Probiotics 101: What You Need to Know About Healthy Bacteria
Probiotics are live microorganisms, or “good bacteria,” that can promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system when consumed. When the word “bacteria” is used, it often has a negative connotation associated with germs. While germs are a form of bacteria, not all bacteria is bad.
What Is a Probiotic?
Probiotics are considered “healthy” bacteria because they work and operate within your gut and help with your digestion. There are several common species of probiotics:
- Lactobacillus - The most common species of probiotic. Lactobacillus produces lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. It is often found in fermented foods and yogurt.
- Bifidobacterium - Bifidobacterium is commonly found in food and supplements and can help support your immune system and limit the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Saccharomyces boulardii - This species is not a bacteria - it’s a yeast that acts as a probiotic in your gut. It has been used for many years to help with diarrhea and other digestive issues. This species can be taken during antibiotic use.
What Foods Contain Probiotics?
While probiotics supplements are a great way to introduce healthy bacteria to your gut, there are also foods that you can add to your diet to get enough probiotics. Below are some probiotic heavy foods:
- Fermented or Cultured Cheeses
- Fermented or Cultured Pickles
- Miso or Natto
- Cultured or Fermented Vegetables, like Sauerkraut or Kimchi
Fermented foods most commonly contain probiotics. The fermentation process introduces healthy bacteria to food that is great for your gut.
What is the Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are in high fiber foods, like fruits and vegetables, that help improve the microflora within your body. The healthy bacteria in your gut “eat” the high fiber prebiotics, keeping them thriving.
If you maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you are supplying your body with prebiotics. Eating prebiotic food will help provide a good environment so that the effects of a probiotic will be maximized.
Health Problems Probiotics Can Address
These helpful bacteria are commonly used to help address some of the following issues:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Oral Health
- Allergies and Colds
- Urinary Health
- Vaginal Health
Adding a probiotic supplement or foods with probiotics to your daily regimen can help address IBS, frequent diarrhea and other problems that may be affecting you.
Why Are Probiotics Important?
Although you may not realize it, the bacteria in your gut can get out of balance. An imbalance of bacteria can build up in your system due to illness, poor diet, or even medication like antibiotics. This leads to digestion problems, skin problems, obesity, and allergies.
Probiotics are important for your overall health because they introduce healthy gut bacteria that can balance your system. By adding healthy bacteria to your gut, you can improve your overall health in a variety of ways.
Add a Powerful Probiotic to Your Supplement Intake
At Dr. Randolph’s Wellness Store we offer both Daily Probiotic DF and Max Probiotic DF. Max Probiotic is our more powerful daily supplement, but both support a healthy intestinal microecology, support your natural immune system response, help with lactose digestion, and supports bowel regularity.
If you're struggling with digestion issues or immune system problems, try adding a probiotic to your daily diet. Balancing the bacteria in your gut may put you on the road to feeling better. If you have questions, feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions. We wish you well!