Should You Take a Probiotic? | The Importance of Gut Health
Let’s talk GUT HEALTH. Something that is SO important to the overall wellness of more than just your gut - but your entire body.
First things first: what even IS a probiotic? Time to get in to the technical stuff (it’s interesting I promise).
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are actually GOOD for your entire body - especially your digestive system. I know the words “live bacteria and yeasts” may sound gross but BEAR WITH ME. This is a topic that is SO important for overall health and wellness. Including a probiotic in my morning routine has changed the way my body feels for the better.
I started taking a daily probiotic about 4 years ago and I definitely notice a difference in my body when I skip a day. Mostly in the way my stomach feels after I eat and my energy levels, but I can definitely tell when I have forgotten to take my probiotic.
More and more research is coming out about the importance of a healthy, balanced amount of bacteria in your gut and the effects it has on other systems in your body. Taking a probiotic that has been verified for efficacy can help balance the bacteria in your digestive system, improve mental health, boost your immune system, and even increase your metabolism. I use Silver Fern Brand's Ultimate Probiotic - it is gluten free, survival guaranteed, and DNA verified by a third party to assure that it will actually provide the results you are pursuing (check out there webpage HERE for tons of information about their products). They are my go-to because I know the ingredients can be trusted! Here is a quick list of the benefits that come along with taking a daily probiotic like Silver Fern Brand:
Improves tolerance to certain foods
Reduces digestive discomfort
Supports nutrient absorption
Boosts your mood and improves mental health
Improves immune system
Supports the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system
The list goes on - there are also ways you can get probiotics from your foods, like certain yogurts and kombucha drinks. Let's take a second to look three of the main benefits listed above: a healthier digestive system, an immunity boost, and a jump-start for your metabolism.
1. Improved digestion.
When the "good" bacteria in your gut is out of whack, taking a probiotic can help put it back in to balance. If you are experiencing digestive discomfort after taking an antibiotic, it's because the antibiotic killed off all the bad AND good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics with ingredients like Saccharomyces Boulardii - a tropical strain of probiotic yeast - can help aid with general digestion and fight off disease causing organisms.
2. Immunity boost.
According to this article on Enviromedica (super interesting - definitely worth the read) 70 - 80% of our immune system lies within our gut. Whaaat?! That's a pretty high percentage. Probiotics help prevent intestinal inflammation and can actually strengthen the lining of the intestines, lowering the chances of harmful bacteria entering the bloodstream. Ingredients like Bacillus Subtilis HU58 and Pediococcus Acidilactici are good to look for in a probiotic for an immune system boost.
3. Jump start your metabolism.
I thought it was SUPER interesting the first time I learned that you can actually increase your metabolism and change the amount of calories your body extracts from different kinds of foods, curb your cravings and appetite, and reprogram the way your body converts food into energy by taking the right kind of probiotic. It's ALL in the gut! Foods (carbs in particular) that we eat can either contribute to insulin resistance, fat storage, and inflammation, or contribute to the exact opposite effects. According to Silver Fern Brand's website, two main strains of bacteria are prominent when it comes to being lean vs. being obese. A study showed that lean people tend to have a higher ratio of Bacteroidetes over Firmicutes. But how do you change your current ratio for the better? You can increase the amount of Bacteroidetes in your gut by eating a diet high in fiber and low in sugar and taking a probiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
There are SO many health benefits from taking care of your gut. Sometimes if you feel a bit “off” or feel some digestive discomfort, all you may be missing is a probiotic. If you are wondering if a condition you are feeling could be helped by a probiotic, check with your physician. Always remember: listen to your body!
Do you take a probiotic? Leave a comment below. I want to hear from you!
CHECK MY FACTS:
1. Silver Fern Brand
2. Dr. Axe
3. Everyday Health