Digestion is vital for health, and taking probiotic supplements could be the key to ensuring it functions smoothly.
The process where food is broken down by the body so that it can be absorbed as nutrients or eliminated as waste is often forgotten about.
It is something that our body seems to do on auto-pilot, and we often don’t give it a second thought – until it goes wrong.
When this happens it can majorly impact our lives by leaving us navigating unpleasant bowel movements and stretches of discomfort.
“Digestion is one of the most neglected areas of nutrition,” said Udo Erasmus, an expert in nutrition and founder of Udo’s Choice (udoerasmus.com).
“But everyone has something going on, such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, pain, food sensitivity and food allergies.
“This is because the digestive tract is very vulnerable.
“However, probiotics can help protect it.”
Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria – naturally found on top of plants or soil, and under armpits or in breast ducts – that help protect you from two other types of bacteria.
“These include ‘bad’ bacteria that make you sick, like salmonella and e.coli, which love to live in the warm environment that is your digestive tract,” explained Erasmus.
“The other type is ‘rot’ bacteria that turn over and recycle dead biological material, like plants and animals.”
Research has showed that probiotics don’t just help your digestion, however, but have a multitude of other health benefits too.
These include improved brain function, liver health, immunity, and decreased stress, depression and anxiety.
In order for people to get the most benefits from probiotics Erasmus recommended taking them in a rather unusual way.
“Open a probiotic capsule in your mouth and brush your teeth with its contents after meals.” he said.
“This is because in nature probiotics – which would’ve been consumed from various plants – would work their way from the mouth, to the oesophagus, stomach and along the rest of the digestive tract providing benefits.
“These days we tend to take probiotics by swallowing them, which then open up in the small intestine, and only provide a benefit from that part of the digestive tract onwards.
“Brushing your teeth with them is the closest we can get in an unnatural environment to how it was in nature before we became civilised.”