According to Dictionary.com, A probiotic is a “dietary supplement containing live bacteria that replace or add to the beneficial bacteria normally present in the gastrointestinal tract.” If you don’t have enough probiotics in your system your body begins to develop things like digestive issues, skin issues, cold, the flu and candida. Read my post on The Candida Cleanse and ways to heal your gut here.
As I have said in my Most Effective Anti-Bloating Tricks And Remedies post, there are over 100 trillion bacterias in our gut, both good and bad. It is considered healthy to have an equal balance. Probiotics are one of the greatest actions you can take to heal your gut. They are a natural supplement that contains the good bacteria that our gut needs. Nowadays, we use things like chlorine to clean our foods and grow our foods in pesticide filled soil. These are things that contain antibiotics that actually kill the good bacteria in our system.
Why it’s important to take probiotics?
Our gut is not only our immune system (two third’s of it to be precise) but it is also known as our bodies ‘second brain‘. As stated by Rodalewellness, “About 80 percent of the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract—not the brain“. Meaning, if the bacteria in our gut has been damaged in any way there will be problems producing serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter known to give us ‘happy‘ feelings. Hence, this is why people with gut issues have anxiety and depression. They aren’t able to produce those ‘happy’ neurotransmitters.
When the gut is damaged this is when we get things like anxiety, depression, IBS, leaky gut syndrome and digestive problems. I talk more about how the gut influences our anxiety in my post The Best Methods To Manage and Reduce Anxiety. By taking probiotics, you are inevitably aiding your gut to heal itself and allowing your body to fully recover of the symptoms from gut issues.
Foods such as wheat, high-fructose corn syrup, GMO’s (like corn), non-steroidal drugs (like Tylenol, aspirin, Midol etc..), Alcohol and Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. As well, things like chronic stress and sleepless nights damage the good bacteria and create an imbalance. Going on a Candida Cleanse can help you with a lot of these symptoms.
Health benefits of taking Probiotics:
- stronger immune system
- weight loss
- clear skin
- stronger digestive system (clear of IBS, leaky gut and other gut issues)
- better sleeping patterns
- increased energy
- better breath
- less bloating
Types of Probiotics:
Here are the top 6 “friendly” bacteria:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
supports digestion and boosts the immune system
- Lactobacillus bulgarius
promote balance in your gut and acts as a natural antibiotic to fight off invading microorganism
- Lactobacillus reuteri
Boosts your immune system and aids in thyroid health
- Saccharomyces boulardii
aids in gastrointestinal problems, some individuals also use it for acne, canker sores, high cholesterol, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
Improves immunity and digestion, helps restore the liver and diarrhea
- Bacillus subtilis
resists harmful organism overgrowth, supports enzyme production, enhance digestion of vitamin K
Other popular Probiotics:
- Streptococcus thermophilus,
Helps the small intestine and the breakdown of casein
- Bacillus laterosporus,
Improves colon health and digestion
- Pediococcus acidilactici,
Helps aid with stress management, coordination and prevents colonization of the small intestine
- Bifidobacterium breve
Stimulates the immune system, colon function, alleviates constipation, and reduces gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
- Bifidobacterium infantis,
Helps prevent colds and flu-like symptoms, improves digestion
- Bifidobacterium lactis,
Help fight lactose intolerance and boost the immune system
- Bifidobacterium longum
Increases acidity of the digestive tract and helps inhibit growth of harmful bacteria
What to look for when buying Probiotics?
When looking for Probiotics there are three main things you need to be looking for, the expiration date, making sure the bacteria is live and looking for colony forming units (CFU’s) in the billions.
Good and reliable brands specify the number of live organisms and will also list in the details the exact strains used in the formula. When looking for CFU’s you want to search for a number in the billions, anything smaller than that isn’t strong enough or of good quality. In other words, a waste of your money.
I always try to go for organic brands but that isn’t necessary. The organic brands do tend to be a bit more expensive, on the other hand, I do find them to be of good quality. That being said, just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s a good brand. There are a lot of knock-off “organic” brands. Make sure to look up your probiotic brand before purchasing it. A good probiotic will be anywhere from 25$-60$ per bottle. Yes, it is expensive but the higher quality products will heal your gut and serve you better than the rest.
Good Quality Probiotics:
* High recommend, especially for vegans*
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I hope that this small guide to probiotics will help you on your journey to healing your gut. Up above, I’ve posted 8 probiotics that I would recommend you take. If you go to your local health supplement store, you can ask someone there to guide you in purchasing the best probiotic for your needs.
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