We know you’ve heard about recent health trends like shots of apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and likely mostly probiotics. In the more recent years tv doctors and ads have popped up everywhere to talk about how great probiotics are and people have rushed to the store to buy supplements. Whether you’re riding the probiotic train or skeptical about them, we’ve got the facts for you to consider about them and your gut.
First, Check out Your gut.
Now, when we said gut, you may have looked down and checked out your tummy, but that’s not exactly where your gut is. The gut actually consists of your entire digestive system, from your mouth to your, well…you know where it ends. Although, the majority of your gut is considered to be your intestines.
The gut is responsible for breaking down food with enzymes, helping your body absorb nutrients and the removal of waste. It contracts different muscles to send food all the way through your system, which is actually more exciting than it sounds because you couldn’t live without those functions.
Also, the gut is filled with tons of microorganisms. Literally tons, millions, and billions. They consist of both good and bad types of yeast and bacteria, and a good balance of them can lead to excellent gut health.
But Why Is Gut Health Important?
We are so glad you asked. The health of your gut actually affects your entire body, from your energy, mood, memory, immune system and more, because bacteria in the gut affects your body’s hormone regulation, vitamin production, mineral absorption, immune system, and ability to rid of toxins.
When gut health is affected by too much bad bacteria, viruses, and bad yeast the creates an imbalance between good and bad bacteria you can suffer from IBS, Crohn’s disease, cramps, diarrhea, bloating, gas, mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, malnutrition, skin conditions like acne or eczema, joint pain, headaches, poor memory, and more.
What Leads to Poor Gut Health?
Items that affect the good bacteria in your system and lead to poor gut health include antibiotics which can kill the good bacteria in your system. Also, over the counter medications like aspirin, birth control, antacids, sleeping pills, and more can inflame the gut and throw off its balance.
Chlorinated water, antibacterial soaps, mouthwash, and pesticides can also harm the good bacteria in our bodies.
Be wary of bad habits like constant stress and poor sleeping habits. You need to find a way to calm down, relax, and get a good night’s rest for your digestion hormones to properly reset.
Watch out! You diet could be feeding the bad bacteria and yeast, making them grow! Too much sugar, carbs, alcohol, and chemicals like high fructose corn syrup, are bad bacteria’s favorite things
Restore Your Gut Health With Probiotics
Probiotics are your friends, and they want to help us. It’s even in their name because pro means promoting and biotic means life! They’re the microorganisms that consist of good strains of bacterias and yeasts that crowd bad yeast, destroy bad bacteria, and more! They will fight to bring your gut back to a good balance to help prevent or stop diarrhea, skin issues, conditions such as anxiety, stomach pains, leaky gut syndrome, produce vitamins K-2, B-12, and more.
Where Do Probiotics Come From?
Probiotics can be found in the following various fermented foods:
- Yogurt (sugar-free is best)
- Dark chocolate
- Miso soup
- Sea salted, sour pickled items like carrots or cucumbers
- Kombucha tea
- Coconut kefir
- Raw cheese
- Sourdough bread, and more.
However, you can also take a daily probiotic capsule.
What to Look for in Probiotics:
When shopping around for the best probiotic capsule keep an eye out for encapsulated pills, because the key is for the probiotic strains to reach your intestines, not get burned by the acid in your stomach, and a well-made capsule can survive the trip.
Look for a brand that has an expiration date, because the probiotics need to be active and alive to perform their functions in your gut. Who knows how long probiotics without an expiration date have been sitting on the shelf?
Avoid sensitive brands. If a probiotic needs to be refrigerated or kept in a controlled dark room then the strains are sensitive. Do yourself a favor and get a type that will survive the conditions in your medicine cabinet or pantry.
Different probiotics do different things so pick a brand with multiple strains. For example, lactobacillus helps to prevent diarrhea and help people process dairy, while bifidobacterium helps with IBS. Also, remember that there is power in numbers, so make sure that your probiotic has at least 5 billion colony forming units.
Stay away from chemical fillers. While you do want the helpful probiotics, you don’t want harmful chemicals.
Most importantly, check out online reviews! While standing in the store use your smartphone to google the brands you’re interested in. User reviews and testimonials will help you decide which brand works for you.
Don’t pay attention to the price, the more expensive brands may not be better, so it’s important to do your research and find a regulated brand.
NOTE: Every hero has a weakness, this is even true for probiotics. Sometimes for the first few days during a probiotic regimen people can experience bloating and gas. If these symptoms don’t subside after 3 to 5 days try another brand that may agree with your system a little better.
We Go Nuts For Healthy Guts
Now you have been informed about probiotics and you even learned a little about your anatomy. This really could have been a Magic School Bus episode, right?! Just remember, only you (and your doctor if you have a health condition and need to ask) can tell if you could benefit from probiotics or not.