In my last blog post I talked about easy ways to increase your fibre intake with fibre supplements – one of the few supplements I take. Well, one of the other supplements I include in my diet are probiotics. Both supplements keep my gut happy!
Probiotics are the good type of bacteria, they’re live cultures that help populate our guts with healthy organisms. I’m very passionate about the whole topic of my why they’re important and all of their benefits.
As a segway into this post, for those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008 – a digestive disease that can affect anywhere from the ‘gum to the bum’. Fortunately I am currently in complete remission but prior to remission I had severe issues. Probiotics were part of my daily routine in helping to heal my gut and to this day I still take them to maintain my digestive and overall health. I could write an essay about the benefits of probiotics and why a healthy gut is super important, but for this post I’ll keep it to one topic: understanding probiotics and why they’re key.
Did you know our bodies are hosts to trillions of good bacteria? Our bodies are covered with a bunch of microorganisms that are collectively referred to as the microbiota. The majority of these ‘little guys’ reside in our digestive tract and are extremely beneficial in supporting immune function, healthy skin, A+ digestion, keeping our mood balanced and a host of other things.
When our digestive tract has a poor ‘good to bad’ bacteria ratio various issues can occur, such as diarrhea, skin problems (like acne and eczema), yeast infections, low energy…and the list goes on.
There are many reasons as to why your gut may be riddled with the bad guys, such as high sugar diets, unhealthy oils, increased stress…but did you know the use of antibiotics can kill off not just the bad guys but also the good guys? That’s why it’s super important to take a probiotic supplement when you’re on antibiotics.
Maintaining and working towards a healthy, balanced gut is important to overall health and in order to keep that gut smiling, adding probiotic rich foods and a probiotic supplement is super important (especially if you’re on antibiotics).
A few of my favourite go-to probiotic-rich foods are kombucha (which is fermented tea), dark chocolate, greek yogurt and kefir…and when it comes to a probiotic supplement, one of my favourite brands on the market is Renew Life. Renew Life carries a variety of various intensities, including my two favourites 50 billion and 100 billion cultures. These guys are potent and packed with 10-12 strains of good bacteria to further populate your gut. I also like them because they are found in the refrigerator…which is a sure sign that they are actually still alive.
Guys, bacteria isn’t just a synthetic powder. It’s a living organism. If you were to look at yogurt or even your skin under a powerful microscope you would see little critters (bacteria) crawling all over the place.
Probiotics tend to be sensitive to heat (just like my very white skin), so when they’re not refrigerated they can die off…leaving them ineffective and pretty useless to take. There are a few brands on the market that aren’t refrigerated, but be careful and do your research when selecting one…because often they are just a money grab.
Since most probiotics have to be refrigerated, traveling with a high quality probiotic is pointless. If you don’t have easy access to a refrigerator, there really is no point in bringing your probiotics with you. Renew Life, however, just came out with a new shelf stable probiotic, Ultimate Flora Probiotic Critical Care 50 Billion Go Pack. The capsules are individually sealed and don’t allow any light to get into them, which lets the happy critters thrive. These are great to bring along with you on vacation or even keep in your purse.
For me, probiotics have been a huge aspect in my daily routine and I promise you this won’t be the last probiotic post you read here!