When you’re thinking about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you probably think of exercise, eating right and losing weight. These components are certainly an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t forget about what is going on inside your body as well. Probiotic supplements are the perfect solution for regulating your gut health. This article will take a deep dive into what probiotics are and how they can easily integrate into your current wellness routine.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are essentially good bacteria that aid your digestive system. Many people flinch at the word ‘bacteria’, but in this case it really is a good thing! Instead of making us sick, probiotics can help us regulate our gut health. This good bacteria can help replace bad bacteria and replenish naturally occurring bacteria that already live in our digestive systems!
Why are probiotics important for your body?
Probiotics are useful for most people, and should be used regularly to help keep everything in your digestive system running smoothly. They help balance out good and bad bacteria that reside in our digestive system. The amount of this good bacteria in our gut can change dramatically for many reasons. This includes illness, age, poor diet choices and taking antibiotics. Adding probiotics to your diet can reduce the shock of these changes to your digestive system and keep you healthy.
There are three main kinds of probiotics:
This is the most common probiotic. This probiotic is fantastic for people who struggle with lactose intolerance. It can help you digest lactose better and can help with diarrhea.
This probiotic has been found to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other chronic stomach problems.
This is the yeast that exists in probiotics naturally. It can act similarly to fiber, helping to reduce the symptoms of chronic diarrhea.
All three of these probiotics can be found in small amounts in dairy products. However, simply eating foods with probiotics usually isn’t enough to see real results.
What are some of the benefits of taking a probiotic supplement?
A supplement is the perfect way to get enough probiotics on a regular basis. Your natural gut biome is constantly producing bacteria that helps break down foods and fight bad bacteria. These are all natural and necessary elements of the digestion process. This bacteria only ever exists in your stomach, however, so it can be a bit finicky. Stress, medical treatments and even simple colds can have a devastating effect on your gut health. It can take weeks for your digestive system to get back to normal.
A probiotic supplement is a simple way to keep and restore consistency to your gut biome. Many people use probiotic supplements after struggling with their digestive health for years and see quick results. Including probiotics into your health routine can help with your overall digestive health, but it doesn’t stop there! Probiotics are also great for managing bloating, keeping your skin glowing and can even help you maintain a healthy and comfortable weight.
What should you look for in a good supplement?
Purchasing a probiotic is something that is going to involve some research. We all love to save a little bit here and there, but going through a reputable company will ensure that you will see results. It may be tempting to go for the big, umbrella supplement companies, but that could backfire. Many of these companies don’t have the technology to check for the different types of probiotics. This makes it difficult for them to really know the quality of their product.
When researching your probiotic you want to look for the CFU number. CFU stands for Colony Forming Unit. This indicates the volume of probiotics in the supplement. Research suggests that probiotic supplements need at least 1,000,000 CFU to be viable. If it does not meet this requirement then your probiotic may not have any desired effect. The more CFU’s a probiotic has, the more powerful it is!
What are warning signs of a bad probiotic supplement?
The biggest red flag in a probiotic is if they do not list the CFUs. If the CFU is not listed on the packaging, check the website. If this number is not listed, then the company probably doesn’t know what the number of CFUs is. Without that number there is no way to be sure that the product is actually potent enough to work. While this won’t hurt you in any way, you might be wasting your money on an ineffective product.
A good probiotic will have gone through several rounds of quality testing and have a clear expiration date. This information should be readily available for the public. This is why research into your supplement is so important. If you can’t find basic quality information about the product then look elsewhere!
How should you store your probiotics?
Make sure your probiotics stay in the container they came in and never store them in the bathroom or in any humid area. They are sensitive to moisture and many companies use moisture proof packaging to keep the probiotics viable. You should also ensure that the packaging is sealed and stored in a cool, dry place. Never put your probiotics in the fridge unless it is instructed by the manufacturer.
How often should you take a probiotic?
Experts recommend taking a probiotic once per day. Some conditions may require two doses a day, but this is mostly in the case of chronic illness. If you feel like you need two doses a day, discuss it with your doctor first. Probiotics don’t pose a serious overdose risk, but taking too many can upset your gut biome and cause gas, diarrhea and constipation.
When should you expect to see results?
Seeing the results from probiotics is going to require a little bit of patience. Most people began to see big improvements in their gut health in 2-3 weeks. Probiotics take time to work because the good bacteria need time to replace the bad bacteria. After that 2-3 week period you will see consistent improvement that will stick with you. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, ensure that your probiotic came from a reputable source and then talk to your doctor about upping your dosage.
Probiotics are an easy, sustainable and affordable way to invest in your digestive health. A good probiotic is going to have long term effects on your overall health. Who knew bacteria could be so good for you?