Tips to Choose the Right Probiotic for Your Needs

There are trillions of different bacteria living inside your body, particularly the large intestine. This is a type of colonic community of bacteria, which is called the gut microbiota, and it is involved in digestion, immune health, and several other functions.

Some microorganisms will cause disease, while others will try to fight it. You have to achieve a proper balance of bad and good bacteria to ensure good health. Issues will begin to occur if the balance is thrown off. When this happens, finding and taking the right women’s probiotics is highly recommended.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They are very similar to the ones that are already in your body. All the different probiotic products available on the market contain a huge selection of probiotic bacterial strains. If you want to achieve the desired benefits, you must select the right type of probiotics to help with the issues you are having.

ProbioticsA Primer on Probiotics

If there is an imbalance of your gut microbiota, it can cause several health issues, particularly gastrointestinal problems, along with infections and immune dysfunction. The balance of bacteria in your gut can be impacted by physical or emotional stress, medical conditions, and the use of antibiotics, which can destroy all the good bacteria in your gut, as well as the bad.

With probiotics, you can restore the balance and ensure plenty of good bacteria are present. When you do this, you will get relief from irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, acute infectious diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea caused by the use of antibiotics or a C. diff infection. Probiotics can also help boost your immunity, fight inflammation, and have been shown to have beneficial effects on your cholesterol levels.

ProbioticsSelecting the Right Probiotic for Your Needs

For a product to be a true probiotic, it must include active and live bacterial cultures. This should be clearly shown on the product’s packaging.

A general recommendation is to select probiotic products with a minimum of one billion colony forming units containing the genus bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, or saccharomyces boulardii. These are some of the most researched and beneficial probiotics available today. However, you have to delve a bit deeper because every bacteria genus offers several strains that will produce unique results.

For example, yogurt is made with two different “starter” bacterial cultures – lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus. This is because acid usually destroys these bacteria in your stomach, and they do not provide any beneficial effect. However, some companies will add in additional bacteria to their products. This is why it is important to check the labeling and to select products that have the bacteria added to the starter cultures.

It is a good idea to avoid the generic store brands and put more time and attention into finding a brand that has been studied. It is a good idea to look for a product that has been tested for the issue you want to address. While it may claim to help with IBS, you may not want to take that product if you are taking antibiotics. Alternatively, you may want to find a product that helps with immunity. It can get confusing when trying to find the right products for your needs.

Some people prefer using probiotic supplements instead of foods, but probiotic foods can sometimes be a better option. Specifically, fermented foods – such as as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, and tempeh – provide a quality and healthy environment where healthful bacteria thrive and release a crucial byproduct, the necessary short-chain fatty acids.

These will have a beneficial effect on your cholesterol, inflammation, and immunity. Try to choose the foods mentioned above first. However, there is always a niche for the right supplements, such as requiring a specific strain of bacteria that is not found in a source of food.

Feed the Bacteria With Prebiotics

When it comes to the probiotic industry, there is no question that business is booming. However, the benefits of probiotic products and the quantity of the viable bacteria that they contain will vary. Rather than adding bacteria from an outside source, it may be a good idea to consume prebiotics, such as fermentable fiber. This is going to provide beneficial support for your own  bacteria.

Some of the top dietary sources of prebiotics include green bananas, wheat, some artichokes, leeks, onions, asparagus, garlic, and legumes. Prebiotic supplements are widely available as well.

If you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, a prebiotic may not be necessary. But for convenience, a prebiotic supplement along with a healthy diet will have a positive effect on the microbiota in your gut.

Probiotics
a black jar with probiotics and capsules on gray background

Tips for Getting Started Using Probiotics

Are you ready to give probiotic products a shot? If so, there are a few tips that can help you navigate these supplements.

Probiotics are usually considered safe, but they are not recommended for individuals with compromised immune systems. In some cases, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to find out if probiotics are the right option for you.

It will take a bit of trial and error to find a probiotic that will work well for you in specific situations. If you do not notice any significant benefits from one product after several weeks, consider choosing a probiotic with a different bacteria strain.

Sometimes, a probiotic can result in gas and bloating, along with changes in a person’s stool patterns. While this may seem like a bad thing, they are all signs that the product is actually working.

A prebiotic food is going to help ensure your good bacteria is healthy and that it flourishes. Be sure to include foods such as green bananas, onions, asparagus, and beans into your diet. You can also choose from other types of fermentable fiber.

With the tips and information here, you will find the right options to ensure that your gut remains healthy and problem-free. Being informed is the best way to help ensure that you get the quality benefits you want and need, for a price you can afford.

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