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January 11, 2018

Hi, my loves!

Ever since my “WHY MATCHA?” blog post a few weeks ago I’ve been feeling like starting a series called “WHY ___?” that talks about all of the health & wellness crazes that I am into + breaks them down into bite sized info for you guys to walk away with.

(I also have “What’s the Deal with Collagen?” from last year which fits into the series too! That seems like a favorite & a post that gets referenced a lot, for sure!)

Into it?! If so, let me know in the comments below some topics you’d like me to cover for upcoming posts in the series!

Today, we are talking about probiotics.

Specifically, we are talking about Silver Fern probiotics… my current favorite brand that contains 8 Billion CFU & is my go-to for about a hundred other reasons which I will list below. ūüėČ

So, let’s break it down.

What’s the benefit of taking a daily probiotic?

Well, probiotics are amazing. A probiotic is a live microorganism dietary supplement that helps you maintain your digestive balance by fortifying your system with healthy bacteria. The bacteria it puts into our systems is essential for many vital body functions and the health of our tummies/digestion.

It can also identify & destroy overgrown and harmful organisms that live in the gut which will restore the growth of good microbes in the stomach and provide balance to our gut flora. It helps immensely with the digestion & assimilation of nutrients, helps reduce inflammation, and even converts the nutrients into more absorbable forms.

Let’s talk about some other amazing benefits:

1. A good probiotic fights against bad bacteria that convert macronutrients into unhealthy compounds like aldehydes, endotoxins, ammonia, gas, hydrogen gas, and lipid peroxides.

2. Helps to “police” the immune system so that we stay nice & healthy with greater ease!

3. Reduces gas & bloating (HELLO, me in a nutshell. That is the main reason why I got into taking probiotics!)

4. Supports the growth of good bacteria which helps to convert healthy macronutrients (fibers, carbs, proteins, and fats) into crucial nutrients such as amino acids, omega fatty acids, quinols, B vitamins, GABA (for sleep), BDNF, serotonin, Vitamin K, short chain fatty acids, and antioxidants.

5. Improves glycemic control & repairs intestinal damage.

6. Increases energy!!! Such a good one.

Why doesn’t our digestion just work perfectly fine on its own?

Often, our digestion is disrupted by diet and stress ‚ÄĒ two things that I can CERTAINLY relate to having issues with. It can also be disrupted by travel, introducing new elements to your lifestyle and changes in routine.

Do all of those things sounds like all of our lives in a nutshell? Yes, I think they certainly do.

A few other things that can manipulate the gut flora and cause our good/bad bacteria to get out of whack are the use of antibiotics, the use of steroid medications, eating greasy/unhealthy/non-organic foods that mess with our microbiome, constipation, not eating enough, eating too much, getting too many colonics (I did that, whoops), medications, the list goes on.

Once the gut flora is imbalanced, digestion issues can go from bad to worse. I believe that I greatly disrupted my gut flora from my years of being a plant-based vegan who subsisted mostly on juice cleanses — THEN I got a parasite and took so many rounds of antibiotics my gut flora hardly even existed anymore.

It was nuts. So I learned about the probiotic life & I can’t even tell you how much it has enhanced my health and wellbeing since then.

Are all probiotics the same?

No!¬†A truly great probiotic will live to arrive¬†in the large intestine (and parts of¬†the small intestine) where it will act¬†as a ‚Äúgardener‚ÄĚ to the micro biome.

That probiotic will improve your microbiome by identifying and removing the bad bacteria while nurturing the good bacteria to grow and thrive. Good probiotics remove bad bacteria, support overall health, support your immune system, and provide complete digestive support.

Unfortunately, most probiotic supplements are dead on the shelves and those that aren’t will die when they encounter the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. Dead probiotics offer no probiotic benefits, but that is largely what you will find on the market.

Also, 90% of probiotics contain strains not listed on the bottle. If a product hasn’t had strain verification or DNA analysis then you have no idea what you are actually getting. I LOOOOVE Silver Fern (100% been using it for about 9 months now, so you can trust my word on this) because they are DNA verified & sustainability verified annnnddd they are pharmaceutical grade.

How many billions of strains should you try to get when looking for a probiotic?

Many probiotics promote dozens of strains with tens of billions of cfu, but these strains are ineffective bacterial strains that offer you no benefit. There isn’t a single scientific study that shows that more strains and more cfu’s are more effective. It’s all about the quality of the strains, not the quantity. (Silver Fern has 8 Billion CFU which is technically my favorite amount after taking several different amounts until I found my perfect go-to.)

Can’t you just eat fermented foods like yummy coconut yogurts, kefir, & kimchi and call it a day?

Well, first of all, I am a HUGE fan of fermented foods. I eat coconut yogurts like nobody’s business, and I put kimchi on my salads several days a week.

What I’ve learned from Silver Fern is that while these foods all provide¬†wonderful benefits for the gut and our health… none of these foods provide probiotics that will¬†survive to reach your gut and provide you any probiotic¬†benefits.

So you’re better off taking a probiotic so the benefits go straight to the gut, and eat those foods for other nutritional reasons like their easy absorption, healthy compounds, etc!

Can probiotics help eliminate candida?

Well, I have certainly done my fair share of research in the candida arena. Even with this full-body rash I am experiencing right now, I keep thinking that it could be gut related and that the eczema on my stomach is coming from candida overgrowth on the inside.

In order to completely stop candida yeast overgrowth new healthy bacteria must replace the candida. In a healthy system, candida, which is a normal part of your flora, is kept in check by a healthy and diverse gut flora.

Having a healthy and diverse gut flora is the only way to permanently control candida growth. Another issue that leads to candida overgrowth is a weak immune system. An effective probiotic can add diversity, strength, and balance to the flora, which in turn will keep candida in check.

Probiotics can even help with anxiety & depression, as it’s been proven that 95% of our serotonin exists in the gut. Crazy, right?!

There we have it, my angels! A full-blown breakdown of why probiotics are amazing for us & some commonly asked questions I’ve heard from you guys.

Thank you so much to Silver Fern for sponsoring this post & for being amazing — you guys will love them! Let me know if you try, and tag me on Insta #tbbmademedoit!