Probiotics Beginners Guide

Your body is home to trillions of bacteria and microbes, many of which live in your gut. Far from being the worrisome thing they sound like, these organisms work to protect your health in several ways. One of the best ways to promote the healthy proliferation of these microorganisms is to include more probiotics in your diet.

This guide will help teach you everything you need to know to get started. For a more in-depth overview, you can read this Probiotic 101 guide written by Alicia Harper the Probiotic Review Girl.

Probiotics And Prebiotics Explained

iotics are live organisms that positively benefit the health of their host - you. Prebiotics are types of fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. 

Most probiotics are considered bacteria, though some are actually yeast. They can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yoghurt, tempeh, and kefir. You can also get them from supplements. There are several strains of probiotics, with lactobacillus and bifidobacterium being the most common. Each strain plays a different role in health so an intake of a variety is best. 

The best prebiotics are foods like onions, bananas and garlic and you can also take these as supplements too. 

Probiotics For The Gut

The colony of healthy bacteria that lives in your gut is called gut flora, with many of them residing in your colon. When there aren’t enough of these microorganisms present, you may suffer from certain health conditions. On the other hand, boosting your supply can protect your health. Your gut flora plays a role in many metabolic functions, offers immune system protection, and helps with the manufacture of certain nutrients, including vitamin K and several B vitamins. An unhealthy gut flora has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, certain kinds of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.

Can Probiotics Be Vegan?

Many probiotics contain dairy ingredients or are made from other ingredients that aren’t vegan. However, the number of vegan probiotics on the market is on the rise. This includes pills, gummies, and tablets. Many food sources of probiotics are vegan and plant-based.

The Best Time To Take Probiotics

Most probiotic products don’t contain recommendations about when is the best time to take them. Your stomach acid can kill many of these helpful bacteria so the best time to take them is on an empty stomach, since acid levels go up after you eat. Most experts recommend taking probiotics in the morning as soon as you wake up since your stomach has been at rest for several hours.

Probiotics For Your Digestion

In addition to those conditions mentioned above, probiotics can also alleviate symptoms of digestive complaints. Probiotics are shown to help with IBS, diarrhoea, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and bloating. They can also rebuild the gut flora after a round of antibiotics.

Do Probiotics Work For Weight Loss?

Studies have found that people who are overweight or obese have a different gut flora than people at a healthy weight. Because the bacteria in your gut are closely linked to obesity, it makes sense that one can affect the other. Research shows that some kinds of probiotics, specifically lactobacillus gasseri supplements can lead to belly fat loss. Other research has found that probiotics may help prevent and treat obesity, though they can’t replace a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Other Potential Probiotic Benefits

The above mentioned health conditions aren’t the only ones that may benefit from adding probiotics to your diet.

  • Some evidence shows that probiotics might help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Probiotics have been shown to result in modest reductions in blood pressure levels.
  • Since probiotics strengthen the immune system, they can help reduce the risk and severity of infections and the common cold.
  • Probiotics have been shown to help control inflammation, which reduces the risk of several diseases.
  • Dermatologists advocate probiotics for treating eczema, rosacea, acne, and a range of other skin conditions.
  • Some strains of probiotics have shown promise as a treatment for the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Probiotics continue to be studied and show promise for treating many other health conditions in addition to those mentioned.

Probiotic Side Effects

Probiotics are considered generally safe for most people, though you may notice a few mild side effects in the days after you begin taking them. The most common are gas and digestive discomfort. People who have weak or compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS, HIV, or other autoimmune conditions should avoid probiotics because they can lead to dangerous infections. Always talk to your doctor before you begin taking probiotics.

Digestive Enzyme vs. Probiotics

Digestive enzymes and probiotics aren’t the same thing, though the former is often confused with the latter. They are actually two completely different substances. Digestive enzymes aid in the digestion of the food you eat. You can’t substitute one for the other.

Prebiotic vs. Probiotic

Prebiotics are a kind of non-digestible fibre that feeds probiotics. You can get prebiotics from asparagus, bananas, acacia gum, leafy greens, legumes, onions, and garlic. Combine prebiotics with probiotics for the best results.

CFU Count Explained

Colony-forming units, or CFU, represents the number of bacteria present in a dose of probiotics. Many people assume that a higher CFU is better, though that’s not always the case. For most people, a CFU of 5 billion to 20 billion is adequate. Probiotics with more than 30 billion CFU are generally only recommended for individuals with serious digestive problems. A higher CFU can lead to more side effects, so keep that in mind when you choose a product.

Natural Methods To Boost Gut Health

In addition to adding probiotics to your routine, you can also boost your gut health by avoiding foods that are spicy, greasy, or oily, in addition to limiting junk food of any kind. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy natural foods is an easy way to boost your gut health.

Probiotic Gummies

Capsules can be hard to swallow and maybe too strong to take every day. Probiotic Gummies make a good alternative because they tend to taste better and are easier to digest. Most probiotic gummies are backed by medical science.

Final thoughts

Probiotics are essential for good overall health and are an easy way to protect yourself from a range of medical conditions. Talk to your doctor about adding probiotic supplements or foods your meal plan.

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