Probiotics are a common supplement that most people know they should be taking. I wanted to dive deeper into the probiotic topic because so many of us, myself included, started taking (expensive) probiotics only to see little to no improvement. Some of us even experienced and increase in symptoms with a probiotic swearing to never take one again!
I have battled stomach issues all my life. I’m not going to tell you that probiotics solved all my gut issues but I will tell you that they are a vital piece of the puzzle that I will never be without.
Understanding how our bodies work is important. Tuning into what our individual body is telling us is a practice I am still fine tuning but work on daily.
I believe our mind, body and soul are all connected. Just popping a pill is probably not going to solve your health issues.
I want to take this post to give you a good look into how our bodies operate so that then we can begin to heal on all levels.
First off, in case you don’t know-Our gut contains good and bad bacteria. When the good and bad bacteria are out of balance, many issues arise.
When doing research for my post on antibiotics for clearing skin, I realized that when you kill the bacteria in your gut, good and bad, the imbalance can also effect your immune system as well as many other functions of the body.
>>If you have ever taken antibiotics, and definitely if you have just finished a round or are currently taking them, you need to replenish your gut STAT. Often times with antibiotics you will suffer major stomach issues and a possible yeast infection. As a rule of thumb-avoid antibiotics if you can. They are seriously awful for every aspect of your health.<<
Symptoms of an Unbalanced Gut:
- Bloat-Looking 3-6 mos. pregnant by the end of the day.
- Slow Digestion
- Getting sick often
- Sleep issues
- Brain Fog
- Depression and Anxiety
- Skin Issues like acne, rashes, eczema etc.
What is the Microbiome?
Our body’s are full of trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are collectively known as the microbiome. These microbes exist mainly inside your intestines and on your skin.
Most of the bacteria or microbes in your intestines are found in a “pocket” of your large intestine called the cecum. They are referred to as the gut microbiome.
In fact, bacteria is so important, it functions as an extra organ in the body and plays a huge role in our overall health.
While some bacteria are associated with disease, most are actually extremely important for your immune system, heart, weight and brain health.
A healthy gut microbiome controls gut health by actually communicating with the intestinal cells, digesting certain foods and preventing disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the intestinal walls.
A term to know: intestinal dysbiosis – a compositional and functional alterations of the gut microbiome.
Healthy Bacteria from the Womb to Adulthood:
It is speculated that even in our mother’s womb we are gathering good bacteria. As we pass though the birth canal we are also gathering good bacteria. Breast milk is beneficial in delivering beneficial bacteria as well.
As we grow, gut microbiome begins to diversify, meaning it starts to contain many different types of microbial species. Higher microbiome diversity is considered good for your health.
Allowing children to play with other children and to be outside and play in the dirt helps their immune systems strengthen because their bodies are gathering good bacteria as well as learning to fend off bad bacteria.
However, as we grow we become more and more exposed to processed foods, sugar, medication, stress and other unhealthy lifestyles which compromise the bacteria balance in our guts. It’s inevitable but if it’s not addressed and managed, our quality of life can be quite compromised.
Immunity & A Balanced Microbiome:
By communicating with immune cells, the gut microbiome can control how your body responds to infection.
Dysbiosis weakens the immune system.
Brain Health & A Balanced Microbiome:
Research shows that the gut microbiome may affect the central nervous system, which controls brain function.
Did you know that the feel good hormone, serotonin is produced in the gut? Oh yes, and when that gut is in bad shape, serotonin is nowhere to be found.
The Importance of Taking a High Quality Probiotic:
I’ve taken so many different brands of probiotics. All of them claiming to cure my IBS symptoms and none of them delivering long lasting relief.
The truth is, gut issues aren’t always fixed with one supplement. Often times food groups need to be eliminated, lifestyle changes need to happen and stress & sleep issues need to be addressed. However, a good probiotic can go a long way on your journey back to health.
You might have caught my post on Flourish Probiotics and how they changed my brain. After about 2 bottles of this probiotic I began to feel feelings of deep contentment along with much less brain fog. 2 years later and I’m still enjoying those benefits and can tell when I get lazy about taking it.
Because of Flourish probiotic, I am also enjoying a huge relief in IBS symptoms. I will be honest and say that I have paired the probiotic taking with juicing, eliminating grains, walking and regular parasite cleansing. I can honestly say that they are all vital in my good health.
The Flourish Probiotic Difference:
Flourish Probiotic is unlike probiotic I have ever tried. Even when compared to other liquid probiotics which have added preservatives, Flourish is like consuming a completely pure, fermented food.
All of the bacterial strains are grown together in an organic non-GMO sugar molasses medium. It arrives to you still alive and fermenting so you get all the goodness with every swig!
Ingredients in Flourish: reverse osmosis purified water, probiotic mother culture, and 100% organic non-GMO sugarcane molasses (tested to be glyphosate-free).
Ingredients in Flourish Junior: reverse osmosis purified water, probiotic mother culture, and 100% sweet sorghum.
