About Probiotics & The Way They Work
Honestly speaking, we are in the early days of understanding how to create and use probiotics, properly.
They seem to have taken on a life of their own! We’re seeing promotions everywhere for them – from commercials to yogurt containers, naturopath offices to your local drug stores.
Now, do we need probiotics?
Can we achieve the correct amount by simply eating a yogurt?
Probiotics are a much bigger picture.
It is necessary to learn overall gut health by being selective in what we eat, breaking bad habits, limiting sugars and starches, and decreasing alcohol consumption.
Understanding Gut Health
Let’s consider the signs of an unhealthy gut – bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and/or abdominal pain. Sound familiar? Something you definitely want to listen to.
These symptoms could be signs of things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Even without symptoms, many other diseases such as; obesity, diabetes, heart disease, allergic diseases, autoimmune disorders, depression and ADD, can be affected by the health of your gut (or lack thereof).
Try to imagine poor gut health as “bad bugs”. Basically, growing inside you, when they shouldn’t, food sensitivities (different from allergies), or a leaky gut – all play a part in the inflammation and irritation, in this case to your bowels.
Stress, antibiotics and too many anti-inflammatory drugs, can also play a part in poor gut health.
Where Do the Probiotics Come In?
Your gut has good bugs and bad bugs, and in layman's terms, when they get out of balance, that’s when you feel sick. This, is where probiotics come in.
Probiotics on their own don't, per say to the trick – but combined with healthy eating, whole foods diet, healthy proteins, fats and fibres, they can be very effective.
There are a variety of different probiotics on the market, and it’s general suggested to look for ones at least 25 to 50 billion live CFU’s from different strains.
You may notice some discomfort when you first begin taking them (gas or bloating) but this should pass. In the event that it doesn’t, you may want to hold off until you’ve cared for your gut a bit longer by means of whole foods, and other suggestions made above.
There is a probiotic on the market presently containing up to 450 billion CFU’s to give you an example of why the suggested number should be the minimum.
Probiotics come in both pill and powder form – in pill format will generally provide you with the most effective way. You can also find probiotics in fermented foods like; kimchi, kombucha, miso or sauerkraut, providing you don’t mind the taste of course.
Organic, whole grass-fed yogurts are also a good option, and if staying away from dairy, consider eating unsweetened sheep or goats milk yogurt.
5 Tips to Help You Rebalance Your Gut
Eat A Whole Foods Diet
This diet, should be rich in nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. An elimination type diet might be a good idea to start with, even on a seven day basis to help kick start a detox type process.
Avoid Use of Antibiotics, Acid Blockers and Anti-Inflammatories
These few things can really aggravate the gut, setting things off balance. Avoiding them as much as possible should alleviate symptoms, and in turn overall gut health.
Take Probiotics Daily
Assists in overall gut health, and can also add benefit to mental health, skin issues, autoimmune conditions and more.
These are a form of soluble fibre, found in foods like onions, garlic, dandelion greens and sweet potatoes. These foods help those good bugs stay where they need to be.
Consider Specialized Testing
Food allergy and gluten sensitivity testing are a good option if none of the other suggestions are found to be beneficial and you a requiring a more in depth look.
Do Probiotics Work Review Summary
In conclusion, we don’t, and probably never will, know the perfect ratio of good and bad bacteria in our gut – there are so many variables based on one’s diet, enzymes, climate, seasons, body composition, etc.
Having said that, we know that probiotics work to helping balance a gut into optimal health with the other components, like healthy diet, are in place.