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Have your Hippy friends been talking about getting their daily probiotics, but you're still not sure what this “good bacteria” really is? That's ok! Today's the day to learn! I remember when I first heard of probiotics, it seemed like yogurt was the only way to go to get them at the time, but since then the options have vastly improved. Everything from water and milk kefir to kombucha and even supplement forms of probiotics are available. There are many ways you can improve your gut health with probiotics*, but what you eat and ingest can also affect your digestive health over time.
What are probiotics?
While it may sound gross, our bodies host a plethora of different types of bacteria; some good and some bad. The good bacteria in our bodies, called probiotics, help to keep our gut healthy by fighting the bad bacteria.* Experts seem to agree that the body's perfect balance of gut flora should be 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. If this ratio goes out of balance, then it can directly affect your health throughout your body. Keeping a healthy biome in your belly can give your body the boost it needs to help support digestive balance and immune health.* Taking probiotics supplements are the most efficient way to keep this balance in check, but you can also find probiotics in many fermented food and beverage sources such as yogurt, fermented veggies, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and more!
5 things that can destroy probiotics and gut health
Most people, including children, need a probiotic boost daily, due to the foods they are eating and prescription medications they are taking. Drinking chlorinated and fluoridated water and eating diets rich in carbohydrates and non-organic meat and dairy all contain chemicals that kill off probiotics in your gut.* Over time, this can damage your digestive tract, causing all sorts of issues. The only way to fix this issue and heal your gut is to eliminate the foods that feed bad bacteria and to start consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements. If you don't restore your digestive health by eliminating these probiotic killers, your gut micro-organisms can become imbalanced and your whole system can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, yeast, viruses, fungi, and parasites.* If you are trying to heal your gut, you should try to avoid these 5 things as much as possible:
- Prescription Antibiotics – these can be unavoidable if you are sick and need to take them, so I suggest when you are prescribed antibiotics, to make sure to restore the balance to your gut with extra probiotics and fermented foods and beverages.
- Sugar – Sugar is a known toxin and can ruin any good diet, feed all sorts of bacteria and illnesses, and feed inflammation in the body. I try to avoid processed and refined sugars; using only natural sugars from fruits, raw honey, maple syrup. and sweet herbs such as stevia leaf and licorice root.
- Tap Water – Tap water that has not been properly filtered can ruin gut health and even deliver all sorts of chemicals, bacteria, and parasites. The only water filter I trust is my Berkey water filter, and I use the arsenic/fluoride filters on it too!
- GMO Foods – Residual pesticides and antibiotics that are sprayed onto fruits and veggies can completely destroy the gut health!* I try to buy as much organic non-GMO foods as possible, but when you are on a budget, it always helps to follow EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.
- Grains – Eating too many carbohydrates, grains especially, can be a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Many carbohydrates turn into sugar to fuel your body, but that sugar is subsequently feeding the bad bacteria and can throw the whole balance out of whack
Science is showing, there are many benefits to taking probiotics
There are MANY studies being done in the area of probiotics and gut health right now. though the strongest scientific evidence to date finds that probiotics provide the following benefits:
• boosts the immune system*
• promotes urinary health*
• improves digestive function*
• supports digestive health*
I turn to MegaFood's MegaFlora for Women for daily use
I feel like remembering to drink my kombucha and kefir, and eating fermented foods daily can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. I don't always like to have fermented foods daily, so I take MegaFood's MegaFlora for Women probiotics supplement instead! I love their supplement for many reasons, but when I had a chance to visit MegaFood back in June, I got to see firsthand just how much care goes into making sure your supplements are perfect when they get to you.
MegaFood's MegaFlora for Women:
- Contains 50 Billion active cultures of beneficial probiotics per serving
- Contains MegaFlora probiotic blend plus additional Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) and Lactobacillus plantarum (LP115), strains that are clinically studied to maintain vaginal and urinary tract health.*
- Signature MegaFlora blend of 14 probiotics which support digestive balance and immune health.*
- Contains 500 mg Farm Fresh FoodState Cranberry which delivers a punch of PACs (proanthocyanidins) , fruit compounds known to support urinary tract health.*
- Contains FoodState Prebiotic Food Blend which promotes the growth of good bacteria.*
- Is gentle for everyday use.
A Probiotic for everyone
MegaFood doesn't just make probiotics for women, they are also working to make probiotics supplements for everyone. MegaFood currently has a whole line of probiotics tailored to your needs! Their current MegaFlora line consists of:
Don't forget to keep your MegaFood MegaFlora bottle stored in the fridge for a longer shelf life of your probiotics! MegaFood personally tests their probiotics after packaging and shipment to ensure that you receive the live probiotics in each of your capsules! They have concluded that the shipment process won’t degrade your products, so no worries there! Simply store your bottle in the fridge when not in use. It is ok to travel with your probiotics, a couple days out of the fridge will not cause them to lose their effectiveness!
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Reid G. Probiotics to Prevent the Need For, and Augment the Use Of Antibiotics.Canadian Journal of Infectious Disease and Medical Microbiology.2006;17(5):291-295
Fedorak RN, Madsen KL. Probiotics and the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2004 May;10(3):286-99.
Goldin B R, Gorbach S L. Clinical Indications for Probiotics: An Overview. Clinical Infectious Disease. 2008;46(2)
Raz R, Stamm WE (1993). A controlled trial of intravaginal estriol in postmenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections. New England Journal of Medicine, 329(11), 753-756.
All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.