There are lots of things that come to mind when we think about mornings —making it to work on time, getting that first cup of coffee — but it’s likely there’s something incredibly important that you don’t give much thought. We’re talking about gut health and your immunity.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are a form of live bacteria that researchers have found to be beneficial to gut health. These strains of bacteria are often found in various supplements and foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut. They work by improving the good bacteria (aka “microflora”) in humans that are lost in the digestive system - like when you take antibiotics. Prebiotics also have a role. Prebiotics are sustenance for the microflora and are usually high-fiber foods meant to improve the live bacteria. Prebiotics can be found in foods like whole grains, bananas, and many other green vegetables; they can also be found in prebiotic supplements.
Types of Probiotics
There are many different types of probiotic bacterial strains, and each one has different benefits. Three of the most common types of probiotics are:
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus - This is the most common and well-known probiotic and is the strain found in yogurt and other fermented foods such as kombucha. It is said that this can help with diarrhea and may also be beneficial to those who cannot properly digest lactose.
- Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 (BC30) – Known best for its ability to aid in protein absorption and utilization. A big selling point with this type of probiotic is its ability to withstand stomach acid and reach the intestine where it germinates and aids in protein digestion.
- Bifidobacterium - This particular strain is said to be found in dairy products and has the potential to ease the symptomatic effects of irritable bowel syndrome.
Benefits of Probiotics
According to WebMD, probiotics affect the nerves that control our internal gut movement. Some conditions that probiotics have been used to treat include irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea, and diarrhea commonly caused by antibiotics.
Problems With Probiotics?
Amongst the medical community, probiotics are generally referred to as safe. The FDA maintains a list of probiotics that are GRAS (“Generally Recognized as Safe”). You can search the FDA database for any type of probiotic, or skim through a partial list of food additives. As with any sort of dietary change, it's always best to consult a qualified healthcare professional to see if taking probiotics is right for you.
When Should I Take Probiotics?
There are many opinions on what the best time of day is to take probiotics. Some say that they are best taken at night due to the stomach usually being more empty, which allows the bacteria to successfully make their way into the digestive system. However, the most popular school of thought is to take it in the morning in a fasted state, usually 15 to 30 minutes before a meal. While that timeframe isn't an exact science, it is generally recommended as the best practice. Some experts also suggest consuming probiotics with food as they have the potential to bind to the food for easier travel.
Give Your Mornings THE COMPLETE KICKSTART
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