Probiotics Prebiotics were words I have heard for several years but until a few months ago I had know idea what they were and why they should be part of your daily diet. Before we get in my review I thought I would take this time to talk more about what are prebiotics and probiotics, benefits of using probiotics and why they should be in your daily diet.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are plant based fibers that feed the good bacteria in the gut. Think of it like fertilization, the better fertilizer you use results in more healthier bacteria. Found in fruits and vegetables especially in complex carbohydrates like fiber and resistant starch. Since these carbs are not digestible they pass through the digestive system and become food for bacteria and microbes promoting a healthy colon and gut. According the the Govenrnment Dietary Guidelines daily recommend fiber intake is:
- Dietary fiber: 25 - 38g
- Prebiotic fiber: 5 - 20g (From the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics)
- Resistant starch: 20g
List of Prebiotic Foods: Be sure to find out how much prebiotic has making sure you add enough into your diet.
- Allium vegetables such as garlic, onion, leeks, chives, and scallions are great choices. Add them to food raw for the best source of prebiotics.
- Apple cider vinegar (organic)
- Dandelion greens are leafy green vegetables that are made up of 25% prebiotic fiber.
- Jicama (yacon), Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory root all contain inulin, a form of prebiotic fiber.
- Potato skins
- Whole-grain and sprouted-grain breads
- Wheat germ, whole wheat berries
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live strains of bacteria that add to the healthy bacteria in the gut. They are most commonly know for being in yogurt, but are in other fermented foods and supplements. Probiotics help digest food, heal leaky gut, promote healthy gut and fight disease causing cells. The most common forms of the bacteria you will see are the groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium as well as yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii. If your are taking probiotics be sure you are getting in your prebiotics to get the most benefit.
Benefits of adding Probiotics to your Daily Diet
- Promote a balance healthy bacteria in digestive system
- Prevent and treat diarrhea
- Mood support
- Reduce allergy sensitivity and eczema
- Reduce symptoms of certain digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
- Immune Support
- Help lose belly fat
Probiotics are for everyone, but not every probiotic is right for you. Before you start ask yourself these few questions: "Am I eating clean to make taking the probiotic worth it?" "What are you taking them for, mental, gut, health, vaginal support?" "Did I talk to my doctor before starting these?" After answering these questions you will have a clearer direction you are looking at. Let's be honest if you are not eating clean diet 80-100 precent of the time, probiotics are not going to be very benfiticial to you or your body. The saying you are what you eat is so acurate here. If you not giving the body the right amount of foods, the digestive system is going to be filled with bad bacteria, resulting in a probiotic trying to clean up the mess but never being able to create a healthy happy bacteria family! Heal the gut and many things will begin to heal, Happy gut, happy mind!
My Review of Garden of Life Once Daily Women
Starting a probiotic for me was for a few different reasons; I was looking to heal my gut, my mind and my vaginal health. I had just found out that I was allergic to dairy, eggs, and wheat intolerant. Before learning about my food allergies caused me to stop eating yogurt, which was how I was getting probiotics through food. Upon stopping the yogurt I had noticed an increase in vaginal bacterial infections as well as gut irritation with pain. If you have had a vaginal bacterial infection you understand how comfortably and irritating they can be. Especially with recurring infections after each menstrual cycle or intercourse. Already using a period cup, organic PH balanced lube and eating well, I knew there was a way to get rid of it. Since I was already using Garden of Life collagen, single letter and multi vitamins, looking for a probiotic in there brand was a no brainier. The hard part was deciding on which on to buy, they have a few to say the least!
Due to my need to have vaginal support I choose to go with the Garden of Life Once Daily Women. It supports vaginal, digestion and immune making it exactly what I was in the market for. Garden of Life is also one of only a handful of brands that offer a probiotic that supports vaginal health. Another thing with these is that they do not need to be refrigerated meaning they have a stable shelf life. Besides having 50 billion live probiotic cultures with 16 different strains including L. reuteri and L. fermentum, that are resistant to stomach acid and bile. Allowing them to make it to the digestive system without being destroyed on the way.
After taking them for a full 30 days I can honestly see big changes inside my body. As my gut has began to heal I have noticed that my bowel movements are regular and solid. Any stomach pains that I was experiencing before had started to get less and less. Vaginal infections have gone away with no return during my cycle or after intercourse. My gut has also been able to handle certain types of foods that would be problematic before. In the beginning of taking I did feel stomach upset, but after a week it was all gone. I also have come to take them after dinner in the evening instead of the morning so they are in a full stomach. Big believer on when your gut is happy so is your body and this is no different. I give this probiotic a 5 star rating and would recommend it 100%. Always keep in mind that everyone has different needs, choose a probiotic that is going to help you for what you need it for. Talk to your doctor before starting any kind of supplement and remember, If eating clean isn't your way, that's okay just don't expect to get the full benefits! Do you take probiotics? If so have you seen a difference? Comment below and let's talk!