Many people associate the idea of bacteria with something negative. From an early age, we are told to stay away from germs, to use antibacterial soap, and to take antibiotic drugs when we are sick. Hospitals and doctors recommend ways to eliminate germs, and people use a wide variety of cleaning products that claim to kill all kinds of bacteria “on contact.” So why should you start getting bacteria-causing products at your Toronto health store?
There is “Good Bacteria” Out There
Despite everything we’ve been taught_ good bacteria are real. Your body is full of them, and they help you in a variety of ways.
- Digestive health: good bacteria help you break down food effectively so that you can extract more nutrients and fuel to keep your body running.
- Other bacteria can also help your body repair itself, from fixing stomach ulcers to reducing the impact of lactose intolerance.
The bad news is good bacteria is just as fragile as bad bacteria, if not more so. With each antibiotic we take, we kill just as many good bacteria as bad bacteria. Over a lifetime, this adds up to some serious destruction, especially as the average child receives between 10 and 20 courses of different antibiotics before even reaching the age of 18.
When was the last time you were prescribed antibiotics? Recent studies have revealed that 60% of adults who go to the doctor for upper respiratory infections receive prescriptions for antibiotics, even though those types of infections are usually caused by viruses, which are not impacted by antibiotics. Have you found this to be the case? Tell us about it in the comments.
This antibiotic use can cause disruptions in our digestive process and reduce our overall health. Fortunately, there is a way to foster the growth of good bacteria and restore its presence in our system: Probiotics.
These special formulations of natural substances help restore the body’s balance, aiding with digestive problems and even increasing the effectiveness of your immune system. With the right balance of a good probiotic and an effective supplement, you can ensure good flora is flourishing in your system.
Choosing the Right One
With all of the probiotic products available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for yourself. The best supplement is usually the one that you can remember to take and that fits in well with your daily routine. You also want to ensure you are selecting the right microbes for the kinds of challenges your body is facing. For example, if you are currently ill and experiencing diarrhea from a condition you know to be infectious, you may want to stock up on products with Saccharomyces boulardii which is probiotic yeast.
Individuals suffering from lactose intolerance might benefit from Lactobacillus bulgaricus, while someone just coming off of a round of antibiotics should consider a multistrain probiotic with 50+ billion bacteria. If you are seeking a probiotic for overall health, you may want to find a supplement with multiple strains, as your digestive tract contains up to 40 different types already.
Identifying a Good Probiotic
When you head to the health store to look for a good probiotic, you should keep on the lookout for certain factors that identify a high-quality product. Always start with the label and see what information is contained on it before buying. Check for the following:
- Identify the genus and species of the particular microbe contained in the probiotic; make sure it matches what you have selected for your particular needs.
- See what kind of organism density the product contains per dose and the frequency recommended. Appropriate dosages can range from 50 million to 1 trillion live cells in a single dose.
- Make sure you follow the storage recommendations in order to keep from killing off the effective organisms with inappropriate temperature conditions.
Different supplements will be appropriate for different uses, but the label should be a good starting point for your research. Remember to also select reputable brands, like those found with Better Living, as up to 30% of less reputable brands on the market have been found to contain much less viable bacteria than what was claimed on the label.
What Form to Take
Probiotics come in a variety of different forms, from pills to drinks and even different foods. It is a good idea to consult with a health professional to determine which might be the best for you.
- Supplements. A probiotic supplement in capsule, chewable, powder or liquid form is a good way to go, as you can take it along with any other vitamins and minerals or daily medications that you take. Pills also tend to be fairly shelf stable, and add minimal calories to your diet from consumption. Look for ones with minimal additives and no artificial fillers for optimum benefits.
- Yogurt. Among the most popular foods to contain probiotic benefits, yogurt is a staple in many households. It comes in a number of different flavors and varieties, meaning it can be an enjoyable way to ensure you are consuming enough flora-promoting bacteria. Check out yogurt made out of goat’s milk for the biggest probiotic boost you can get, though try to avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.
- Sauerkraut. Not just for bratwursts anymore, this food is made out of fermented cabbage. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, and can also help you fight off your allergies.
- Miso soup. The next time you go out to eat at your favorite Asian restaurant, opt for the miso soup. This delicious soup has plenty of bifidus and lactobacilli bacteria, along with a number of different nutrients that can help fight carcinogens and the effects of pollution on your body.
What are some of your favorite sources of probiotic health? Share with us in the comments.