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The Benefits of Probiotics

What if I told you… you were being stalked? Ok, not stalked. Followed? No… Protected, by a guardian angel! Billions of guardian angels! Is that better? I feel better.

It’s true though. If you’re lucky, billions of tiny bugs (ahem… guardian angels) are with you around the clock. These bugs are called probiotics, and the benefits of probiotics seem endless. These are the good guys! The Batmans and Buzz Lightyears of your belly! Probiotics are good bacteria (yes, bacteria can be good) that sit in your gut and fight crime (ahem, disease). Gut flora (aka the microbiome) refers to the health and abundance of your good gut bugs.

For a LONG time, scientists ignored the importance of probiotics and gut flora. They were the Khloe Kardashians of bugs. They were working just as hard, and getting little to no air time! Their agent threw a fit, and now they have their own gig. (Check out the human microbiome project)

A few skills of probiotics: preventing inflammation, obesity, allergies, asthma, infections, and autoimmune diseases. What drug do you know that does all of that? Seems worth talking about, right?

Do you need probiotics?

Well, the word probiotic in greek means “for life”, so if that’s any sign from the universe (and I take my signs from the universe pretty seriously), I will go ahead and count you in “for life.”

The benefits of probiotics seem endless, they’ve been shown to:

  • make vitamins for us
  • protect us against foreign invaders
  • help us break down our food & improve nutrient absorption
  • help tolerate food sensitivities
  • soothe allergy symptoms
  • maintain weight loss (hallelujah!)
  • combat inflammation (this includes high cholesterol, and skin issues like eczema)
  • make you happier! (ok, this sounds crazy, but it’s for real. check out this study.)
  • protect from infection (along with other goodies, like vit D, vit C, and garlic)
    • including flu, colds, yeast infections, UTI’s, etc.
  • Improve your morning breath (IS THIS A FREAKING MIRACLE? No, just science.)
  • Tame tummy troubles (irritable bowel, colitis, indigestion, bloating, gas… etc)

THAT’S SO MUCH STUFF TO DO. Which is why it made sense when these scientists deemed our gut flora responsible for 70-80% of our immune system. 

Ok, now I want all the guardian angel bugs that exist. 

How to BOOST your bug count:

  • avoid unnecessary antibiotics (check with your doctor to make sure any sickness you have is a bacterial infection; antibiotics don't work on viruses)
  • consider eating fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir… etc.)
  • Take a probiotic supplement (like Probiotic Complete for grown ups or Belly Boost for kids)

Ok, what about antibiotics?

Antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria, and can be very helpful! One problem: antibiotics don’t know the difference between good bacteria, and bad bacteria. Therefore, they unleash on everybody. Taking probiotics after a stint of antibiotics can help replenish the good guys, and prevent recurring infections.

When do I take a probiotic?

If you don’t include a lot of fermented foods in your diet, probiotic supplements are the best way to get your guardian angels on board in any of the following situations:

  • If you want to prevent illness (me! pick me!)
  • When you’re fighting off sickness or infections
  • After a course of antibiotics
  • If you have a long history of digestive issues (see “tummy troubles” above)

What makes a good probiotic?

The quality of probiotic supplements is based on:

1. the strains (types of bacteria)

2. the number of CFUs (colony forming units, aka bug battalions).

Well Labs Probiotic Complete has 22 BILLION CFUs of 7 different strains of bacteria, which means your belly is getting A LOT of help! These 7 strains were specifically chosen to be able to withstand the harsh environment (acid bath) of your GI tract. They’re even released in targeted amounts in the intestines for MAXIMUM benefits. Fancy, right?

Why does this matter for kids?

Gut health, and probiotics are beneficial for all ages. Good gut flora early on likely leads to better health as an adult. Your gut flora reaches a stable state by the age of 3, so the first 3 years of life are VITAL in composing a healthy microbiome. Babies born vaginally (compared to C-section) are exposed to more bacteria, which is actually GOOD for them. It beefs up their gut flora to prepare them for the rest of their illness-fighting days! Not to mention, by the age of 2, 69% of kids have had antibiotics, knocking their gut flora down a peg. 

If you’re looking at probiotics for a little nugget, check out Belly Boost. It's is a powdered form of probiotics, specifically formulated for the little bellies of babes... and easily mixed into food or drink (#healthninja).

So here's to dropping our food, and yelling "5 second rule!" because some bacteria, really can be good. Adios inflammation, allergies, IBS, colds, and flus. We’re kicking you out, and we brought 22 billion friends to help.

Tweet Tweet: "probiotic in greek means “for life”, so, I will go ahead and count you in “for life.” #welllabs #gethealthgiveback #bellybugs
Hannah Anderson
Hannah Anderson