Factors like stress and diet can kill off these good bacteria and leave you with too much of the bad stuff, leading to different digestive issues and other deficiencies.
Promoting more than digestive health
Adding more probiotics to your diet does more than ensure optimal gut health – they play a large role in promoting overall health and wellbeing. Increasing your probiotic intake can help:
- boost the immune system
- sustain a positive mentality
- increase energy levels
- prevent urinary tract infections
- assist in healing bowel conditions like IBS
- manage skin conditions like eczema and acne
Food sources with probiotics
Food choices can directly impact gut health. Choosing unhealthy foods and beverages, such as fried foods, heavily processed foods and excessive alcohol work against the good bacteria that we want to have in our digestive system.
You can also use food to increase your probiotic intake by eating cultured or fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi, turmeric, yogurt or sauerkraut, which will all help healthy bacteria thrive.
Choosing a supplement
Supplements are becoming more popular and have added benefits. You can get multiple strains of bacteria from probiotic supplements and are likely to receive more good bacteria than you can from eating certain foods.
With what seems like hundreds of options, not all probiotic supplements are created equally. When choosing a supplement, keep the following information in mind:
- Choose a supplement with at least three or more strains. Each strain has a different function and therefore the more strains you have, the better chance you have of tackling any issue in the digestive system.
- Probiotic bacteria work by forming colonies and you need a lot of them to do that. Supplements are sold by how many billion bacteria are present. For instance, if the probiotic supplement you buy says ’50 billion’ that’s how many colony forming units, otherwise known as CFUs are in the supplement.
- Antibiotics can compromise the digestive system. If you have recently taken antibiotics, start with a higher CFU and wait a few hours between taking an antibiotic and probiotic supplement to maximize the results.