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Probiotics- The Good Guys During Cold and Flu Season

Many of us may be starting to feel the effects of the winter season – including the sniffles and sneezes, and even worse, the flu. We become more susceptible to the bacteria, the “bad guys”, when the air gets drier, meaning our natural defenses – mucous membranes – can’t do their job as well and stop them.

The good news is there are simple steps you can take to fend off the bad guys, without even getting close to a needle; you can strengthen your immune system by supplementing probiotics. A whopping 80% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract and by supporting it you can decrease your chances of illness.

Probiotics, the “good guys” are the bacteria we need in our gut. Antibiotics actually kill them off and allow the bad guys to take over, which weakens the immune system. Therefore, if you are prescribed antibiotics for a viral infection, heed caution; antibiotics are only effective for bacterial infections, not viral. In addition, probiotics help fend off any virus since they directly support your immune system.

Each year the flu shot is matched according to the previous strains, meaning it provides only partial immunity. Partial immunity is better than nothing, so if you do opt to get the flu shot, probiotics can help fill in the gaps. You can get probiotics as a supplement sold at almost any grocery store, and in foods such as fermented milk, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, miso, and tempeh (just watch out for a lot of added sugar).

Probiotics are especially helpful during stressful times, traveling, when you’re sleep deprived, if the children are going to school (kids benefit from them too) and any other time you are more likely to get sick because you need immune system support. However, daily intake provides the most support and benefits your body as a whole with numerous other benefits as well.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

(The good guys win yet again!)

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