Gut Health and Probiotics

*By: Megan Deppen*

Photo by: Brooke Lark

You may already know that having good gut health is important to your overall well-being. Having a healthy gut means you have healthy bacteria and immune cells that help to fight off diseases, harmful bacteria, and other viruses.

Are you looking to improve your gut health but you’re not sure where to start? When you hear about gut health, you often hear about probiotics and the amazing benefits they have on our gut. So, what are probiotics and how can you start incorporating them into your daily diet? Probiotics are microorganisms that occur naturally in our bodies and are healthy bacteria. They help control the harmful bacteria, like germs in your body and help to improve digestion and nutrition absorption. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when incorporating probiotics into your diet.

  • Food sources– Foods such sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt kefir, kombucha all contain probiotics and should be introduced into your daily diet slowly to see how your body reacts to them. There are many strains of probiotics and when introduced in large quantities, you could experience bloating, gas, or nausea. If you’re just introducing these type of foods into your diet this would be a good time to keep a food journal to keep track of how much of these probiotics you’re eating and how you’re feeling on them. Furthermore, schedule to take your probiotics before or during your meal, but not after you eat.
  • Check food labels carefully – Be mindful with foods such as yogurt, as many of the brands on the market contain lots of added sugars and chemicals. Look for yogurts that are low in sugar and contain active and live cultures. A popular yogurt brand and one of my favs that keeps it au naturale is Fage.
  • Supplements – The best way to get your probiotics is from natural food sources, however if that won’t work for you, there are a number of probiotic supplements on the market that you can take. However, before taking any supplements, make sure to do your brand research and consult your doctor.

Do you have any tips on incorporating probiotics into your diet? Leave us your comments below.

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