Photos by Laurie Bullock

6 Reasons I Started Taking Probiotics for my Gut Health

We’re so excited to be partnering with Silver Fern Brand to talk about the importance of gut health.

Gut health has been a trending topic for a few years now, and if I’m being honest, it’s one that I didn’t understand all too well. It intuitively made sense to me when I learned how our gut and brain are connected, but I didn’t know how important our good bacteria is until recently.

I heard the founder of Silver Fern Brand, Charity Lighten talk about gut health and probiotics at an Almost 30 event in Venice, California. It inspired me to reach out to Charity and ask if we could partner together, because she’s passionate about health and knows her stuff, and I thought Silver Fern’s probiotics and digestive enzymes could really help with some of the issues around my gut health I’ve been having lately. We’re all about intentionally collaborating with small businesses who start it because of something they need and can’t find, and her story is so inspiring. (Hear her share her story on the Almost 30 podcast here.)

Charity talks in that episode about the rise of probiotics, and why it’s suddenly a hot topic. In short, it’s because there’s fairly recent research that was done through the Human Microbiome Project, conducted by United States National Institutes of Health, in 2013. Through this study, they realized that genes don’t have the answer to as many health questions as we thought. Our DNA has only 22,000 genes and our bodies have about 3.5 million genes from bacteria. We are filled with bacteria and need it to function. There’s essential strains of bacteria that we can get from food (like from the skin of fruit), but the problem is that the way our farming systems are done now, essential strains have basically been depleted. It’s much harder to get the probiotics we need naturally.

That’s where probiotic supplements come in. It’s important to note that not all probiotics are the same, and a lot of them of the market unfortunately don’t do what they’re supposed to. The following list is what you should look out for in a good probiotic, and it’s why I choose to use Silver Fern. They care about making sure their Ultimate Probiotic is of top quality, and it’s the probiotic you can trust to actually do what it’s supposed to do.

Look for probiotics that are:

– DNA verified.
– Lab tested for 100% survivability. This is so important because for a lot of probiotics options on the market, the bacteria strains don’t survive long in your body.
– Filled with the most key nutrients for our gut like vitamin K, quinols, B vitamins and omega fatty acids.
– Each strain to have published (and credibly sourced) studies backing their function as potent probiotics.

Alright, so now that we’ve got the why and what to look for out of the way, let’s get into the ways a good probiotic can help you in your everyday life. These are the reasons that I choose to take a good quality probiotic, but there are even more health benefits.

More mood stability, reduced stress and anxiety

Research has shown that symptoms of stress and anxiety have been significantly reduced through probiotics. I struggle with feeling overwhelmed, and getting social anxiety at times. I’m all about finding solutions for managing the symptoms.

Less sugar cravings and appetite suppression

Beating yourself up for your lack of self-discipline with your endless need for sugar? Be gentle with yourself, because there’s likely more going on here. Bad bacteria in your gut thrives off sugars, and it will signal your brain that you must. get. more. sugar. Probiotics with Saccharomyces boulardii were found in this study to reduce Candida in the body, which reduces your sugar cravings.

Better digestion

If you’re struggling with bloat, like I often do, probiotics may be the ultimate solution. Bloating is so uncomfortable, and I’ve recently started researching more ways to prevent this. Of course, figuring out what foods make you bloat is the best way to start, but pairing that with probiotics works wonders. Probiotics have digestive enzymes that can help you break down your food.

Increased energy

An overgrowth of bad bacteria can make it difficult to absorb nutrients and digest food. A good probiotic will give you a better balance of energy from fat and sugars, because of the insulin tolerance and energy production of our cells.

Tougher immune system

Always getting sick? I’m currently trying to avoid it, especially since it’s cold and flu season right now. I think this is likely the most common reason people see the benefit of probiotics. It’s a great time to be thinking about adding a probiotic to your diet to fight off that bad bacteria, so you don’t get sick. Beyond fighting colds, it can also help reduce inflammation and help with bad allergies.

Improved toning and recovery

I cycle at least a couple times per week, as well as do HIIT workouts and a bit of yoga. With staying active, I obviously want to be as toned and maximize my workouts as much as possible.

Probiotics are just like everything else in life; it takes time and consistency. We have to prioritize our health, because it’s the thing that allows us to do everything we want to do in life. Taking the necessary, small actions like taking a probiotic allows us to be the best version of ourselves.

Reasons I'm taking probiotics for better gut health. Supplements improve your skin, faster workout recovery after cycling and give you more energy –– so many benefits!

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