Flourish is a live, liquid probiotic. Because the bacteria is in liquid format, it is in the most natural state that a probiotic can exist. Also, it has 11 different strains (5 different genera) of bacteria living together.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- L. bulgaricus
- L. casei
- L. fermentum
- L. plantarum
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- B. longum
- Enterococcus lactis
- E. thermophilus
- Bacillus subtilis
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Flourish and Flourish Junior are brewed in artisanal, small batch, traditional old world style using only the finest ingredients. They believe in the theory of consortia, which is the process of co-growth that combines multiple strains during production.
Each strain develops while interacting with other strains. These strains are grown together in community, resulting in microorganisms that become a small eco-system, much more resilient and capable of working together synergistically.
In nature, strains do not exist in isolation.
Most probiotics are in powder from and the strains have been grown individually and combined only after having been centrifuged and freeze-dried.
Because Flourish’s strains are in their most natural state and are living, the active beneficial bacteria can retain all of the beneficial metabolites and organic acids released by the bacteria during their normal lifecycle. These metabolites also have benefits for the human body, especially the brain and immune system.
I believe that Flourish liquid probiotic is the most effective probiotic you can find. After exclusively using Flourish probiotic for 2 years, I have not once thought about trying a new brand.
While a quality probiotic is key to good gut health, you can also improve gut health by eating certain foods.
Foods That Increases the Good Bacteria in Your Gut:
- Miso Soup-Next time you go for Asian food-don’t forget the soup!
- Yogurt-I make a veggie dip with vegan yogurt instead of sour cream and have stumbled upon some tasty popsicles (Yasso) made with yogurt rather then ice cream!
- Kefir–Go HERE for a recipe that sounds really easy and possibly yummy!
- Saurkraut-I’ve got nothing to say about this cause I haven’t tried it. Apparently you can find preservative free in the freezer section at Whole Foods. It’s worth a try now that I know it’s high in probiotics!
- Kombucha–Never tried this either but it’s rapidly gaining popularity for it’s health benefits, so it’s time to try it-Anyone have suggestions??!! Have you tried my Probiotic Popsicle Recipe?
- Apple Cider Vinegar-It contains fermented apples which aids in digestion! Go HERE for a really refreshing daily drink recipe!
Other Healthy Habits to Soothe and Support the Gut:
- Drink less liquid during meals-Liquid will dilute the hydrchloric acid which is essential in digestion
- Eat fermented foods just before meals, like yogurt, kombucha, kefir and sour cream.
- Avoid SUGAR-Sugar feeds bad bacteria!
- Avoid processed foods.
- Take Digestive Enzymes or a Hydrcholoric Acid supplement-They will help aid your body in digestion. I take one before every meal to ease digestion upset.
- Get friendly with Bone Broth. Talk about a fantastic way to improve your health!
Also, don’t forget about the kiddos! Many studies have shown that kids that take probiotics are much healthier then kids that don’t. My girls take Flourish Probiotic Junior. Flourish probiotic can be given to babies and is much more effective. You can also take it if you’re nursing and I highly recommend you do, especially if you have a colic baby.
Basically, to sum this up-Don’t under estimate what a high quality, living probiotic will do for your overall health. I highly recommend you trying Flourish Probiotic. The amazing relief I’ve experienced is just priceless.
I love probiotics too and feel so much better for eating and drinking them. I have been making kombucha lately after months of being too scared to (I know, pathetic 🙂 and now I love it and it is so easy to make and tastes great second fermented with ginger or whatever flavour takes your fancy. I got my recipe for the basic kombucha brew from The Kitchn. I make kimchi too as I am not a fan of sauerkraut, I like things a spicy! But all really easy to make and lasts ages in the fridge. I used to make milk kefir but it got too much for me as no-one else would drink it in my house and those kefir grains grow like crazy. I miss it actually because I found it to be the best for my gut.
I’ve recently started making kombucha at home and it’s super easy (My first batch is in progress but so far, so good)! https://sarahheiman.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/a-kombucha-home-brewing-update/
Also, if you don’t mind I nominated you for the Liebster award, which aims to connect bloggers with each other. Please don’t feel obligated to participate! Here’s the link to the nomination page: https://sarahheiman.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/liebster-awards-nomination-discovering-connecting-with-bloggers/
Sarah! I’m excited to make my own kombucha and thank you so much for leaving your link! I need some direction before a get going!! Keep me posted on your batch!
Thank you for nominating me!! That’s so sweet!!
I have save so many times with probiotics. My gut always hurt from time to time and it hurts alot! Right now I’m taking my supplement, eating good and healthy foods to balanced the gut and I feel healthier now.
I agree!! Probiotics are SO very important!! The one I’ve been taking the last 2 years is a 3-in-1. It not only has the Probiotic strains, but also digestive enzymes and an antifungal, Chitosanase – this is able to break the chitin shell of the “fungus” (whose name sounds like Canada 😉 ) and kill off the overgrowth. You can take all the probiotics in the world, but without those other two (digestive enzymes and antifungal) you’re not going to get the maximum benefit.