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What are probiotics?

What are probiotics?

07 January 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as “Living microorganisms that, when supplied in adequate amounts, promote health benefits for the host organism.
To understand the importance of probiotics, we must understand the fundamental role they play in our intestinal flora, and, therefore, in our health and well-being.

The microbiota
The intestinal flora or microbiota, encompasses the entire community ofmicroscopic organisms that live in our intestines. We are not talking about 4 or 100, but billions of them. They add up to about 1.5 kg in weight! And most of them are bacteria. Yes, BACTERIA.

Bacteria, for centuries have hadvery bad reputation. Indeed, there are bacteria responsible for very serious and even deadly infections, called pathogens. But not all are enemies. In fact, most bacteria are good. We have bacteria in the gut, in the mouth, in the lto the nose, on the skin, etc. And all of them live by, for and in us, in a harmonious symbiotic relationship, in which we both come out winning.
The microbiota is the largest nest of microorganisms in our body, and it has been and is being studiedby many experts who have collected a wealth of information about its important functions and, it is opening new doors in the world of our health and well-being. For example, remarkable functions have been discovered such as protecting ourro organism of potentially harmful microorganisms, control the proliferation and differentiation of intestinal cells, produce vitamins and promote digestion and metabolic processes.

And in recent years, the relationship that it could have with Alzheimer's disease, obesity, autism or even altering our mood is being examined.

A healthy microbiota should be made up of 85 percent good bacteria and a maximum of 15 percent pathogenic bacteria. This proportion is essential for our defenses, since the intestine determines 80 percent of our system.immune ema. To take care of our microbiota, numerous studies have been developed that have shown the benefits of consuming probiotic bacteria on intestinal health. We can add them to our diet in two different ways: withimmersing natural foods rich in probiotics or with supplementation.


Probiotics

The word "probiotic" was created in 1960, it means "in favor of life" and it designates the bacterias whose presence exert a positive effect on our intestinal health. They are living microorganisms that, when taken in adequate quantities, produce a health benefit for us. That is, when we eat foods with natural probiotics we aredirectly introducing these very beneficial live microorganisms for our intestines. The most important aspects that we must know about probiotics:

  • are able to survive in the gastrointestinal tract and adhere to the epitelium (the uppermost layer of the intestine)
  • their properties depend on the species, the strain and the quantities in which they are consumed.
  • They are capable of modulating / changing / improving the intestinal microbiota.
  • They decrease the permintestinal eability, making the intestine work properly.
  • They produce changes in the immune system, modulating and / or stimulating it and therefore have (or could have) an effect on infections and autoimmune diseases. the type and quantity of bacteria in our flora varies throughout our lives.




Natural probiotics

Natural probiotics are those that are contained in a waynatural in certain foods. Surely you are already consuming, to a greater or lesser extent, some probiotic food without knowing it. There are many foods that contain different amounts of probiotics, but a good way to include them is to addendo fermented foods to your diet.

Here are foods that are natural sources of probiotics:
Yogurt : a classic, one of the most consumed and most common. Apart from containing a thousandLones of microorganisms, are a source of protein, vitamins and calcium.
Kefir : similar to yogurt, it is also highly rich in probiotics and a source of calcium and vitamins.
Kombucha: millennial drink afermented tea base, which provides us with beneficial bacteria, B vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes that help our body digest food. (Bet on our Komvucha, a natural soft drink to delight your palate while you take care ofYour Health). https://flaxandkale.com/landing-kombucha
Kimchi: typical Korean dish, based on Chinese cabbage, known for being a food rich in probiotics, vitaminas and antioxidants.
Sauerkraut : typical of central European regions that is made by fermenting white cabbage or cabbage. It also provides us with vitamin C, folic acid and fiber.
Miso: fermented soybean paste,the typical Japanese miso soup is made. In addition, it contains fiber, vitamin K and potassium.
Tempeh: fermented soybeans, which apart from probiotics is rich in vegetable protein.

But beware! Not all fermentedthey are the same, and therefore not all are a source of probiotics. Those that are sold in large surfaces are usually pasteurized, and, therefore, without live microorganisms. And finally, if you are not used to these foods, include them gradualmente to your diet since our palate must adapt to the intensity of flavors.

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