such as eating fiber rich foods and avoiding sugar and processed foods, but another way to help yourself is by taking a probiotic.

The word “probiotic” is a compound of two Greek words: “pro,” to signify promotion of and “biotic,” which means life.  For Life!  Probiotics give you the essentials for life: good bacteria. By taking a good, quality probiotic in a capsule or liquid form, or eating probiotic rich foods, you are effectively “crowding out” the bad bacteria with the good. Good bacteria are essential for a productive detox, proper digestion, and ultimately a healthy immune system.

Probiotics have all of these super powers:

·      Improve digestion

·      Improve liver function

·      Decrease toxicity

·      Decrease allergies

·      Improve adrenal function

·      Increase energy

·      Improve sleep

·      Decrease bloating and gas

·      Improve absorption of nutrients and minerals

It is important to note that not all probiotics are created equally. You should find one that works for your unique body. You can find a high quality probiotic in the refrigerator section of your local health food store. We use a line of probiotics by Metagenics  ( www.metagenics.com). Their products are 3rd party verified for contamination and purity tested. They have the Ultra Flora Children’s probiotic that we give our own kids, and the Ultra Flora Balance that we take ourselves.  Go to www.metagenics.com and use practitioner code CHallettHC to order. Prior to purchasing, please always consult with your physician, especially before starting a new supplement.

Did you know that fermented foods are another great way to introduce good bacteria? Find out about the best foods that can actually destroy unwanted bacteria in next week’s newsletter.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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