With so many supplements to choose from, one can easily get overwhelmed in choosing one that will have maximum benefits. Supplements can be part of an optimal wellness plan and I consider them to be a helpful extension of any healthy diet.
Years ago I would have said that a high potency multiple vitamin would be the top supplement on my list. But as I do the research and see the chronic issues people are having, I believe Probiotics are the first and foremost supplement that you should consider. I’m not discounting good quality multiple-vitamins and fish oil, which are at the top of my list as well, but here I wish to share with you some vital information about the benefits of probiotics.
Probiotics populate your gut with good bacteria. That is, much needed good bacteria, because the typical diet does not provide this anymore. You can most definitely acquire probiotics through foods, but people just don’t eat enough to keep their gut populated for the greatest benefits.
Probiotic Rich Foods
Everyone knows yogurt for its probiotic benefits. The problem is that most or the yogurt consumed is flavored and has a lot of sugar. Also, not all yogurts are created equal; some have a very small amount of live active cultures in them, if any at all, and will not make much of a difference. The best option would be to buy plain yogurt with live active cultures (high in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria) and mix or blend your own fruit into it – and as always, organic is far superior, and from grass-fed cattle is even better.
Sauerkraut and Pickles
These fermented foods not only are rich in live active cultures, they are also high in nutrients. I purchase mine at the health food store in the refrigerated section. Tastes home made. Eat sauerkraut as a small side dish – ¼ cup or so, and put a few slices of pickles on your salad. You won’t ever hear me say “eat them regularly with your hot dog” because I don’t recommend eating hot dogs on a regular basis.
Other Probiotic Rich Foods
There are other foods to consider such as miso soup, microalgae, kombucha, tempeh and kimchi, but these foods are not readily available and many will not find it easy to incorporate them into their diet. However, give them a try if you’re up to experimenting.
Benefits of Probiotics Supplements
Most people will not be able to consume enough probiotics by eating foods to make a real difference, especially to correct an imbalance, so it will be beneficial to add a probiotic supplement to your wellness regimen. Probiotics can help with various things that ail you. Below are some signs and symptoms that may improve with probiotic supplementation.
Signs and Symptoms That Scream “I Need Probiotics”
You’re Sick a Lot
Ever wonder why some people hardly ever get sick and you catch colds and get the flu on a regular basis? This is a sign of a compromised immune system. Your immune system cells are primarily manufactured in your gut, and the lymphatic system stores, transports and make them available to you. Probiotics will help build up the good bacteria and keep bad bacteria at bay, allowing for a stronger, healthier you.
Gas and bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive discomfort all may be due to too much bad bacteria and not enough of the good. Amazing things happen when you get the right balance with way more good bacteria than bad, these symptoms will subside.
Signs that You Never Thought Were Related to Gut Health
Chronic rashes, joint pain, and headaches are signs of a poorly working digestive tract. What happens here is that the mucosal lining is not functioning as the protective barrier that it was created to be. A strong mucosal lining allows nutrients to enter the body (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, essential fatty acids), and blocks pathogens from entering the body such as microbes – fungal, bacterial as well as macronutrients such as proteins. When your digestive tract is not working optimally, stuff that’s not supposed to pass the gut lining gets through, your body has a negative response to it and you get sick. Building up the good bacteria with probiotics is a starting place to get to where you need to be.
In addition, chronic candida yeast overgrowth is a growing concern with today’s highly processed, high sugar, highly refined foods diets. Signs to look for include, constantly feeling tired, fuzzy thinking, focus and concentration issues, memory issues, and weight gain to name a few. Building up the good bacteria helps to combat the bad guys once and for all.
What to Look For in a Probiotic Supplement
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you’re better off buying a good quality supplement. So maybe don’t buy probiotics at Walmart, but go to a specialty vitamin shop or health food store and get some guidance as to what would work with your budget and what brands deliver the probiotic live cultures they claim are in the bottle.
I recommend at least 15 billion to make a difference. You can always double this if needed. For chronic conditions, such as candida yeast overgrowth, it would take higher amounts to get results. Also, take probiotic on an empty stomach – bedtime is ideal or at least ½ hour before you drink or eat anything in the morning. Some formulas offer enteric-coated capsules that deliver the probiotic directly to the intestinal tract, where you want it, instead of breaking down in the stomach.
So be purposeful about what you take into your body. Real food, a few good supplements and a holistic approach to wellness will take you farther than you ever expected. These are simple steps to make a difference in how you feel and overcome imbalances that can be troublesome. We’re in this with you. Engage with us on a regular basis. Sign-up for our eNewsletter so you know what’s in store to help you kick tail. We’ll take you on a ride that can change your life. I did it. So can you.
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