All About Probiotics – Including the Best Probiotics to Buy for Women
There are so many buzz words in the health & wellness community, but lately we’ve been super interested in probiotics & all of the amazing benefits they possess. It’s difficult to grasp what probiotics are & what benefits they provide with a simple Google search... Even after you’ve completed that step, it’s even more of a struggle to determine which probiotics are right for you & which you should purchase. That being said, we wanted to share our own findings with you & break it down step-by-step in case you’re going through the same struggle that we are at the moment.
Probiotics are microorganisms, essentially good bacteria and yeast, that help keep the microorganisms in your gut balanced. Ingesting the healthy bacteria helps by keeping harmful, bad bacteria and yeast from taking over your gut’s ecosystem. We have trillions of microorganisms of over 500 different species in our gut at any given time. Probiotics help support a healthy microbiome and can help support overall health.
Our microbiome is affected by so many factors, including but not limited to: stress, eating processed foods, bacterial infections, parasites, bad yeast, and even taking antibiotics. When the gut is out of balance, it can end up making our bodies and minds feel imbalanced via allergies, autoimmune diseases, skin problems, mental health issues, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and digestive issues.
In addition to taking probiotic supplements to combat these issues, you can also find probiotics in fermented foods, including pickled vegetables, tempeh, kimchi, apple cider vinegar & more, as well as cultured food and drinks, including yogurt, kefir & kombucha.
Some tips to keep in mind:
If you’re planning on taking probiotics, be sure to eat a fiber-rich diet to get prebiotics in your body. Some prebiotic foods include bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, oats, apples, flaxseed, seaweed, and more! (Healthline)
For a general probiotic, go for anywhere between 50-100 billion CFUs with a combo of lactobcillus and bifidobacterium per dose. If you notice your body is reacting poorly to the dose (think gas, nausea, general icky-ness), cut back to 50 or 20 billion CFUs. It’s important to find the right dose for your body! (Women’s Health)
If you’re using probiotics to help stomach issues (think being constipated or bloated), look for probiotics with lactobacillus acidophilus or lactobacillus casei. These types of bacteria will help restore your gut flora. (Women’s Health)
If your aim is to help with anxiety (yes, your gut also produces serotonin!), experts suggest balancing your gut with lactobacillus plantarum and bifidobacterium bi-fi0dum, to help your brain and gut “speak” with each other. Experts suggest starting with 10 billion CFUs for three to five days to set things straight. (Women’s Health)
Heat can kill off the good bacteria, so make sure the probiotics you buy are shelf-stable or shipped refrigerated. And be sure to follow the refrigeration/temperature instructions on the package. (Women’s Health)
Help with digestion by balancing the friendly bacteria in your digestive system.
This includes preventing & treating diarrhea!
Improve mental conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, and memory.
Lower cholesterol and blood pressure for better heart health.
May reduce eczema & the severity of allergies.
Boost the immune system.
In fact, according to Dr. Amy Myers, 60-80% of our immune system lives in our gut.
Reduce the risk of UTIs, including yeast infections.
Weight loss (look for Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Lactobacillus gasseri strains)!
Time to shop!
Keep in mind – everyone’s microbiome is different, so just because a probiotic works for your friend, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Finding the right probiotic for your body will likely be a work in progress, but that’s part of the fun right? Or hopefully you’ll get lucky and notice a difference in how you feel after taking the first probiotic you choose!
We hope this helped! FYI - since we just finished doing all of the above research for ourselves, we haven’t had a chance to test the probiotics yet. However, we have high hopes that we’ll start seeing big changes in our bodies, as well as our stress & anxiety levels.
Let us know if you have any go-to wellness products in the comments below! Also, if you’ve tried any of the probiotics we listed, we’d love to hear your thoughts on them. Or if you have a favorite probiotic supplement, please let us know so we can get on board. For more wellness tips, find out how to find a doctor you’ll love, see which beauty & hair products we recommend, and discover 10 benefits of dry saunas.