Did you know that up to 300 trillion live bacteria living inside your body and the vast majority of this is inside your gut. Gut health is extremely important and helps with ensuring you have good digestion, it can help with weight loss and improve your body’s immune system as well as giving your healthier looking skin. There is good and bad bacteria in your gut so probiotics are all about trying to ensure that you have more of the good bacteria than the bad bacteria, if you get a build up of the bad bacteria then it can lead to lots of issues and digestion problems.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are essentially just a form of good bacteria, so your aim by taking them is to try and improve those levels to restore harmony in your gut if you have a build-up of bad bacteria. Probiotics don’t have to be taken in the form of a supplement, you can just get them from foods naturally as well. Some of the best foods for it are yeast, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. You’ll notice that quite a few of these are fermented as the fermentation process uses bacteria.

People can often be confused with prebiotics when looking at probiotics but these are completely different, prebiotics are carbs that help feed the good bacteria that is already in you. So probiotics increase your levels of good bacteria and prebiotics then feed it to keep there.

What is the best way to take probiotics?

This is where there is a little disagreement particularly when it comes to the probiotic drinks. Many of the adverts you see with advertise that their drink/yoghurt has billions of live bacteria but numerous studies have found that the vast majority of this is killed in your stomach before it even gets to your gut because of the hydrochloric acid in there. Capsules are said to last longer in the stomach and more of it gets to your guy but the best way as with everything is to have it from your food.

If you take the food examples above, sauerkraut and kimchi will need to be broken down by your body and travel through your gut for hours before it is fully digested, therefore during this time your body is taking in all of the nutrients and bacteria from it. Drinks and yoghurts take nowhere near as long to digest and therefore your body doesn’t have as much time to take the nutrients in.

Why is it important to have a healthy gut?

There are a vast array of different health conditions that can be cured by having a good digestive system. To name just a few, there is inflammation, depressions and anxiety, cholesterol, blood pressure, immune function and skin health that are all aided by having the right level of good bacteria in your gut.

Whether you prefer yoghurts, drinks, fermented foods or capsules it is well worth having them anyway as it can’t do you any harm, only good.