Everyone’s heard of antibiotics but not everyone has heard of probiotics. It is such a rarely used word that even my spell check doesn’t recognize it.
If antibiotics is an agent or substance that kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria then probiotics is in simple terms the exact opposite. It not only allows bacteria to live, it makes it flourish in abundance.
Now you’re probably asking yourself why in the world would anyone want to have a lot of bacteria. Well to set things right, not all bacteria is bad for us. There are bad ones and there are good ones.
The bad ones, we all know about. These are the ones that cause little annoyances like diarrhea, vomiting to infectious diseases like cholera, anthrax, leprosy and the bubonic plague. Tuberculosis, the most common fatal respiratory infection is also caused by bacteria. This is why antibiotics is so widespread and important. It helps keep the harmful bacteria away from us.
Good bacteria, on the other hand, is not less common but is less known. Some beneficial bacteria are known to counter aging, manage lactose intolerance, improve immune function, prevent infections, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure among others.
At this instance, there are millions and millions of live bacteria in and on your body. What we want is not the harmful bacteria but the beneficial bacteria.
And this is why probiotics is so important. Probiotics increases the good bacteria in your body, making you healthier and happier.
Yogurt is a common form of probiotic. There are also commercially produced probiotic supplementary pills, but the probiotic that we would like to focus on is kefir, a refreshing cultured-milk natural probiotic beverage, originating centuries ago, from the Caucasus mountain area.
Kefir is more advantageous from yogurt and probiotic pills in that:
- it contains the most number of beneficial bacteria
- in the kefir medium, these beneficial bacteria are able to share perfect symbiosis with one another, synergistically increasing its overall health benefits
- these beneficial bacteria are not turned dormant but are very much alive and kicking, and are much more fit to do to their “magic” in your body
Some of the health benefits attributed to Kefir are:
- helps milk digestibility for lactose intolerant individuals
- used to relieve all intestinal disorders, since it cleanses the intestines and digestive tracts
- promotes bowel movement and reduces flatulence
- contributes to a healthy immune system
- lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure
- reduces risk of cancer
- used in the treatment of AIDS, diabetes, colon cancer and other cancers, chronic fatigue, herpes, sleep disorders, ADHD, among others.
And in addition to these beneficial bacteria, kefir is also rich in minerals like calcium and vitamins from Vitamin B1, B12, to Vitamin K.
In short, there are always two sides to a coin. There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. We know with antibiotics we can get rid of the harmful bacteria, and now we know how to harness the health benefits of the good bacteria we need probiotics like Kefir.