There are several lifestyle and environmental factors that can lead to problems with your gut health. Stress, aging, modern American diet, exposure to toxins, and the use of antibiotics (both as medicine and within the food we eat) can all throw off the balance of our microbiome.
Everything from your energy levels and mood to your mental health, weight, and sleep, can be affected by the balance of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The effects of an unbalanced microbiome can be serious. When the gut becomes unbalanced with these unhealthy levels of bacteria, probiotics help to bring your gut back to balance.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in your gut that support your digestive health and your immune system. These microbes that are present in the lower intestinal tract help us to digest food. They help the body to absorb nutrients, making sure that your body is getting the vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids from the foods that you are eating. Probiotics also keep any harmful bacteria in check. Probiotics do this by crowding out the bad bacteria and preventing the bacteria from living in your gut.
Now that you can see how probiotics help the body, how do you know if your body needs them? Probiotics exist naturally in your gut, but lifestyle and environmental factors can deplete our natural levels. But how do we know if they have been depleted?
Take a look at these 6 signs that indicate you should be boosting your diet with these good guys!
- Antibiotic Use
Antibiotic means anti-life, which is the exact opposite of the meaning of probiotic or pro-life. Antibiotics were designed to remove bacteria from the body, including your good guys. Boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods after a round of antibiotics can help to reintroduce the healthy gut flora back into the body.
- Food Poisoning
If you have recently suffered from food poisoning or have eaten something that just didn’t agree with your system, these is a good chance that bad bacteria have started making a home in your body. Including probiotic rich foods in your diet can help to fight off these bad guys and get your digestion back to normal.
- Digestive Issues
If your gut has not been functioning like it normally does, boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods can be extremely helpful. Oftentimes the small addition of these healthy flora into your diet can put an end to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and gas.
- Skin Conditions
If you are suffering from acne, eczema, rashes, or hives, it is most likely due to poor digestion and an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Start to include probiotic rich foods in your diet to help your skin clear up.
Are you feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, or depressed? It could be because your intestinal flora is out of whack. Boost your diet with probiotic rich foods to help bring your gut back into balance.
- Weakened Immunity
If you feel like you get sick from the flu every year, you’ve used all your sick days at work, and seem to catch any bug that goes around, it’s time to include probiotic rich foods in your diet. Healthy bacteria in the gut supports your immune system, and helps to fight off any foreign microbes in your body.
The Best Food Sources of Probiotics
Are you wondering how and what probiotic rich foods you should add into your diet? You don’t always need supplements to get your daily dose of probiotics. There are so many natural foods loaded with cultures of the good gut flora. The top sources of probiotics include:
- Yogurt – especially plain Greek yogurt
- Fermented vegetables – such as pickles or sauerkraut
Create A Healthier You
Including probiotic rich foods in your diet helps to keep up your levels of good flora and is a form of prevention. By incorporating these top eight natural sources of probiotics into your diet, your good bacteria will thrive and help you with living a happy and healthy lifestyle.