As women, we’re often spending the bulk of our time running around taking care of everyone else—our friends, our kids, our partner, sometimes even our own parents—and it can take its toll on our physical and emotional health.
In the face of our joys and responsibilities, there’s one thing we should all be doing every single day to care for our health and happiness at its very core...nurturing our friendly flora within.
You see, a healthy vagina depends on an abundance of beneficial bacteria within the body to support natural issues and strengthen the immune system in the face of common threats.
More than 50 species of bacteria reside in the vagina, many of which are probiotics (the good guys) working hard to support vaginal and urinary health and keep the body’s pH in the perfect range to ward off inhospitable bacteria, yeast, and fungi1.
The most common species of good bacteria in the vagina is called Lactobacillus. This helpful type of bacteria provides many life-supporting functions for your entire body and resides in even larger numbers within your digestive system. In fact, ensuring the gut environment is abundant with beneficial microbes is one of the most powerful actions you can take when it comes to promoting vaginal, immune, and digestive health.
YOUR MIRACULOUS MICROBIOME
If you don’t yet know about the importance of your microbiome, prepare to be amazed. The truth is, we are about 90% microbial (that’s only 10% human!). Your microbiome is the vast ecosystem of all the bacteria—both good and bad—living in and on your body. A balanced microbiome is one that is composed of about 85% beneficial bacteria and only 15% of the bad guy microbes, but did you know that it can be hard to keep your microbiome in balance in the face of all of life’s daily challenges?
Lifestyle factors like overexposure to antibiotics (both as medicine and in our food supply), overzealous hygiene habits, environmental and household toxins, a diet high in sugar and processed foods, stress, aging, and even the use of pads or tampons loaded with bleach, chlorine, and pesticides can deplete the friendly microbes in your body, giving the bad guys room to take over and make your body their home.
So, what happens if the guardians of your vaginal health—your friendly microbes—start to dwindle in number? With a depleted microbiome, we can experience cyclical female issues that just don’t seem to go away.
The good news is that probiotics can help. Repopulating with beneficial flora can support your microbiome and, thus, your vaginal and overall health.
WHY PROBIOTICS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SUPPLEMENT FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH
From improving your memory and helping you sleep to boosting endurance and supporting healthy aging, the benefits of probiotics for your well-being are seemingly endless. These beneficial bacteria specifically support women’s health by:
- Optimizing Your Immune System
- Enhancing Your Mood
Here’s how it works: your digestive tract is connected to your brain via a communication superhighway called the vagus nerve. Your gut microbes not only communicate with your brain, but they produce and regulate mood-affecting hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin (the brain’s happiness chemical), cortisol, GABA, and oxytocin. A proper balance of bacteria in your gut promotes a state of harmony within the body, which can help you experience more joy each day.
- Supporting Your Metabolism
By balancing your blood sugar levels and helping you digest and absorb nutrients, probiotics support a healthy metabolism so you can maintain your ideal body weight and experience more energy and vitality along the way. Indeed, research shows that weight gain is often connected to a microbial imbalance in the gut, which can can depress your metabolism and lead to fluctuating blood-glucose and out-of-whack cholesterol2.
THREE TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR MICROBIAL (AND OVERALL) HEALTH
A daily replenishment of beneficial bacteria can truly change your life for the better. Here are three steps you can take to improve your microbial balance as you journey toward lasting, overall health:
- Supplement with high-quality probiotics. When you take a daily, multi-strain probiotic formula like Hyperbiotics PRO-Women, the beneficial organisms will work to support digestive, immune, urinary, and vaginal health.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables. A whole food, plant-based diet rich in prebiotics—fibers that feed your friendly flora—will give your probiotics all they need to work hard on your behalf. Choose organic whenever possible and focus on prebiotic sources like oats, apples, garlic, onions, and dandelion greens.
- Live a gut-healthy life. Supporting your microbial friends means making sure your body is a perfect host. In addition to staying away from anything that can deplete your beneficial bacteria, it’s important to engage in behaviors that strengthen your overall microbiome, like prioritizing movement, eating well, relaxing more, and spending time outdoors.
Being a woman is an amazing privilege and honor through all the phases of life. Regardless of your age, supporting your vaginal and whole-body health with daily, conscious choices is the key to living a full and vibrant life.
Written by Jamie Morea, Microbiome Expert & Co-founder of Hyperbiotics. Jamie is devoted to making a difference by leveraging the latest scientific research to educate, inspire, and empower individuals on their journey toward greater health.
For more ideas on how you can optimize wellness and benefit from the power of a healthy microbiome, be sure to check out the Healthy Living blog.