It seems like every day brings a scientific study or a public release about a new probiotic. These new items claim that the latest types of probiotics supplements will make our lives better. Unfortunately, some of these probiotics brands are just a buzz. However, the reality is that probiotics can have a huge effect on our general health and our quality of life.
Improving microbial diversity in your gut biome is key to optimal wellness. We should be doing all we can in order to promote the intake of a full spectrum of various types of probiotics in our day-to-day lives. We can find these boosts in many foods included in the Thryve Gut Health Program.
What are Probiotics?
A key to understanding what sort of gut health foods you can eat in order to promote probiotic health is to better comprehend just what probiotics are. They are living microorganisms that live in food, beverages, and your gut biome.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
“The right type and amount of a probiotic can help you in several ways:
– Mayo Clinic
– Promotes a healthy immune system
– Supports a weight management program
– Prevents occasional diarrhea or constipation . ”
Bacteria is crucial to your overall health. Intestinal bacteria we commonly classify as probiotics share a lot of similarities with (or are in fact the same species) as the bacteria we find in our bodies naturally.
- Promote Health and Digestion of Food
- Help Lessen Painful and Embarrassing Gas in Stomach
- Ease Bloating
- Decrease How Often You’re Feeling Constipated
- Limit the Growth of Harmful Intestinal Bacteria That Cause GI Issues
This information might be a lot to digest (no pun intended). After all, we’ve been told germs are bad our whole life. Let’s discuss why that ideology is hurting the types of probiotics in your system.
Probiotics and Sterilization
Our lives are filled with antibacterial soaps, and we hear news about how antibiotics are important. The reality is that this topic is far more nuanced and complex than many of us were led to believe. In fact, we’re all too…sterile.
Hand sanitizers are creating superbugs that are making it harder for different types of probiotics to survive in our gut biome.
One study found,
“Alcohol-based disinfectants and particularly hand rubs are a key way to control hospital infections worldwide. Such disinfectants restrict transmission of pathogens, such as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. Despite this success, health care infections caused by E. faecium are increasing. We tested alcohol tolerance of 139 hospital isolates of E. faecium obtained between 1997 and 2015 and found that E. faecium isolates after 2010 were 10-fold more tolerant to killing by alcohol than were older isolates .”– Science Translational Medicine
This statistic is alarming, especially considering how much we sanitize ourselves and our children. That’s what makes eating different types of probiotics foods so essential for gut health. Now that you have a better understanding as to what are probiotics, let’s take a look at probiotics foods for a healthy gut diet plan.
Types of Probiotics Foods
There are a wide variety of foods in a healthy gut diet plan that can promote the growth of beneficial stomach bacteria. Foods that are cultured and fermented (bacteria and yeast are used in their production) are the best sources of probiotics.
Yogurt and Dairy for Gut Health
Yogurt, including the Greek variety, is a fermented dairy product that many of us are familiar with. In addition to helping with the digestion of food, yogurt intake may also reduce sensitivity to lactose for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
Make sure to check your labels when shopping. Some fermented food is heat-treated during production which kills off the beneficial bacteria as well as the harmful ones . Remember, you should always look for “live active cultures” when you’re shopping for probiotics.
Other dairy products are also renowned for their probiotic uses. Cottage cheese is a fermented food product that has benefits similar to those found in yogurt. Likewise, soft cheeses like cheddar, swiss and gouda, also use types of probiotics cultures in their production.
Rule of thumb, the older the cheese is, the longer those probiotic organisms have been allowed to grow. These foods will have a stronger probiotic effect once they’re introduced to our digestive tracts.
Kraut and Kimchi
Sauerkraut and its Korean cousin, Kimchi, are also well-known types of probiotic foods. Fermented cabbage products have been shown to be even richer in Lactobacillus species of bacteria than yogurt .
Kraut has been known to promote immune system activity as well as the digestive support yogurt is known for. Studies are also showing that these types of probiotics foods can support cardiac health by reducing cholesterol levels.
While researchers in Korea have shown that Kimchi may help with reducing weight gain in lab animals with high-fat diets .
Dark chocolate itself doesn’t naturally contain probiotics much if any at all, unless it is fortified with them after the heating process.
In studies, dark chocolate actually promotes the growth of the good intestinal bacteria.
The reason for the growth of multiple types of probiotics in the gut biome is due to dark chocolate’s prebiotic properties.
Plus, different types of probiotics feast on the sugar present in the treat. This sensation is why you should avoid fermented foods if you have Candida overgrowth. Therefore, if you feel GI problems persist while eating dark chocolate, stop eating this little treat immediately.
Lastly, we come to the use of supplements themselves. Many probiotics brands produce a wide variety of probiotic supplements. Make sure those manufacturers are adhering to industry-wide quality standards.
Probiotics supplements have some added bonuses over the probiotics we find naturally occurring in our foods. The human digestive tract is a very hostile environment. As such, sometimes the bacteria we’re counting on to make it into our intestines to help with the digestion of food don’t make it to where we need them the most.
IMPROVING BIOAVAILABILITY OF PROBIOTICS
We can overcome some of this by eating a lot of probiotic food, knowing that some of the organisms will make it. However, some gut health supplements are designed to deliver those beneficial bacteria to target locations in our body.
Understanding how the digestion of food works allows some probiotics brands to engineer capsules to reach the small intestine. Sometimes, capsules are enteric-coated, which allow the capsule to go through the stomach without dissolving, allowing the probiotic to activate where it can be most effective.
There are also spore-forming probiotic bacteria, which allows these types of probiotics much greater chance of successfully passing through the stomach and into the intestinal tract where they do most good.
For a greater chance in creating biodiversity in your gut biome, try microbiome testing. With microbiome testing, we can determine which stomach bacteria are in your system that are causing GI problems. From there, we can formulate personalized probiotics supplements for your system.
By joining the Thryve Gut Health Program, you get the types of probiotics your system is lacking. We then work with you on a healthy gut diet plan so your beneficial stomach bacteria can Thryve Inside!
 “What Are Probiotics?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Apr. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/what-are-probiotics/art-20232589.
 Pidot, Sacha J., et al. “Increasing Tolerance of Hospital Enterococcus Faecium to Handwash Alcohols.” Science Translational Medicine, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1 Aug. 2018, stm.sciencemag.org/content/10/452/eaar6115.
 “3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Probiotic Foods.” Cooking Light, www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/how-to-cook-probiotic-foods.
 “Fermented Foods in Health and Disease Prevention.” ScienceDirect, www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780128023099/fermented-foods-in-health-and-disease-prevention.
 “Antiobesity Effects of Kimchi in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.” Journal of Ethnic Foods, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 28 Aug. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352618115000414.