While you have most likely heard many claims about body health, it may surprise you to learn that much of your health begins in your gut. Your gut is teeming with around 100 trillion bacteria that help with digestion and even influence your weight and brain health. Studies within the past five years have shown that gut bacteria influence such diseases as cancer, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis while being particularly important to improving overall immunity. If bacteria is killed off or grows out of balance, you will be at risk for catching a cold or something far worse.
With gut bacteria being so obviously important to your health, you must know how to keep your intestinal flora happy and in balance. Traditionally, probiotic foods have been used. Today, however, many are turning to probiotic supplements to address these needs. You may be asking yourself which option is truly better. Here are five reasons why we at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness believe that probiotic foods blow away probiotic supplements.
Probiotics Strains in Supplements Gradually Die
When probiotic supplements are manufactured, the producers ensure that a certain number of bacteria are present in the supplement. However, between the time of manufacturing and the time when the supplement is first taken, many of the bacteria die off, leaving consumers like you with fewer benefits than you would suppose. You may be impressed by a bottle that says you are getting 10 or 20 billion cultures per dosage, but many of them may be gone by the time you ingest the capsule.
Probiotic Supplements Are Not Always as They Seem
In addition, not all probiotic supplements are created equally. Even when you find a supplement from a trustworthy company, you cannot be sure that you are getting the right amount of probiotics or the correct strains. Independent research by Consumer Lab showed that most probiotics that were tested did not contain exactly what the box or bottle purported.
Probiotic Foods Provide Diverse Species
On the other hand, probiotic foods contain diverse and living probiotic species. In many of your foods and drinks, such as fresh sauerkraut, kimchee and kombucha, you will actually be able to see that live bacterial strains are present because of the bubbling liquids and fermented taste. As long as you ingest several kinds of fermented foods, you will experience diverse strains that you may not be able to find in supplements.
Probiotic Foods Provide More Than Just One Benefit
When you take a probiotic supplement, you are only taking it to enjoy the bacterial benefit. However, every food comes with more than one benefit. When you choose a healthy fermented food, you are getting bacteria for your gut along with needed nutrients to further help your body. For example, sauerkraut is a rich source of vitamin C, and yogurt is full of protein.
Probiotic Foods Often Provide Increased Active Cultures
Probiotic foods typically have more active cultures than supplements do provided that you ingest these foods regularly and store them correctly. For example, fermented dairy beverages can have over 500 billion cultures in one cup. Yogurts may have over 20 billion cultures in a small serving. Therefore, in the course of one day, you will find it easier and more enjoyable to get your probiotics from your foods rather than having to remember to take a supplement.
The acupuncture physicians at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness are very well-versed in not only Chinese Medicine but also holistic lifestyle and nutrition. If you are ready to take your health back and feel your best, give us a call. We can help.