With so many different supplement options out there to choose from, we know some of you might be thinking... "Why bother taking probiotics?" How do you know if probiotics are the right choice for your wellness goals?
If you're not certain if probiotics are a good fit for your needs, here are some telltale signs that it might be worth a spot in your wellness routine.
1. YOU'RE TAKING ANTIBIOTICS
Antibiotics and other prescription drugs, including, pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs, actively destroy good gut bacteria.
If you've taken antibiotics in the past five years, there's a good chance your microbiota is still in need of some healing.
2. YOU'VE HAD FOOD POISONING
The harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning destroy your healthy gut bacteria, while allowing bad bacteria to move in and set up camp.
If you’ve had food poisoning and have never taken the time to repopulate your good bacteria, chances are your health may eventually suffer as a result.
3. YOU HAVE AN UNHAPPY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Perhaps your gut always seems to be angry… or you regularly suffer from stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or food intolerances. Any of these things can be a sign that you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your stomach.
4. YOU SUFFER FROM A CHRONIC SKIN CONDITION
Chronic dry skin, eczema, acne, or even just dull and lifeless skin can all be tell-tale signs of inflammatory responses linked to unbalanced gut bacteria.
5. YOU GET SICK OFTEN
Does it often feel like you go from one cold to another and can never seem to stay well for very long? Since at least 70% of your immune system’s cells stem from your gut, poor immunity is a clear indication that your gut is not healthy.
6. YOU HAVE YEAST OVERGROWTH
Any medical issues related to yeast overgrowth are also significant signs that you’re lacking healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
7. YOU FEEL DEPRESSED OR ANXIOUS
Did you know that 95% of the “happy hormone” known as serotonin is produced in your gut? This means that an unbalanced gut won’t be able to produce enough serotonin to keep you feeling happy, positive, balanced, and motivated. Luckily, once you get your gut health back to where it needs to be, you should notice your mood improving in no time.
Studies have found L. Acidophilus to be helpful with easing diarrhea, bloating, and bowel pain. It may even help with decreasing seasonal allergies and has been shown to be one of the most effective probiotic strains for protecting your immune system. With its multifunctional benefits, L. Acidophilus is a must-have in your probiotic of choice!
This strain can potentially help with constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Other studies have described B. Lactis as a “health-promoting” strain that may be helpful with food allergies and even many respiratory ailments.
This strain has recently been studied for its potential positive effects to decrease joint aches and stiffness and increase type II collagen in sufferers of inflammatory joint conditions.
B. Coagulans has been found in some studies to be helpful for people with abdominal pain from irritable bowels. Other placebo-controlled trials have found B. Coagulans was also effective at reducing gas and gastrointestinal distress.
The fibers that your body does not digest ultimately serve as food for probiotics (i.e. fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), and provide the nutrient-rich environment good bacteria need to thrive. Prebiotics are the 'fuel' that healthy bacteria (probiotics) need to thrive and help heal a problematic gut.
Many probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFU per dose, but others can contain up to 50 billion CFU or more. Your gut thrives most with a wide variety of good gut bacteria and a quality probiotic supplement should reflect this.
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