Digestive problems are never fun! Suffering regular tummy troubles might not only send you to the bathroom more often than you'd like, but it could also keep you in bed all day and affect regular daily routines and overall physical and mental health.
Luckily, our gut is highly adaptable and we can effectively support healthy digestive system function with probiotics. Let's look at some of the best probiotics for gut health.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (beneficial bacteria) with health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. They contain various strains of bacteria and microorganisms, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii, which help eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent infections.
The best probiotics for gut health exist in fermented foods, like yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut. You may also take them as supplements to help with bowel discomfort, relieve symptoms of traveller's diarrhoea, and maintain overall digestive system function.
So, what is the best health supplement that supports your gut and overall health in general? It’s important to remember that the best thing you can do for your gut health isn't to depend on just a single strain of probiotics but several.
Experts suggest choosing probiotic tablets or probiotic supplements with at least 1 billion colony-forming units and containing strains like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii. But what do these common strains do?
Both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, and improve gastrointestinal barrier function. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, another type of probiotic, supports optimal function of the gut ecosystem. On the other hand, Saccharomyces boulardii helps treat diarrhoea.
However, the best gut health probiotic supplement contains multiple strains like the ones mentioned above, ensuring that your gut health bounces back from whatever you throw at it.
Probiotics for gut health promote a healthy balance of gastrointestinal flora. The gastrointestinal flora, also known as gut flora, is made up of a combination of "good" and "bad" bacteria that naturally live in the stomach and intestines.
"Good bacteria" or beneficial microorganisms help digest food and kill viruses, fungi, and harmful bacteria, thus improving digestion.
"Bad bacteria", on the other hand, are opportunistic microorganisms linked to diseases. Bad bacteria include the likes of yeast and Streptococci. This is where taking probiotics come in, helping you steer clear of the bad bacteria and restoring balance.
Many things can throw off our digestive and overall health. Medications, poor nutrition and the exponential growth of bad bacteria can upset the balance of our gastrointestinal flora. However, proper digestive care can help you to manage their impact.
Some of the most common causes and conditions that may be helped by taking probiotics include:
Antibiotics eradicate bad bacteria but may also kill beneficial bacteria that may be good for the gut resulting in an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast, which can negatively impact digestion.
Bowel discomfort may give you abdominal pain and cramping, inflict changes in your bowel movement regularities and alter the appearance of your stool. Those suffering from bowel discomfort have less balance in their gut bacteria than healthy people.
Probiotics may also be helpful for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder with symptoms including excessive gas, abdominal pain and cramps. Probiotics can help to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Traveller's diarrhoea usually occurs when you travel to a place with substandard public hygiene. It is caused by drinking water or eating food that contains bad bacteria. You might have eaten something from a street stall or consumed unfiltered water. Under these circumstances, you may have nausea, throw up, experiencing bloating and cramping, or feel tired and feverish.
Probiotics help restore the balance of healthy microorganisms after this balance has been disturbed.
By balancing out the friendly flora in our gut, probiotics help maintain and support healthy bowel function and intestinal health. This is why taking probiotics is important as it goes beyond preparing for any holiday - you'd be improving how you operate daily too!
When paired with a healthy lifestyle, choosing the best probiotics to improve your gut health ensures you can go through life without worrying about bloating, cramping, irritable bowels, and diarrhoea. You'll be able to exercise, work, and go about daily life with minimal discomfort.
Studies also suggest that gut bacteria may play an influential role in body weight regulation and can help in weight management.
If you're looking to improve your own digestive and overall health, why not put together your own set of personalised dietary supplements? Vitable vitamins can be easily assembled to suit your everyday needs. Take the quiz and build your own vitamin pack today.
Learn more about other areas that probiotics can help you with, plus additional supplements that can benefit you in different ways:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.