The Pros of Probiotics

We spend a lot of time and money avoiding or ridding our bodies of bacteria. However, the human body is home to trillions of different bacteria—in fact, bacteria outnumber human cells 10 to one. Probiotics are microorganisms found in food and supplements that mimic the healthy bacteria that already live inside us.

Before you start using probiotics, consider these tips from the American Gastroenterological Association:

• Know your needs. Are you looking for help with a specific medical condition?  When choosing a probiotic, keep in mind certain strains of bacteria may be more suited for your circumstances. Additionally, think about whether you would rather have probiotics as part of your diet or in supplement, powder, or liquid form.

• Check the label. If you choose an over-the-counter probiotic, read the label to know the strength and type of probiotic you are using.

• Use the Internet with caution. Online shopping can widen your options for picking a probiotic, but always buy from a trusted supplier who will not send you a fake product labeled as a probiotic. If you want to learn more about the latest research on probiotics, only use credible websites, such as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

• Store probiotics safely. Read the storage instructions carefully, and always use or discard probiotics before the expiration date on the bottle.

Before starting any new supplement, medication, or diet change, always talk with your physician first.

And, in case you’re wondering, the top 5 probiotic foods/beverages are:

  1. Kefir
  2. Kombucha tea
  3. Pickles
  4. Sauerkraut
  5. Greek Yogurt