Probiotics are one of the most widely used supplements, but do you know how they actually work to keep your body healthy? Today we’re going to delve into the journey that little capsule takes through your digestive system, and how it works to boost both your body and mind!
The Gut Microbiome
Our digestive system is home to trillions of microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiome. This diverse community includes bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that work together to keep our bodies healthy. Research shows that a balanced microbiome is crucial for digestive health, nutrient absorption, and even immune function, which shows just how important this little gut community is!
The Probiotic Journey
Once ingested, probiotics start their journey through the digestive tract, and it’s far from easy! It has to survive harsh conditions by traveling through the bile and acid in our stomachs along the way. But these microorganisms are super resilient and most finally make their way to the gut, especially strains such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria which we’ve added to our 11 strain Advanced Probiotic.
Getting to Work
Once probiotics hit the gut, they contribute to our health in a vast number of ways! They aid in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, enhance nutrient absorption, and even help with the synthesis of certain vitamins. Clinical studies have shown a significant improvement in digestive health thanks to probiotics. In one such study, the data revealed a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of common digestive issues, such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, and irregular bowel habits, among participants who regularly consumed probiotics compared to the control groups. Probiotics also play a crucial role in regulating the immune system, promoting resilience against infections and supporting overall immune function.
Factors Influencing Probiotic Health
While probiotics are incredibly beneficial, external factors can impact how effective they are. Dietary choices, lifestyle habits, and antibiotic use can all influence the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. Understanding and being mindful of these factors will help you to optimize the benefits of probiotics, whether from dietary intake or supplement usage.
- Diversify Your Diet: A rich and varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods provides a broader range of nutrients that support gut microbiome.
- Fiber Intake: Dietary fiber serves as a prebiotic, nourishing the probiotics in your gut. Ensure you consume an adequate amount of fiber from sources like legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Fermented Foods: Incorporate naturally fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, into your diet. These foods are rich in live probiotic cultures that can enhance the diversity of your gut microbiota.
- Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise has been linked to a more diverse and robust gut microbiome. Aim for a combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises.
- Adequate Hydration: Staying well-hydrated supports overall digestive health. Water aids in the absorption of nutrients and helps maintain the balance of fluids in the gut.
- Adequate Sleep: Prioritize sufficient and quality sleep, as disruptions in sleep patterns have been associated with alterations in the gut microbiota.
- Probiotics During Antibiotic Treatment: If you’re prescribed antibiotics, consider supplementing with probiotics during and after the course. Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, and probiotics may help replenish beneficial strains.
- Mind-Body Practices: Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises. Chronic stress can impact the gut-brain axis and the gut microbiome.
Limiting Processed and Sugary Foods:
- Reduce Refined Sugars: Excessive consumption of refined sugars may negatively impact the balance of gut bacteria. Limit intake of sugary snacks, beverages, and processed foods.
Understanding is Key
Understanding the probiotic lifecycle and the factors that influence their efficacy is important to help us make informed choices about our health and well-being. Whilst it’s great to add supplements to your diet, it’s just as important to know why you’re adding them and what you’re doing for you.
Now that you know exactly how probiotics work to help your system thrive, make sure to adapt your diet to increase your intake and even add a daily probiotic supplement to get the very most out of this health-boosting bacteria.