We usually have a gut feeling whenever something is off. Although that gut feeling alludes to a metaphoric sense of deep uneasiness or discomfort, it serves as a literal explanation for the days when we are not feeling our best. Whether sluggish, unalert, or simply sick, our gut feelings may be telling us more about what’s going with our bodies then we may be aware of. One of the best ways to help our guts help us is with a daily probiotic.
But first, what is the gut? The gut, or gastrointestinal tract, consists of all of the organs in the digestive system from the mouth to the final destination at the anus. Our gut has about 100 trillion bacteria – both good and bad. The good bacteria are helpful for efficient digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune support against disease and infection. Probiotics are live strains of bacteria and yeast. Taking one daily supplies your body with the reinforcement bacteria needed to continue the good fight. Most importantly, probiotics help decrease the number of bad bacteria in the gut that often lead to inflammation and various illnesses.
Some of the most common issues that probiotics help prevent and/or treat are yeast infections, urinary tract infections, gas and bloating, and diarrhea. Probiotics are also extremely beneficial for providing relief for more serious conditions including asthma, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and respiratory infections. Due to its ability to decrease inflammation, probiotics have great potential in treating and relieving various skin conditions including acne, eczema, dermatitis, and damage done due to UV exposure.
If you’re an expectant mother, taking probiotics as part of your prenatal wellness routine can be extremely beneficial to the health of your growing baby. When the mother’s gut bacteria functions optimally, she is able to better absorb essential nutrients and vitamins from her food, which also nourishes her baby. Probiotics also strengthen the natural gut barrier which is instrumental in protecting the baby (and mother) from harmful bacteria, fungi, or viruses that may potentially cause complications. As an added bonus, probiotics promote regular bowel movements, which can be relieving during pregnancy when constipation is often a bothersome issue. However, when thinking about introducing probiotics (or any new supplements) to your prenatal wellness routine, be sure to consult your healthcare professional to confirm that it will be a good choice for you and baby.
Remember, there is no one step cure on this journey of wellness. A balanced regiment of physical exercise, plenty of water, and nutritious wholesome foods are a great way to further support your gut health…not to mention your mental and physical health as well. If you decide to introduce a daily probiotic to your routine, don’t simply reach for brand names or whatever is trending. Do your research to find one that supports your current state of health and provides the relief you need for the issues you are looking to target. And when in doubt, talk to your doctor about what will be beneficial to you.
Contributing Author: Esther Sully is a freelance editor and copywriter who has worked with different brands over the years to help bring their vision to life through engaging, creative, and original written content. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, she now resides in the Midwest where she enjoys time with her family, reading a good book, and a daily cup of dark roast coffee.