My digestion has always been pretty bad. I used to get painful bloating and stomachache almost every single day. And by bloating, I don’t mean just slight discomfort, I mean I looked legitimately pregnant. When I was younger I didn’t think too much about this. I thought this was just how my body worked and I didn’t even care about these symptoms. Later on, I started getting sick of this constant discomfort. I started paying attention to what foods set me off and I avoided them as much as possible. This included cabbage, peanuts, soy, and popcorn – all of which are things I love indulging on. I also tried incorporating into my diet foods that I found help me like chia seeds, oats, and herbal teas.
Then I realized also that the time when I eat also affects my digestion. For example, if I hadn’t eaten for a long time, even a small bite afterward upset my stomach and I’d get bloated. That’s why my experience with Intermittent fasting was a disaster. Eating late at night or skipping breakfast also had me looking ‘preggy’, so I eliminated that as well.
And even though I felt like I had kind of hacked this whole situation by eating the right foods at the right time, things still weren’t ideal. I would still get painfully bloated at times, even when I thought I was doing everything I should. Until I found probiotics.
What Are Probiotics
So let’s see first what probiotics really are. They are live bacteria that do wonders for your gut and digestive health. Some of these good bacteria already live in our bodies. However, things like bad diet, antibiotics, and even stress can affect the levels of good bacteria in our bodies. This can lead to digestive tract problems, bad skin, allergies and even sleeping problems. Some research proves that healthy digestion is related even to our mental health.
How to Take Probiotics?
There are many different kinds of probiotics. Of course, each of them comes with instructions on how to take them. However, besides the instructions, it’s good to always keep these tips in mind.
Take your probiotics in the morning, on an empty stomach.
This is the best time of the day to take probiotics. When you haven’t eaten anything yet, your body can benefit the most from the good bacteria and that can help your digestion throughout the whole day.
Don’t drink probiotics with hot water
Drink as much water as you like when taking probiotics. However, make sure it’s not hot because that might kill the good bacteria. Some probiotics you need to keep in the fridge and others are okay on the countertop, so make sure you always read the instructions.
Make sure you take enough prebiotics as well
Prebiotics are basically what helps probiotics thrive. In order to get the maximum benefit of probiotics, you need enough prebiotics too. There are many prebiotic supplements out there. However, you can simply make sure you have enough foods that contain prebiotic fiber. Such foods are garlic, onions, oats, and apples.
Just like prebiotics, you don’t necessarily need supplements to get enough probiotics. There are many delicious foods that contain the live beneficial bacteria your body will thank you for.
Most fermented foods and drinks are among these foods. This includes kombucha and cultured vegetables like kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that originated from Indonesia. It’s full of probiotics and you can eat it raw or deep fried. If you want to keep its nutritional value though, eat it raw or add it to your stir fry meal.
Yogurt is probably the food that’s highest in probiotics. The most beneficial for you is the yogurt made from goat or sheep’s milk. When choosing your yogurt, the most important things to look for are that it’s grass-fed, organic and not pasteurized. These will guarantee the best quality of live cultured bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits. It’s great for controlling your cholesterol and can even aid in weight loss. Besides that, it’s good for your digestion. It speeds up your metabolism and contains probiotics too. You can season your salads with it, add it to your warm lemon water in the morning or just drink it like that.
From the first time I tried probiotics, I knew they would become a permanent supplement for me. I saw results almost immediately. I take them every morning on an empty stomach and I almost never get bloated now. I don’t get stomachache either and my digestion is a lot better. Whenever I’m out of probiotics for a few days and I keep forgetting to get some (like now) my bloating returns and I remember why I need them in my life. So, for me, the main reason to use them is the fact they help my digestion. But depending on your needs, you can choose to try them to get clearer skin, get rid of brain fog or just boost your immune system.