Probiotic supplements. Who, what, where, and when? Who needs it, what's it for, where do we find a quality probiotic, and when do we need it?
First and foremost we always want to check with our healthcare provider to determine who needs a probiotic.
Connecting with our Gut
An imbalanced gut-microbiome can reflect or contribute to many precursors, like inflammation, insulin resistance, excessive hunger, or weight gain which can lead to more serious conditions.
"Evidence suggests that the composition of the intestinal microbiota can influence susceptibility to chronic disease of the intestinal tract including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as more systemic diseases such as obesity, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes." (Reference - Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease study found, here.) Dysbiosis is an imbalance of bacteria that leads to a disrupted ecosystem, or a lack of diversity which can affect resilience.
Emerging science has informed us that probiotics are crucial to our overall health. You can find probiotics in many forms, such as in food like sauerkraut, kombucha, and Keifer. However, you may not be getting the correct amount of probiotics that your body needs, or in some cases you could be consuming supplements with abnormally high CFU’s (colony forming units). This too can interrupt the balance of probiotics in your digestive system and cause multiple problems.
What is a probiotic? Probiotic is defined as good bacteria that live in the gut. Probiotics are key components to keeping our gut happy and healthy. These little helpers contribute to normal, healthy functioning of our digestive and immune system.
Quality probiotics support digestive health, immune function, and inflammatory balance for overall health. There are also specific strains of probiotics and prebiotics that are designed to target mental health.
Choosing a Probiotic Supplement
- CFUs stands for colony forming units. Quality is better than quantity. 10 Billion CFUs is what the science tells us is effective.
- Benefits of probiotics are strain related. One particular strain will do one particular thing very well. Do some research on which specific strains will best support your needs.
- You want enough strength (CFUs) and the right strains to get the effects and benefits you're looking for. Find a broad spectrum, multifunction and high potency blend.
- Stay away from fillers such as artificial sweeteners, colors, maltodextrin, and/or salicylates.
- Probiotics do not have to be refrigerated but should be packaged well. Acid-resistance encapsulation helps to ensure the survival of the bacteria.
- Take it with a meal or no longer than 30 minutes before a meal. Probiotics need food, water, and warmth to thrive.
- Make sure to keep a detailed journal of what works and doesn't work. Include food intake along with the specific probiotic taken.
Typically, it's recommended to remove inflammatory foods and toxins. Replace those with healthy anti-inflammatory foods. Rebuild a healthy gut ecosystem by adding good bacteria in the form of probiotics and feeding those bacteria with prebiotics.
The best way to increase our gut microbiome diversity is to eat soluble fiber (vegetables, split peas, fruits, beans, lima beans, oat bran, flaxseed, barley, and black beans), fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, and Keifer), roller milled whole and unprocessed grains, and a good ratio of healthy fats (Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, avocado, sesame oil, and ghee). It's best to eat local mostly organic, avoid chemicals and artificial colors/sweeteners.
Often times our gut microbiome has become so compromised that we aren't even absorbing nutrients and minerals from our food or vitamins. Check with your medical professional before changing your diet or adding probiotics.
We all need to take antibiotics from time to time. Just be aware that when we take antibiotics, it kills off the good bacteria.
Where do you find a quality probiotic supplement? There are plenty to choose from. I recommend Amare Probiotic.
When do we need it? Our gut is our second brain and it's important to take care of it. Take probiotics when your medical professional recommends that it's best to do so. Especially if your immune system has been compromised.
Healthy gut, healthy mind.
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