Are Probiotics the Key to a Happy, Healthy Gut?

Gut health, specifically our microbiome, has been getting more and more attention in the medical, holistic, wellness, and mental health communities. As more and more research is being done on the importance of the ecosystem within our gut, we increasingly understand the benefits of supporting a healthy, happy microbiome.

Why Gut Health Matters

Our microbiome consists of the trillions of microbes—bacteria, viruses, and fungi that reside in our digestive tract: our stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. It's home to 10 times more bacteria than cells in our entire body, and is responsible for up to 80% of our immune functionality. To say it's important to our overall health would be an understatement. 

Read more about the microbiome, your newest organ

The connection between our gut, brain, immune system, and endocrine system is key to our general health. Researchers have connected our genetic expression, immune system, weight management, mental health and memory, and risk factors for chronic disease to the health of our microbiome. 

Unfortunately, the microbiome is also constantly under attack. Things like processed food, sugar, GMOs, stress, pesticides, antibiotics, and even antibacterial soap are all enemies of the good bacteria that live in our gut. Luckily, there are things we can do to protect and promote proper gut health.

Avoiding gut-killers is one way to work towards a healthy microbiome. Focusing on fermented foods, eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables and other foods high in inulin fiber, and dairy like goat-based cheese and yogurt can all help keep the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut in check. Research has shown that exposure to probiotics is the best way to support digestive health, and in addition to dietary and environmental controls, a high-quality probiotic supplement can have a lasting impact.

Read about reasons to eat fermented foods every day

Choosing a Probiotic Supplement

It's important to choose a high-quality, effective probiotic supplement, and not all probiotics are created equal. Things to consider when choosing are which bacteria you need (different strains have different health impact), the type of supplement that works best for you (capsule, powder, liquid), and the quality and testing of the supplement itself.

We recommend supplements from our partner Bio-K+ because their probiotics are based on clinical studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, the bacterial concentration in Bio-K products is guaranteed upon consumption rather than on the manufacturing date, and the product goes through the entire digestive tract since the microbiome doesn't start and end in the stomach.

By Steph Davidson| September 11, 2017
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Steph Davidson

Steph Davidson

Steph is a writer and editor with a love of tea, books, and horror movies. Steph grew up under the impression that most meals came out of a box and had to contain some sort of animal protein. When an interest in a more environmentally friendly way of living led to her vegetarianism in 2012, she decided to teach herself how to cook. You can catch her kitchen wins (and the occasional opportunity for improvement) on Instagram @_stephinitely_.


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