I often get asked by customers what they should take for their ailments with regards to their stomach. This may include bloating, diarrhea, upset stomach from taking antibiotics, regularity, etc. The answer I usually give is probiotics. Probiotics are an essential ingredient for maximizing your total gut health.
Whether you like it or not, your body is made of many bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. These comprise your microbiome and are very important for not only your digestion, but also for brain function, immune system, maintaining healthy skin, and other functions.
There are many factors that can hurt our gut bacteria. The following is a list of some of them:
If any of these factors apply to you, you are a likely candidate for probiotics even though you may feel like you are healthy.
What are Probiotics
Probiotics are often considered the “good bacteria” in our bodies. Some forms of yeast also act as probiotics. These are live microorganims that can potentially restore the gut’s normal flora.
There is belief that many of the body’s functions are linked to the gut. Thus, having a healthy gut results in an overall healthy body.
You can get your probiotics through different types of food or supplements. Some foods that contain probiotics are:
When taking a supplement, there are several factors you want to look for in a good probiotic.
- High number of Colony Forming Units (CFU)
- Wide variety of Strains
- Tested by a 3rd party lab
- Refrigeration not required
There is still much to learn about probiotics. While there has been much research regarding different strains and their benefits, it seems as if we are just scratching the surface of just how beneficial probiotics can be.
Not to be confused with probiotics, prebiotics are also an important component in maximizing gut health. Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that help probiotics grow in your body. So while you do not necessarily need prebiotics for probiotics to work, they may enhance the health benefits of probiotics. Some common foods that you can find prebiotics in are:
- underipened bananas
Onnit Total Gut Health
One product that hits all the checkmarks for a good probiotic are the Total Gut Health Packs sold by Onnit. Each packet contains in addition to probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride as digestive aids. The betaine hcl breaks down foods while the enzymes break down fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Remember good nutrition comes from absorbing nutrients, not just consuming them.
To learn more about this product click on the image below.
As always, before taking any supplementation, I recommended consulting your doctor or the manufacturer for any questions you may have.