By Jennifer Kavanagh – CNM Nutrition Student and Bio-Kult Bursary winner
Why we’re pro Probiotics
Probiotics – you’ve heard of them, right? If you are anything like me, then you have literally ingested litres of Kombucha in a bid to have a healthy gut, keep up with the Joneses and let’s face it – deliver the food baby! Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms may be the reason you first introduced probiotics into your diet, and of course they are excellent at providing relief from symptoms such as constipation. But what else can probiotics do? And as a woman, why should we choose to keep these bad boys in our lives?
Ever felt stuck?
Have you ever been stuck on public transport when you suddenly get a stinging urgency to go to the loo, and are forced to do a crossed leg squeeze, whilst praying you don’t hit a bump? Or feel like you should have bought shares in Ocean Spray as you down another litre of Cranberry Juice, praying for relief? I hear ya sister! Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are the bane of a woman’s existence.
One of life’s greatest pleasures becomes a chore (“not tonight, love”), as you dread hearing the word ‘Cystitis’ from your GP’s mouth. You go on antibiotic after antibiotic, which appear to be only a short-term fix, and you are sick of drinking bread soda. Sound familiar?
Help the good Bacteria guys
Recent studies have started to link poor gut flora with UTIs and Bacterial Vaginosis (Vaginitis). When there are sufficient good bacteria present, they help to keep the vaginal area acidic, thus creating a hostile environment for bad bacteria to grow. They’re like Starsky & Hutch only infinitely more successful at keeping the bad guys away. And if your pH levels are off, meaning the vagina is more alkaline than acidic, yeast can also thrive leading to that awful Candida overgrowth we know (and despise) as Thrush.
Here’s the plan
So, what causes this upset and what can we do about it? First and foremost, we’ve got to look at the diet. Lay off the sugar laden processed foods which can feed bad bacteria, and quite frankly just make you feel crap. Introduce fresh whole foods, lots of veg for fibre, drink lots of water, and include any fermented foods you can stomach like Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kefir and of course the beloved Kombucha. Secondly, be aware of your health over the course of taking an antibiotic. Antibiotics deplete bacteria in the body full stop, be it good or bad. And if you’ve been taking them on and off for years due to reoccurring infections, then you’ve got a lot of good bacteria that needs replenishing. Think of it as an everyday task for your gut – like flossing your teeth.
You can do this with a probiotic supplement like Bio-Kult, which has a range of options depending on your symptoms to give your gut a dynamic reboot. The probiotic is like your favourite pair of granny pants – offering support and comfort when you need it the most.
Now I fully believe that this is a bad boy even your mother would get on board with!