In order to keep your body functioning properly, your gut needs a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. But when you’re sick, large amounts of harmful bacteria can enter your digestive tract and throw off the natural microbiome balance. That’s where probiotics come in. These are non-pathogenic live microorganisms, such as yeasts or lactic acid bacteria, that provide health benefits when consumed (like reducing the symptoms of constipation or colitis, promoting a healthy gut, and assisting in the absorption of nutrients).
Probiotic supplements can be found in many foods, including yoghurt and other fermented dairy products, so they’re an easy way to add more good bacteria to your diet. But not all supplements are created equal. It’s important to choose a high-quality probiotic supplement that is backed by research and has been tested for purity and potency. Look for a formula that contains at least a few different probiotic strains, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, to get the most benefit.
Another great way to increase the number of probiotics in your diet is by eating more fermented foods, such as kimchi, pickles, and kefir. Fermented foods are a rich source of probiotics because they’re made by naturally occurring bacteria that feed on sugar and other nutrients in the food. They also help create other beneficial microorganisms, such as antioxidants, that can protect your cells against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of disease.
Probiotics can also be found in fortified foods, such as yogurt and smoothies. These products are a convenient and nutritious option, but you should be careful to read the label carefully before purchasing one. Some probiotics require refrigeration after opening, and others are prone to heat and pH changes that can diminish their effects.
In addition to providing digestive and immune support, probiotics can also play an important role in preventing and treating certain conditions, such as allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, and even cancer. They can also improve mood and help with weight loss, and many people find that they ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Probiotics are a safe and effective way to restore your gut microbiome, but you should always check with your doctor before adding them to your diet. Some foods and drinks, such as alcohol and caffeine, can interfere with the effectiveness of these supplements. In some cases, they may also interact with medications you’re taking. You should also store probiotics in a cool, dry place so they don’t spoil. If you’re ready to give them a try, consider buying probiotics in bulk at your local warehouse club to save money on these essential vitamins and minerals.