Your gut. This is where it all goes down. Well, your food that is. The GI, or gastrointestinal tract, breaks down all the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water that we consume so that they can be used for energy, growth, and overall bodily function. Diet is the #1 predictor of good gut health. Certain kinds of foods, such as highly processed and refined sugars, can destroy the good bacteria in your GI, negatively impacting your body's ability to properly digest. These good bacteria are known as Probiotics, tiny microorangisms that live in your gut. They work to not only improve digestion, but aid in weight loss, a healthier immune system and clearer skin.
HOW DO PROBIOTICS WORK
Probiotics help us digest, which in turn helps us more efficiently break down and utilize the nutrients we put into our bodies. Within our bodies there are both good and bad types of bacteria, most of which reside in your gut. Probiotics are the good guys. The key to a healthy gut comes down to balancing good bacteria over bad bacteria. This can be down by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kimchi. How's your GI health doing? Look out for these signs:
4 SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY GUT
1) Upset Stomach: bloating, constipation, diarrhea,constipation, diarrhea, etc. are all indicators of an upset gut. Try eating less processed foods to counteract.
2) Unexpected/ Fluctuating Weight Change: this can be a sign that your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly. Probiotic foods can help with this process.
3) Restless Sleep: Serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. A healthy gut helps effectively produce serotonin, avoiding insomnia and poor sleep.
4) Skin Irritation: A poor diet can cause inflammation in the gut, in turn causing bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream, which can materialize as skin irritation or eczema.
IT ALL STARTS WITH A FOUNDATION
Do we recommend a probiotic-rich diet? YES. Probiotics are another one of those foundations for our health. Here’s a short list of foods that naturally contain Probiotics:
- Unpasteurized sauerkraut
- Pickled onions
- Pickled cucumber (basically anything pickled)
- Probiotic supplements
Like most things, you should try to get 90% of Probiotics through diet. However, for those of us who are still experiencing any of the adverse symptoms listed above, consider taking a Probiotic supplement. Look for a Probiotic with a CFU count at least 1-10 billion with 10 or more strains. This makes them more likely to have the metabolic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties your body needs.