GUT HEALTH is all the rage you guys. I actually hate that term, “gut health”…it just sounds gross to me. I’d much rather say I’m keeping my stomach happy and calm, keeping things moving or getting enough good bacteria for my system. Sure, they are longer terms to use, but they just make me go “blehhh” a little bit less. GUT just sounds aggressive to me.
Whichever way you prefer to say it- we need to keep our “guts” and digestive stystem healthy, happy, strong and functioning well. This will ensure you have normal bathroom trips daily, you will breakdown and digest food better and, your body will absorb nutrients more efficiently. All of this means: less bloat, a flatter tummy and a happier you!
To reap all of those benefits, you need to consume probiotics. Daily! I started really upping my game when it comes to probiotics in the past year or so and the difference I can feel inside and outside my body is MAJOR.
I have a sensitive stomach, I tend to have trouble digesting, and sometimes after eating, my stomach just goes nuts and really bothers me- I will bloat up and feel terrible. It has always been such a pain to deal with! I KNOW a lot of you also go through this- it seems like most women I know are in the same or similar boat. This all changed when I started taking my probiotic consumption more seriously. My immune system is also stronger (I tend to catch colds less often) and I get WAY less bloated after eating.
So…a little history here.
In the past, I would take a probiotic supplement in pill form…maybe once a week when I would remember to. And then sometimes I would forget to refrigerate it and would have to toss it out which is such a waste of money. I wasn’t the best at keeping it consistent because when I was only doing it once or twice a week, I wasn’t experiencing any of the amazing benefits. It felt more like a chore I kept forgetting to do than anything else.
But I was very wrong in my approach…and now I have totally re-vamped the way I think about probiotics. I now think of them as a daily thing I must do, like brushing my teeth or washing my face. It has become second nature and such a normal thing for me daily. I have some type of probiotic every single day, religiously! And I am loving the benefits.
So, I wanted to break down the best and easiest ways to consume probiotics daily here and talk a little about the different ways you can approach it all to make sure that you are eating enough daily to balance out your digestive system. Oh, and feel amazing in the process!
I don’t eat dairy. Unless it is Greek yogurt. My whey isolate protein powder and greek yogurt are the only “dairy” things I consume! Greek Yogurt doesn’t bother my stomach AT ALL- which I just discovered sort of recently….about 5 months ago. Now, I eat it basically every single day as a quick breakfast or a mid day protein snack. Now, why doesn’t it hurt my stomach when every other form of dairy does? It’s because Greek yogurt is different. During the process to make Greek yogurt, it is strained three times to remove the whey, which also removes most of the lactose! Additionally, the probiotics that are thriving in the Greek yogurt help to break down any of the lactose that remains unstrained. One of those probiotics is called Lactate- which is what breaks down lactose (it is also what is in those “Lactaid” pills that are popular among those who are dairy-intolerant). Any lactose that may linger is able to be broken down by your body because of the lactate and you are left with all the great probiotic benefits and none of the down sides. SO, if you are afraid to try it because of the lactose issue…I would recommend giving it a test run and see how you feel. I am very sensitive to dairy and I eat it every single day without a problem. It actually makes my stomach feel great and my digestion has never been better.
I like to top my 0% fat greek yogurt with some fiber cereal and fresh blueberries to make it a balanced, powerhouse breakfast or snack!
I don’t consume much Kefir because it bothers my stomach a little, unless it is super thick. The thicker it is, the less whey and lactose is in it (because of that same straining process that Greek yogurt goes through).
BUT, if you can handle a little bit of dairy, Kefir is one of the best ways to get probiotics. The probiotics in kefir have a far larger range of bacteria and they really go straight to your intestines and set up shop. This means they will do more and help you for a longer period of time. MORE AND LONGER. Most grocery stores sell it in bottle form so its easy to drink! I have some friends who swear by Kefir, every single day.
Fermented Veggies and Sauerkraut
Fermentation is very hip right now in the health food world. You can find wide assortments of fermented veggies in health food stores, and you can also make your own if you want to be daring! Here’s some info on how to do that, you daring little babe!
Fermentation creates a ton of probiotic benefits via live bacteria that are great for your body. You can eat them on crackers, toss them in a grain bowl or mix them into a salad. Sauerkraut is also an amazing fermented food and very widely available. Spread it on food for a little kick and a lot of stomach health benefits. If you don’t love the taste of fermented foods, stick with yogurts and kefir….fermentation can sometimes be an acquired taste.
Real talk: I can not stand Kombucha. The smell, the taste, the feel of it and what it actually is grosses me out beyond belief. OMG, it feels good to finally type that out! Been holding that in for a while!! HA!
I live in a city where kombucha is more popular than water and wine. Yoga studios have it “on tap” and every fitness event I go to has it stocked up for all the attendees to enjoy post sweat-sesh. I avoid, and try to not make a big deal out of it because it’s almost a sin to be a “health person” and not drink the booch. I am probably the only one I know who can’t stomach it at all. Seaweed and Kombucha are the two things I CAN NOT consume. Which is a shame because I know that it is full of great probiotics! If you like kombucha, go for it! I have zero recommendations when it comes to this lol, so I apologize. But give it a try – you may love it! People SWEAR by it!
Like I said above, I am not so great when it comes to the supplement form of probiotics because I tend to forget to take them. BUT, I do keep some in my fridge at all times in case I get an upset stomach or to use before I travel. It is great for when I need a little extra and don’t want to be inhaling yogurt and sauerkraut all day. Taking the pills for a few days before traveling is a total savior for your system- it helps keep things balanced and moving during a time when your system can easily be knocked off track.
These are the ones I have and LOVE. They sell them at Whole Foods and they come in dairy and non dairy options. They are as easy as just taking with some water or your morning tea! Make sure to keep them in the fridge though!
Hope this helps a little bit and inspires you to treat your probiotic intake a little more seriously!
Have a fab weekend beauties!