It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but with all those holiday festivities, anyone with an uneasy stomach may be living in a nightmare. It can feel impossible to pass up on another serving of sweet potato casserole or the post-dinner dessert, but the overindulging may be leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Not to mention, the weather may have you down with infection, and I bet you didn’t know those antibiotics are doing more harm to your gut than good to your sinuses. All may seem like a recipe for disaster, but one secret ingredient can turn the whole thing around: probiotics.
Your intestines are populated with billions of living micro-organisms that lead the way in the digestive process. Believe it or not, these are actually a form of “good bacteria,” and they outnumber the amount of cells in your entire body! Over time, poor eating habits and/or high doses of antibiotics, can cause our guts to lose optimal amounts of these key “good bacteria” and instead, harbor too much of the bad. Taking a quality probiotic supplement can help repopulate your body with what it needs to keep you feeling your best. But how exactly do they work?
Maintaining balanced levels of probiotics has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other common digestive disorders. They can help reduce bloating and gas, as well as diarrhea and constipation, especially when associated with prolonged antibiotic use. Other infections such as Helicobacter pylori, can be reduced or eliminated with probiotics. In general, if you struggle from any chronic digestive problem, you may benefit from incorporating them into your daily regimen.
Seasons greetings can unfortunately come in the form of weight gain. Studies have shown that certain strains of probiotics can be effective in aiding weight loss. In one study, individuals struggling with obesity were given probiotics over the course of 12 weeks. On average, subjects lost 8.5% of body fat. Once they stopped taking the supplement, they gained the weight back after 4 weeks. Indulge comfortably knowing that you have the “holiday 10” beat.
Probiotics have a handful of other benefits, including warding off inflammation, easing depression and anxiety, regulating blood pressure and enhancing immune function. Even with all of that, we are discovering more and more about probiotics and the positive effects they have on the body each day. So what do you say? Take on the holidays gut first and enjoy the relief. The best part is, the positive effects from taking probiotics will compound over time, continually improving your wellbeing from the inside out.