How to choose the perfect probiotic
Your gut is naturally full of bacteria – both good and bad – and ensuring that the good guys outnumber the baddies is one of the keys to good health. If not, you can end up with an overgrowth of bad bacteria, a condition known as dysbiosis. There are many things that can cause it including dietary changes that involve eating a lot more protein and sugar than usual, drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day and experiencing high levels in stress. In short, you could be just one short bachelorette bash weekend away from developing the condition and symptoms run the gamut from an upset stomach to fatigue, chest pain and brain fog.
Fortunately, you can give your gut a helping hand by consuming more of the good bacteria that are known as probiotics. There are millions of different stains but the three most studied are Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacteria and Saccharomyces boulardii.
An array of effects
Anything probiotic will be good for you, but particular types are better suited to treating certain conditions. For example, if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that presents with diarrhoea, studies have shown that particular probiotic strains – one being Saccharomyces boulardii which you’ll find in Renewal Institute Probiotic LP-SCB – can alleviate it.
IBS isn’t the only cause for diarrhoea. When you take an antibiotic, it doesn’t just wipe out all your bad bacteria, it blitzes some of the good too. This sudden imbalance can have a negative effect on your stomach which is why many doctors will suggest you take a probiotic along with your prescribed antibiotic.
Still, if you’re an IBS sufferer, you’ll know a lack of having to go isn’t the only symptom. Life can get miserable when many meals can result in bloating at best and stabbing stomach pain at worst. In this case, you’ll be glad to know that a study found that Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus could help beat the bloat.
Don’t forget about food
Taking a probiotic supplement is a brilliant way to ensure you’re getting what you need, but you can also get probiotics from fermented food. Because there are so many different types of probiotic strains from which you can benefit, it’s a good idea to take a supplement as well as eat a diet high in probiotic foods to cover all your bases.
Some of the healthiest probiotic-rich foods include yoghurt (provided you choose one with active or live cultures), kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso (a fermented soybean paste and the main ingredient in miso soup).
The bottom line
If probiotics were an iceberg, scientists would be looking at the tip, but they’ve come to realise they’re a lot like antioxidants. There isn’t just one that can fully protect your health, it requires a village. This is why it’s important to consider taking a least one daily probiotic while making an effort to put more probiotic foods on your plate. When it comes to your health, probiotics are definitely a case of more equals more.
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