Two Reasons To Take A Daily Probiotic
Should you take a daily probiotic? There are some obvious reasons to do so, and then some not-so-obvious ones.
Let’s look at the obvious ones first. If you have gastrointestinal issues – such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation – the evidence clearly shows that taking a daily probiotic can help. We also know that weight issues are often associated with our intestinal bacteria. Probiotics can even help with mood.
But sometimes symptoms are vague or nonexistent. You don’t feel bad, but you don’t feel the vitality you’d like to, either. Chances are, your microbiome (the bacteria that live in and on your body) is out of balance.
That’s because we live very differently today than we did two hundred years ago. In generations past, our lifestyle pretty much guaranteed that we would acquire the “right” bacteria. If you’re wondering whether or not you need probiotic support, there are five lifestyle issues to consider. We’ll look at two of them in this post, and three more next time.
Are you eating plenty of fruits and vegetables? Five servings a day may not be enough. Some experts believe 9 to 11 are optimum. Whole plant based foods (including whole grains) provide insoluble fiber, which is a source of prebiotics, or nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut.
Are traditionally fermented foods a regular part of your diet? Fermentation is an ancient method of food preservation, and has the added benefit of being a rich, natural source of probiotics. Kefir, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are just a few of the fermented foods that are enjoying a resurgence today.
If you don’t consume enough whole plant foods or fermented foods every day, or if you eat a lot of processed foods, you would likely benefit from a daily probiotic.
#2 Antibiotic Exposure
Antibiotics can be lifesaving, but they can also destroy your body’s healthy bacteria along with the bad bacteria. Research suggests that antibiotic use for any length of time at any point in your life can unbalance your gut flora. Once unbalanced, it can be hard to get back on track without intervention. A daily probiotic can help to repopulate the friendly bacteria.
Those are two of the most common reasons for taking a daily probiotic. Next time, we’ll look at three more that are equally important, but may be ones you haven’t considered.