• Lindsay Tobias

Understanding Probiotics (& Where to Find Them!)

Probiotics and fizzy drinks and paying lots of money for gut boosting pills, drinks, or shakes may not be all it's cracked up to be. One of my biggest pet peeves in the health industry is when companies prey on the fact that people don't understand their bodies, so they can be sold through fear mongering or even misinformation. With that happy note, I want you to understand your gut, your microbiome, and probiotics so you can make the best choice for YOUR GI tract!


Probiotics are live microorganisms that feed the good bacteria in your gut, helping promote a better balance of helpful and unhelpful bacteria.

For starters, you have an entire ecosystem inside of your gut called your microbiome. Your microbiome is made of trillions of microbes that are responsible for the way you digest food, absorb nutrients, and put those nutrients back to work in the body. Your health is not just about the food you are consuming, it is about the nutrients you are actually absorbing from those foods. With poor gut health, we are not able to absorb nutrients from the foods we are eating. Poor gut health or an imbalanced microbiome can lead to almost every known chronic ailment.


 

90% of the "happy chemical" serotonin is found in the gut, not the brain!

80% of our immune system is found in the gut.

Detoxification, or getting rid of toxins happens in the gut and is determined by this balance of bacteria.


So yeah, it's kind of important. Our ability to fight and prevent sickness and infection, the happiness of our mind, and the detoxification of our bodies benefit from this!


 

Like everything in our bodies, (and in life), healthy function demands balance. Those critters, or bacteria, in our gut can become imbalanced due to a poor diet, high stress lifestyle, structural changes in our gut, or a number of other possibilities.


Some things that could show your gut balance is off:

  • Taking Hormonal Birth Control (can deplete nutrients & alter gut health)

  • NSAID’s (pain meds) or antacids

  • Chronic skin issues, allergies, sinus infections, food sensitivities, etc…

  • Digestive issues or irregular bowel movements (REGULAR = 2-3 TIMES DAILY)

  • Poor nutrient diversity (deficiencies)

I have nothing against probiotic supplementation, when most people take high quality probiotic supplements they experience a positive or neutral change, but rarely do people experience negative outcomes. However, for long term gut health, you have to build a healthy foundation. You do not need a pill to feed the good bacteria in your gut, these probiotics are found in real food, and they are so much easier to digest in that form!


Probiotic Rich Foods

  • Yogurt

  • Kombucha

  • Sourdough Bread

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kimchi

  • Kefir

  • Tempeh

  • Miso Soup

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered with "the mother")


Common types of probiotics include:

  • Lactobacillus: This is a common probiotic found in fermented foods, such as yogurt.

  • Bifidobacterium: This is found in dairy products and has been known to help with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

  • Saccharomyces boulardii: This is a type of yeast found in many probiotics.


The health of your microbiome can change within 24 hours, which is really great news! Your body is malleable, capable of adapting, changing, growing. Just because you are experiencing impaired gut health now doesn't mean that will be your forever! Try real food sources of probiotics this week and pay attention to how you feel.


If you are unsure of how to make long term changes for your gut health or physical health, reach out to us today! We are here for you and can help you build your healthiest life, sustainably.