Probiotics are becoming more and more popular as people learn about the benefits of gut health. Here’s a quick guide on how to boost your gut health with probiotics.
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What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of them, and they outnumber your own cells by 10 to one. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt and sauerkraut. But you don’t need to eat probiotic foods to get probiotics. Your body already has them. You just need to make sure you have enough of the right kinds.
The Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the good bacteria that naturally occur in your gut. They can be found in supplement form or in certain foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Probiotics are believed to offer a number of health benefits, including improved digestion, prevention of diarrhea, relief from constipation, and strengthened immune system function. They may also help reduce the severity of some allergies and eczema.
If you’re considering taking a probiotic supplement or including probiotic-rich foods in your diet, it’s important to understand how they work and what the possible risks and side effects may be. Probiotics are generally considered safe for most people, but there are a few exceptions.
The Best Probiotics for Gut Health
There are different types of Probiotics, and each offers unique benefits. Here are the best Probiotics for gut health, based on their strains, dosages, and forms.
-Lactobacillus acidophilus: This is a type of lactic acid bacteria that provides several health benefits. It is found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, as well as supplements.
-Bifidobacterium bifidum: This strain is known for its ability to reduce gut inflammation and improve digestion. It is found in some yogurts and Fermented Foods.
-Bifidobacterium longum: This strain can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut and improve digestion. It is found in some yogurts and Fermented Foods.
-Saccharomyces boulardii: This is a type of yeast that has probiotic properties. It can help reduce the risk of diarrhea and other digestive problems. It is available in supplement form.
How to Take Probiotics
To get the most out of probiotics, follow these tips:
-Look for a probiotic supplement that contains live bacteria cultures.
-Take probiotics on an empty stomach.
-Start with a small dose and gradually increase it as your body adjusts.
-Do not take probiotics for more than two weeks unless directed by a healthcare professional.
-If you have a medical condition or are taking medication, talk to your doctor before taking probiotics.
Probiotic Foods to Eat for Gut Health
Research shows that a healthy gut can have a profound effect on overall health, including immunity, brain function, and mood. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They help keep your gut microbiota (the trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive tract) in balance, and they have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
There are many different probiotic foods that you can eat to boost gut health. Here are some of the best options:
Yogurt: Look for yogurt that contains live strains of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. These are the two most-researched probiotic strains and they have been linked to various health benefits, including better digestion and reduced inflammation.
Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains live probiotic cultures. It has a tangy, slightly acidic flavor and can be enjoyed plain or flavored. Kefir is a good source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients.
Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and it is an excellent source of probiotics. It also contains vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients. Sauerkraut has a slightly sour and salty flavor that goes well with many dishes.
Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish that is typically made with cabbage, radishes, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. It is an excellent source of probiotics as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. Kimchi has a spicy flavor that pairs well with rice or noodles.
Tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that originated in Indonesia. It is high in protein and fiber and it makes an excellent meat alternative in sandwiches or salads. Tempeh has a nutty flavor with hints of mushrooms or butter
Probiotic Supplements for Gut Health
There are many probiotic supplements on the market that claim to improve gut health, but how do you know which one is right for you? It’s important to choose a quality probiotic supplement that contains live, active cultures and is manufactured by a reputable company.
Look for a probiotic supplement that:
-Contains multiple strains of live, active cultures
-Is third-party tested for quality and purity
-Is manufactured in an FDA-registered facility
-Has a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from an independent testing laboratory
When choosing a probiotic supplement, it’s also important to consider the number of CFUs (colony forming units) per serving. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial for gut health, and the number of CFUs indicates the amount of live cultures in a supplement. Most experts agree that a minimum of 1 billion CFUs per day is necessary for gut health.
Probiotic supplements are generally safe and well tolerated, but if you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.
The Bottom Line on Probiotics and Gut Health
Much of the evidence for probiotics and gut health is anecdotal, but there are some compelling studies that suggest that probiotics may help with conditions like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. If you’re considering taking probiotics for gut health, it’s important to talk to your doctor first to make sure they’re right for you.