Did you know that the human body will be filled with 100 trillion bacterial cells in managed populations throughout your entire life? If these population groups become unregulated in the body, disease or illness may occur.
This is particularly important for your digestive system, as the gut is filled with many types of bacteria. The relationship between the human and these organisms in one of the foundations of disease. Achieving the right balance is crucial to our health, which is why many people take probiotics to help to maintain this harmony.
Probiotics are made from live bacteria and yeasts that are great for your gut. Here’s what you should look for when choosing one of these supplements.
Multiple strains of bacteria
Probiotics are stronger as a team rather than as individual players. This is why it’s important to find a probiotic supplement that has at least 7 strains of bacteria in it. These strains will work together to provide your body with a lot of amazing benefits, which can include improved immune function and digestive health. On top of this, having 7 types of good bacteria in your supplement can help your gut fight the take-over of disease. When the good bacteria are existing in the right quantities and working synergistically with the body that is when you’ll feel some amazing short and long-term health benefits.
In order for a probiotic supplement to be effective, your daily dose must meet a certain potency. This is often referred to as Colony Forming Units – or CFU’s – which simply means the number of active live organisms within the supplement. With that in mind, the minimum potency you should look out for is 1 billion CFU. This might sound like a lot, but humans have an average of 100 trillion bacteria in their bodies at all times. So, in order to give your body enough of the good kind, it’s important to find a probiotic supplement that meets this minimum requirement.
Choose one that works for you
Different probiotics have different benefits, so finding the best one for your particular needs is super important. While most probiotics will have some sort of good effect on your health, knowing which strains are best for your particular issues can maximise their effect on your body.
While most supplements have the benefits listed on the box or bottle, this is not always representative of the exact effect, so make sure to consult your health professional.
Sources of probiotics in food
You don’t have to take a tablet every day to get your daily dose of probiotics. There are many delicious and healthy foods that naturally contain great bacteria, so it can be handy to include a good serving of these in your diet. Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi are usually full of good bacteria and can easily be added to dishes such as salads, stir-fries, wraps or sandwiches.
It’s important to note, however, that if fermented foods are over-processed, the good bacteria may no longer be alive. Therefore, it’s best to find a brand of fermented food that is as natural as possible, ensuring you can get all the amazing probiotic benefits from it along the way.