6 Reasons You Must Add Probiotics To Your Diet

Hi Friend!

September is here and although we are still living the good life of summer, fall is on its way. This transition between summer and fall is the perfect time to start thinking about our digestive health. In Chinese medicine, this Indian summer/early autumn time is considered Earth season. Earth represents harmony, balance, and assimilation and the digestive organs are the star of the season. Because of this, it is crucial to keep our digestion running smoothly during this time and prepare for a hearty winter.
If you have ever worked with me, you likely know that I believe that health starts in the gut! Healthy digestion means a healthy you, and I am all about helping your body find its true balance. One of my favorite ways to improve gut health is by using probiotics. Probiotics have become quite popular lately as many people have noticed the many benefits that they provide.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms, or bacteria, that live in the digestive tract. As opposed to the bacteria that can make you sick, these bacteria actually help keep you healthy and are necessary for maintaining a strong immune system. Historically, our ancestors had easy access to these helpful probiotics through the fresh fruits and plants they ate, as well as a diet heavier in fermented foods before refrigeration was so common.
As our agricultural practices have evolved, we lack this same access to probiotics. Many of our foods have these bacteria washed away or even have antibiotics on them that further deplete our internal sources. On top of that, many things in our environment and modern lifestyles rid us of our good gut bacteria. How many of these probiotic-depleters do you have in your life?
  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Medications
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol (except red wine)
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Birth Control
  • GMO Foods
  • Gluten, food allergens
  • Emotional Stress
  • Smoking
  • Poor Sleep
  • Overuse of Antibacterial Sanitizers
With 70-80% of our immune system in the gut as well as a huge portion of our nervous system, it is so important to make sure we are replenishing our gut with good probiotics.

6 Reasons You Must Add A Probiotic To Your Diet

If you are still on the fence about adding a probiotic into your diet, check out these six reasons that might change your mind.

1. Helps with Healthy Digestion

Like we touched on before, a healthy digestion is key for overall health. Probiotics are amazing for improving a wide range of digestive issues. We need a healthy bacteria population in our guts to help us fight disease and get the most out of our foods. When an unhealthy balance upsets the system, we can end up with constipation, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, weight gain, flatulence or more serious problems like IBS or Crohn’s. Furthermore, some of the bad bacteria in the gut can influence cravings for sugars and junk foods which will perpetuate our digestive issues.
The key here is improving your diet and starting a probiotic. One of the best ways to tell if your probiotics are helping improve your digestion is to consider how you feel about an hour after a meal. If you are on the track to better digestion, you will feel energized and not notice any bloating, gas, or fatigue. You should also notice that your bowel movements are consistently regular, easy, and formed.

2. Probiotics Decrease Inflammation In The Body

Inflammation is at the root of so many health problems. Arthritis, asthma, cancers, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, and many other diseases are all inflammatory in nature. Research has found that probiotics can decrease inflammation in the body by supporting the good bacteria and warding off the bad. This allows for a well-functioning system and less overall inflammation. This will keep you feeling healthy now, while preventing more serious issues down the road.

3. Probiotics Keep Our Immune System Functioning Properly

Did you know that most of our immune system resides in our digestive system? Our good bacteria in our guts do a lot of the heavy work when it comes to keeping us at the top of our game. These microorganisms help to destroy harmful bacteria while also stimulating the body to secrete substances like IgA and regulatory T-cells. These are important in maintaining our defense system.

By helping your good gut bacteria thrive, you will reap the benefits of a healthy and strong immune system. This means less frequent colds and flus, reduction in allergies, and help with combating a wide variety of autoimmune issues, thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, skin issues, and more.

4. Probiotics Improve Our Moods

Our digestive system is intimately linked to our neurological system and hormonal system– so mood disorders like anxiety and depression are influenced by our microbiome. The enteric nervous system is located in the gut and is responsible for almost all of our serotonin production and therefore has a big influence on our emotions and moods. Researchers have also found that some of the ways that probiotics can help with our moods is by regulating inflammation impacting the gut-brain. Studies have shown that the use of probiotics may be helpful in the reduction of depression, manic depression, mood swings, autism, and other disorders.

5. Probiotics Help You Absorb More Nutrients

What if you fed your body the absolute best diet, but none of those amazing resources were actually available for you to use? With a damaged digestive system and a weak intestinal flora, this is an unfortunate but likely situation. Using probiotics will help build up the bacteria that we want and need for our best chance at absorption. Once you are actually benefiting from all nutrients you eat, you will likely find that you have way more energy, sleep better, and have better moods because your cells will be getting all the necessary tools they need to work their best.

6. Probiotics Help Encourage Weight Loss

This works in two different ways. First, the probiotics are allowing your digestive system to heal and repair while encouraging more of the healthy, good-for-you bacteria to thrive. Secondly, this probiotic may also improve your metabolic function and might even help to reactivate thyroid cells. Improved digestion, regulated metabolism, and a functioning thyroid are all crucial for losing unnecessary weight and feeling good.

Keeps Blood Pressure In Check

Cucumbers contain magnesium and potassium, both of which are important in the maintenance of good blood pressure. If you suffer from hypertension, add in cucumber slices or juice to your daily diet to help improve your blood pressure.

How To Get More Probiotics in Your Diet

Now that you know all the amazing benefits of probiotics, let’s dive into how we can start adding them into our lifestyles. As far as food sources go, there are so many great ways to increase the amounts of probiotics in your diet. Check out these easy food fixes:

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Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Integrative Wellness Consultant and Mood-Gut expert.

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Kefir

Sauerkraut

Kimchi

Kombucha

Coconut Kefir

Natto

Yogurt

Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw Cheese

Miso

Tempeh

Brined olives

Who should supplement?

The short answer: everyone! Adding in foods that are high in probiotics is a fantastic start. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles and agricultural practices make getting enough probiotics without supplementing very difficult. Even if you have a pretty amazing diet, most of us eat out from time to time and are therefore exposed to foods with antibiotics, GMOs, and pesticides. Probiotics are one of the supplements I recommend for ALL of my patients, and it is an easy way to really transform your health from the inside out.  When your gut health is on track, it is much easier for other issues and concerns to clear up.

How to Choose a Good probiotic:

There are so many types of probiotics on the market that it can be a little overwhelming. Here are my recommendations when shopping around for your probiotic:

  • Shoot for 50 billion per serving.
  • Find a probiotic that has several types of bacteria that include Lactobacillus and Bacillus bacteria types. Our gut is meant to have a wide variety of bugs, so make sure your supplement is varied.
  • Choose a product that has a reliable delivery system. This means you want to find one that won’t die on the shelf or once it hits your belly. Dr. David Williams recommends a controlled-release tablet, but make sure to do the research on whatever brand you choose. No matter which kind you buy, make sure to sore them away from heat, light, or moisture.
  • Look for the strain that best suits your concerns.
  • My personal favorite is Dr. Axe’s Probiotic. I find that it covers all of these must-do’s and is an all-around great product. The best news? You receive a free Dr. Axe Probiotic when you join the Gut Rehab Program to revolutionize your gut health!

Team Up With a Probiotic

Finding a good probiotic can be a total game changer. When you start to change your diet and work towards better health, probiotics can help you make that transformation faster and smoother. Over time, you will notice feeling healthier and more energetic as you are able to make the most of the nutrients you eat and won’t be bogged down with all the issues of a sluggish system.

If you are ready to add a probiotic into your diet, feel free to contact me for more information, or check out the Gut Rehab Program for a comprehensive 30-day plan to get you feeling your absolute best!

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I want to hear from you:
What are your favorite ways of getting probiotics into your diet? Please let us know! Leave a comment below.

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