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Probiotics Aren’t Only For Digestion, They Also Boost Your Immune System

Probiotics Aren’t Only For Digestion, They Also Boost Your Immune System

What Do You Know About Probiotics?

When you think of the term “probiotics,” you probably think about the benefits to your digestive system. Thanks to the many probiotic drinks and supplements available to buy, together with widespread manufacturer advertising, probiotics are synonymous with improved gut health for most of us. We often think of taking probiotics to help overcome conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or to restore healthy intestinal bacteria following an antibiotic treatment.

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What Are The Other Benefits Of Probiotics?

Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria that can be safely ingested. In truth, probiotics do not just act on the digestive system. They are also beneficial in other ways, namely via their action on the immune system, and via their ability to maintain a balance of healthy, or “good,” bacteria within the body.

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For example, probiotics can be useful in preventing and treating yeast infections.[1] Researchers have gradually come to acknowledge that probiotics can reduce the risk of recurring yeast infections in women because they help to preserve a healthy balance of appropriate bacteria in the vagina.[2]

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They can also help prevent urinary tract infections.[3] Research has demonstrated that probiotics lower the chance of unhealthy bacteria gaining a foothold and causing infection in the bladder and urethra. Clinical trials indicate that probiotics may help prevent recurrent cystitis in women.[4]

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Probiotics may also play a role in lowering your likelihood of succumbing to colds and the flu. A Korean meta-analysis of research studies looking at the link between susceptibility to the common cold and probiotic intake concluded that probiotics have a modest protective effect.[5] The authors believe that probiotics boost immune system functioning, which increases a person’s ability to quickly overcome common infections.

How To Boost Your Probiotic Intake

Yogurt is the best-known source of probiotics. Look for organic products that are clearly labeled as containing live cultures. However, in order to get the most from your probiotics, it is important to combine them with foods that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that provide fuel that probiotics need to grow and thrive. They are found in foods such as whole grains, honey, onions, artichokes and bananas. If you lead a busy lifestyle and find it hard to eat a balanced diet, then consider a high-quality probiotic supplement instead.

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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