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  • María Fernanda López

Why You Need Probiotics

At no other time in human history has health been such an essential part of daily life. Thanks to the Internet, we now have access to tons of information about what we're eating and why we should or shouldn't be eating it. Getting and staying healthy is an imperative, especially with everything that's been going on, so it's high time that we've made it a top priority.

In a previous article, we talked about 'Keeping Up With Your Health and Enjoy Life’. In that post, we talked about how healthy eating, whether at school or work, on vacation, or at home with your family, is crucial to continued health and happiness. Today, we'll talk about something specific that you need to add to your diet in order to boost your wellness in body and mind. That something is probiotics.

What Are Probiotics?

While the term can sound a little scary, probiotics are anything but. Probiotics, to put it simply, are healthy bacteria that live in your gut. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), probiotics are a catchall term for a variety of microorganisms. The most common ones, however, belong to bacterial groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. You can also find probiotics in yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii.

These different types of probiotics have different effects, so it's always best to check in with a doctor or registered dietitian regarding which probiotic is right for you. They've become popular over the last few years, with millions of Americans taking probiotics daily, whether through food or supplement form.

Why Take Probiotics?

Probiotics have a variety of different benefits, depending on the strain that you're taking. Harvard Health lists a few common benefits, including treating or preventing diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and even reducing the risk of recurring bladder cancer.

Gut health is an important part of overall bodily health, which is why maintaining the amount of healthy bacteria in your digestive system is so important. Probiotics go a long way in achieving this, and can provide relief for ailments that millions of people around the world suffer from. When taken in the right amounts, they can improve quality of life and alleviate symptoms for common diseases and illnesses.

How Do I Integrate Probiotics Into My Diet?

Probiotics are most commonly found in fermented foods. These can include food like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, sourdough bread, and, of course, yogurt. You can also find them in fermented drinks like water kefir and kombucha.

If these foods aren't accessible to you, supplements are an equally good choice. Brightcore's TrueFood is a probiotic and superfood blend that contains over 10 billion live probiotics in a nutrient-dense powder blend. If you want a vegan alternative, you can try Ora Organic Probiotic Capsules, which has 6 billion CFU and is certified organic and free from gluten, dairy, GMOs, and soy.

Regardless of the source, probiotics are an important part of any diet. Whether you take them sparingly or integrate them into your daily diet, the benefits for your gut and overall health are well-documented. As with any new addition to your diet, be sure to check in with your doctor or registered dietitian regarding the appropriate amounts of probiotics. Once you have that squared away, you can look forward to a healthier, happier life.

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