Not All Bacteria Are Bad: This One Will See You Through the Flu Season!

Greek Yogurt

Photo credit: bigstock

It’s winter time, folks, and the holidays are right upon us! You know what this means; presents, food, family, friends, and the flu. It’s the kick in the butt no one wants to get, but nearly everyone does.

Or do you plan on going the toxic, mercury filled flu shot route? You know, it doesn’t have to be one or the other! You can avoid that kick in the butt and the injection by taking a proactive, yet natural approach to fending off the cold and flu bugs this year. How? By taking probiotics. Yep, probiotics.

One of the main functions of the good bacteria in your digestive system is to stimulate and improve your immune response. By keeping your gut bacteria healthy and strong, you will also be keeping your immune system healthy.

We have more than 1,000 types of bacteria living our digestive systems. Actually, bacteria outnumber our cells 10 to 1!

Consuming probiotics can help guard you from illness in several ways. Think of probiotics as a miniature army of “good guys”. They kill off, as well as out-populate, the bad bacteria, or the bad guys. When there are more good guys, they eat most of the food, leaving very little for the bad guys. Probiotics also lighten the load for your immune system by making a protective mucosal layer inside your digestive tract. This is like an extra layer of defense from the ‘bad guys’ (pathogens). Probiotics also increase the activity and concentration of certain types of immune system cells in the body. All of this adds up to super, yet effective, immune system response for fighting off just about anything that comes your way.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

You should seriously consider consuming more probiotics, especially if you have taken some antibiotics in the past few months. Antibiotics tend to be vastly over-prescribed. Many doctors simply want patients to be happy, so they give out antibiotics for just about anything, including viruses, the sniffles, and more recently, even Ebola, even when they know they won’t be effective. Read more how to restore digestion after antibiotics.

A study done in China, which involved three to five year old children who were treated with two types of probiotics, found that the kids had a 63 percent reduction in the number of fevers, a 54 percent in the number of coughs they had, as a 44 percent lower rate of runny noses. Antibiotic use was also down an impressive 80 percent for the kids who took probiotics because their symptoms only lasted about half as long as the group that did not take probiotics.

All of those anti-bacterial soaps and anti-bacterial wipes and cleaners have many people mistakenly believing that all bacteria are bad, and this simply isn’t true! (Find out more about hand sanitizers). Our digestive system has about 4 pounds of healthy bacteria that help kill off the bad bacteria that enter our bodies each and every day. Our digestive system bacteria can get out of whack, however, by things such as antibiotics, stress, over-exposure to toxins, and a poor diet. There is tons of evidence that shows that replenishing your body with probiotics, the good bacteria that we need to fight off bugs such as cold and flu viruses, can improve not only your digestion, but your immune system as well.

Eat plenty of foods and drinks that contain probiotics including yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, miso, and tempeh. Or you can always buy supplements at your local health food store.



One Comment

  1. Mary

    Dec 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Yogurt is great, especially the home made one.