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Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to your microbiome — your gut’s rich ecosystem of microorganisms with various functions. Your microbiome, however, can become imbalanced when one or more kinds of those microorganisms overgrow. This can lead to all sorts of ailments.
Fortunately, by supplementing with probiotics, you can help improve that balance and boost the health of your digestive system.
Probiotics and Physical Health
Why are probiotics so cool? Too many reasons to count. But here are a few highlights, just to get started:
- Improved metabolism and energy levels. Think about it: You eat for fuel. But that fuel needs to be extracted from the food you put through your gut first. That’s what probiotics are good at doing!
- Improved weight loss. Probiotics have also been shown to be closely linked to weight. Studies have shown that certain bacteria can even influence hormone production, such as the hunger hormone ghrelin. Probiotics can help keep those hunger-boosting bacteria in check!
- Improved IBS and IBD symptoms. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Irritable Bowel Disease, probiotics might even eliminate your symptoms entirely!
Probiotics and Mental Health
First, did you know that your gut is intimately connected to your brain? They literally communicate with one another. In fact, they’re so intertwined that the gut has commonly been referred to as the “second brain.”
Not only can your microbiome affect your hunger levels throughout the day, but it can also affect your mood — contributing to feelings of happiness, contentment, or even sadness.
Recent evidence has linked stress-related mental health issues like anxiety to IBS, a condition which itself can be due to poor microbiome health. Unfortunately, this is still a developing field of study, and it’s not known precisely how to structure an optimal microbiome. But scientists agree that generally speaking, the greater the diversity, the better. So whether you’re suffering from stomach problems or the blues, probiotics can help.
What Probiotic Supplements Should I Have?
Many store shelves are full of probiotics! Most products use a combination of two or more strains of bacteria, or yeast. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are a common pairing. Some products also include prebiotics, which feed the probiotics.
In my opinion, live, liquid probiotics are always the way to go. I prefer Symprove because it works for me and seems to improve digestive health. And I love that a study reports statistically significant improvements in IBS symptoms because of the probiotic!
If you’re struggling to decide, just go with your gut feeling. Jokes aside, you better do some research. But we know you’ll make the right choice for you.
What About Natural Probiotics?
It’s great you asked! Probiotic supplements are great, but you don’t necessarily need them.
To help your gut’s good bacteria thrive, eat lots of fiber. As you probably already know, you can get that in fruits and veggies.
- You can also enjoy probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and miso. Certain cheeses even have probiotics, such as gouda, cheddar, and mozzarella!
- Also, stock up on salmon, trout, walnuts, and/or flaxseeds. Healthy bacteria love healthy fats.
So, if you don’t want to add yet another supplement to your diet, you really have no excuses not to get your share of probiotics. Because really, they’re everywhere!
Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.