The Probiotic Breakdown (all you need to know!)

So most of you have heard that probiotics are a must, or maybe you haven't, but do you know why either way?

Well, I decided to dive in and break down for you why probiotics are recommended, whats in them and best sources! 

So what is a probiotic?

It is a substance that stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora).

Sooooo..essentially they are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system! These are helpful bacteria that lead to a healthier gut because they help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movements. Though researchers are still trying to determine exactly how they work they know that probiotics can help replace good bacteria after taking antibiotics and they can balance out your good and bacteria to keep it working properly. 

Foods use to contain probiotics more naturally but because of our ability to refrigerate food and certain agriculture practices, many foods are stripped of their probiotics. 

There are two main groups of probiotics: 

  • Lactobacillus, which is the most common on. You will find this in yogurt and other fermented foods. Some strains can help with diarrhea and may help with the digestion of lactose for people who struggle with that. 
  • Bifidobacterium, which can also be found in some dairy products. It is connected to helping with digestive issues like IBS. 

Common conditions that that probiotics can help with: 

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Leaky gut
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin conditions
  • Better breath
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

Foods that are high in probiotics: 

  • Kefir: a fermented dairy product that can contain anywhere from 10-34 strains of probiotics and has been consumed for well over 3,000 years! 
  • Sauerkraut & Kimchi: made of fermented cabbage and other vegetables and though not diverse in its probiotic offerings it is high in enzymes which can aid in digestion and support the growth of good bacteria.
  • Kombucha: an effervescent fermented black tea that has been around for over 2,000 years. It is linked with increased energy, liver detoxification, and digestive support. 
  • Yogurt: live cultured yogurt and greek yogurt are probably the most popular probiotic food. If you are eating it for probiotic purposes make sure it comes from grass-fed animals (goat or sheep) and has not been pasteurized. 
  • Apple cider vinegar: great for so many things including controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and supporting weight loss! But also includes probiotics!  
  • Tempeh: fermented soybeans that can be eaten raw, boiled or fried.
  • Miso: a mix of fermented soybean, barley or brown rice with koji (fungus). 

Best probiotics for women: 

Of course, it is important to check with your doctor before starting probiotics if you have preexisting conditions. And keep in mind that as your body adjusts you might see some mild stomach upset, diarrhea, gas and bloating. If it extends for a long period of time or gets worse, stop taking them. 

Hope this helped you better under stand probiotics, their benefits and where you can start adding more into your regime! Enjoy!