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Probiotics 101: What to know about the bacteria lining your gut

Healthy Eating - By Nina Odongo | November 5th 2020 at 12:05:00 GMT +0300
Probiotics promote a healthy digestive tract and immune system (Shutterstock)

Probiotics are live bacteria that line your intestinal tract. They are naturally occurring and promote a healthy digestive tract and immune system.

Traditionally, we got our probiotics from eating fresh foods grown in nutrient rich soils and eating fermented foods such as mala (sour milk). But over sanitisation and changes in agricultural practices means we are getting less and less probiotics from our food.

Probiotic bacteria in our gut can be depleted by overuse of antibiotics and medication, a poor diet rich in sugar, gluten and GMO foods and an unhealthy lifestyle such as drinking alcohol, smoking, not sleeping enough, excessive stress and not exercising.

Symptoms of a probiotic deficiency include irritable bowel syndrome (Shutterstock)

The symptoms of a probiotic deficiency include digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, thrush and skin issues.

We can replenish our probiotics by consuming fermented foods such as yoghurt with live cultures, apple cider vinegar, kombucha or sauerkraut, or by taking probiotic supplements.

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