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While gut health seems like such a buzzword nowadays, it’s never fun to have an upset tummy. For that reason we’re digging to the benefits and best probiotic foods!
Along with better digestion, probiotics are linked to weight loss, improved immune system, calmer skin, and a reduced risk of diseases (1).
For best gut health, you need prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics help feed probiotics in our colon.
Before we dig into all things gut, we’re not doctors and this post shouldn’t be taken as medical advice.
We’re like your girlfriends that you talk to about being bloated. We’re just sharing what helps us when we’re not 100% or honestly — just not pooping right.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are the bacteria that line your digestive tract. They help your body absorb nutrition to stay healthy. Between our skin and gut, we have about 2,000 different types of bacteria!
It’s important to have more good bacteria (probiotics) than bad bacteria. When we don’t, we can suffer from a variety of issues. Plus, when our gut is happy, we experience probiotic benefits!
If you’re ever picked up Activia or some Probiotic supplement, you’ll see these crazy long names of bacteria listed. There are 7 main types of good bacteria we want.
They are: (2)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgarius
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bacillus subtilis
You can find these in supplement form, and we can get them by eating rich probiotic foods!
We really dug into some research on this part. Each Probiotic Benefit will have a source beside it so you can read more about the studies!
- Reduced diarrhea on antibiotics (3) & traveling (4)
- Helps ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (5).
- Decrease depression, anxiety, and stress (6)
- Reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels (7)
- Modestly lower blood pressure (8)
- Boost your immune system (9)
- Improve your digestion (10)
- Increase your energy (10)
- Promote healthier skin (10) (13)
- Help with weight loss (11)
- One bacteria, Lactobacillus crispatus, reduces the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women by 50% (12).
You always hear about fermented probiotic foods like yogurt; however, there are several different foods you can eat to reap the benefits!
Top Probiotic Foods
- soy beverages
- fermented milk
- Sauerkraut and Kimchi
- salted gherkin pickles
- dark chocolate
- green peas
- green olives
- sourdough bread
- cottage cheese
- soft aged cheese like goat
- Microalgae (we mix this brand into our smoothies)
Don’t Assume a Food or Supplement is a Cure All
Basically — Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your gut, and they’re found naturally in foods.
That means, they aren’t going to be a cure all, and they aren’t going to be in processed foods.
So you should be leery of marketing saying that cookies, pizza, coffees or even smoothies are packed with probiotics. Typically, they aren’t as beneficial as just clean eating.
In order for a food to be beneficial, it needs to have “live and active cultures” in it; otherwise the processing in the foods kill the benefits.
We’re about to be a real buzzkill here.
While we’ve gotten a thrill from ordering a new supplement, we really do feel like it’s best to get your probiotics from your diet.
One thing that has really helped our overall health is Shakeology though. We both have had skin and digestion (UC and IBS-C), and it’s helped both of us.
Shakeology is a super foods shake that has probiotics, digestive enzymes, plus vitamins and antioxidants in it.
We literally drink it, take a biotin 5,000mg supplement for our hair, and eat a balanced diet. That’s it!
You have to find what works for you, but mixing in prebiotic and probiotic foods could help without adding a pill into the mix.