Wondering why you might need a digestive health probiotic? Find out how good bacteria can help your gut health and digestion.
Want to know how to have a healthy gut—and how this helps you have a healthy life? Learn all about how to improve gut health and have a balanced microbiome!
If you’re wanting to feel your best, a lot of that starts with your gut health.
What’s the microbiome?
Before we get into the ins and outs of digestive health probiotics, it wold be helpful to chat about the microbiome.
Many years ago, I was hugely confused about this topic until I sat in on a multi-day symposium on gut health and the microbiome—for back-to-back years!
As simply put as possible, the gut microbiome is the collective grouping of genetic material of all microbes that live on and inside of your body.
This includes bacteria as well as fungi, protozoa, and viruses, per the University of Washington. While these microbes are mostly invisible to the human eye, that doesn’t mean they aren’t mighty. All told, your microbiome may weigh up to five pounds!
When your microbiome is in balance, every piece of it works in synergy. The bacteria in your gut help digest the food you eat and help keep your immune system functioning at its best.
The bacteria even help produce certain vitamins, including vitamin B12 and vitamin K. Now, let’s talk about the benefits of digestive health probiotics.
Why a healthy gut is important
Now that we’ve cleared the air about the microbiome, let’s talk about a few of the top reasons why having a balanced microbiome—and a healthy digestive system—are important for your overall health and happiness.
This is where digestive health probiotics come into play.When a baby is born and has an immature immune system, that infant is more susceptible to illness and infection.
As the child grows and is exposed to more and more bacteria, their immune system grows stronger. Coincidence? Not at all.
This is also one of the reasons, it’s theorized, why children born via C-section—versus vaginal delivery—are significantly more likely to suffer from illnesses such as celiac disease and serious gastroenteritis, per research in Pediatrics.
It’s also thought that risk of allergies and asthma may be associated with how you’re delivered into the world, per a study in Clinics in Perinatology.
Thus, you can imagine, that even past birth, being exposed to bacteria and other microbes can be a good thing—in moderation, of course.
We know, too, that breastfeeding for the first few months of life was associated with a reduced relative risk of respiratory allergies and asthma in some 6-year-old children, according to research in Acta Paediatrica.
This is likely because the baby is introduced to the mother’s immune system—and all the awesome, protective benefits that come with it.
The hygiene hypothesis also supports the theory that early exposure to certain animals may reduce the risk of allergies and asthma.
In one study in Evidence Based Medicine, of more than 650,000 preschool- and school-aged children in Sweden, being exposed to a dog or a farm animal within the first year of life was associated with a lowered risk of asthma in children ages 3 and older.
Probiotic health benefits
When it comes to probiotics, there are so many benefits you can get from specific supplements. I’m going to cover just a few here, including the benefits of a digestive health probiotic.
You may be most familiar with the gastrointestinal benefits of probiotics.
The supplements can help promote digestive balance and even help prevent occasional gas, bloating, and constipation.
Certain probiotics are found in fermented foods. You can eat these probiotics via certain yogurt, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kombucha, and other fermented foods.
But here’s where I recommend that most people take a daily digestive health probiotic to make sure you’re taking in ample amounts of good bacteria—and the right kind—to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
Plus, you get targeted delivery with these digestive health probiotics, as each capsule is resistant to the harmful effects of stomach acid and distributes live cultures to the proper area of the small intestine and colon—right where they’re needed most.
Probiotics can also help with digestive balance when traveling, especially internationally.
I recommend to my clients that if they are not already taking a daily probiotic that they begin doing so about a week before leaving for an international trip.
Digestive health and immune healthy are strongly connected. When your gut health is strong, this typically strengthens your immunity.
Particular probiotics can help support a healthy immune response and immune health.
Do you need probiotics?
If you’re breathing, you probably need probiotics!
I recommend probiotics to every single one of my clients. This is because so many aspects of health start in your microbiome.
Anything like age, stress, and travel can cause a disruption in your digestive balance. Taking a daily probiotic helps support your digestive system with beneficial bacteria—which helps you to support your well-being.
Of course, probiotics aren’t magic! You still need to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and work to manage your stress level.
Tips for maximizing the benefits of probiotics
When it comes to digestive health probiotics, use these tools to get the most benefits.
Take probiotics every day
To get the most benefits from probiotics, you should take one daily. Many studies on probiotics show benefits for immune health, digestive health, and beyond when probiotics are taken routinely every day.
Furthermore, when you make probiotics part of your daily routine, doing so can help maintain the good bacteria in your gut.
Whether you choose morning, afternoon, or evening, it’s important to be consistent with the time of day you choose.
In this way, probiotics are like the vitamins you take with your breakfast or the omega-3 capsules you might take with dinner. You can even put a daily reminder in your smartphone’s calendar, if this will help you remember.
Read the directions
This will let you know if you need to take your probiotics with food or not. Three types of probiotics exist: enteric-coated capsules, non-enteric-coated capsules, and delayed-release capsules.
Delayed-release capsules are super cool because they are created to provide targeted delivery.
This means that each capsule is resistant to the harmful effects of stomach acid and distributes live cultures to the proper areas of the small intestine and colon. This is right where they are needed most.
Store probiotics in the fridge
Doing so will help the bacteria in your digestive health probiotic live longer. If you don’t store them in the fridge, make sure to keep them in a dry place, not in direct sunlight, at or below 73° Fahrenheit.
As well, some probiotics require cold storage, so make sure to read the product’s instructions.
Shopping for probiotics
Choose a product that’s been third-party verified. This indicates a probiotic has been tested by an outside party to contain what it says it does on the label, and verifiers often check that products aren’t contaminated.
Third-party verifiers include USP, NSF International, and Tru-ID. Verification is typically featured on the front or back label of a product.
3 probiotics to try
When it comes to probiotic supplements, here are a few of my favorite digestive health probiotics:
1. Fortify Daily 50 Billion Probiotic
If you’re looking for a digestive-health probiotic that can be used for both the guys and gals in your household, I’d recommend giving this supplement a try.
You get a powerful combination of HOWARU Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001(1) and Bifidobacterium lactis BL-04™ and HOWARU Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 to help support gut and immune health—and you get that bonus chicory root fiber, too.
Plus, it contains the doctor-preferred probiotic strain for regularity*††—the probiotic helps prevent occasional gas, bloating, and constipation. Hooray for gut happiness!
2. Benefiber Advanced Digestive Health Dietary Supplement
This portable fiber makes it super easy to mix the supplement into drinks or food. It gets its fiber from guar gum and also features a boost of digestive health probiotics.
3. Culturelle Digestive Health
This is a product that is helpful for promoting overall healthy gut bacteria by helping your digestive system to work better. The probiotics don’t require refrigeration, and so they’re good for taking with you when you’re traveling.
When it comes to digestive health probiotics, most people will benefit from taking one. They help gut health and also immunity health as a secondary effect.
- University of Washington
- Research in Pediatrics
- A study in Clinics in Perinatology
- Research in Acta Paediatrica
- A study in Evidence Based Medicine
This content was previously part of a partnership with Fortify Probiotics.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you take a daily digestive health probiotic?
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