Do You Need To Be Taking Probiotics?
On Our Minds
We all have stories we tell ourselves:
“I don’t have time”
“I’m not good enough to get promoted”
“I’m too lazy to exercise”
Our stories can take hold and begin to feel deeply true to us.
The good news is you have the power to change the narrative. The key is to recognize the negative stories, question where they came from, look for real evidence to either support or negate them, and unload the ‘junk thoughts.’
Do you really not have time? What does your day actually look like? Is your story only there to aid in avoiding something and what is it that you may be avoiding (and why) in the first place?? You can rewrite your story.
So…. what are the stories you tell yourself?
How are they preventing you from pursuing your goals?
In Good Health,
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina
Do You Need To Be Taking Probiotics?
Probiotics have taken off over the last couple of years. First with supplements, and now with food and skin care lines. Claims range from “probiotics heal your gut” to “probiotics protect you from chronic disease”.
Let’s separate fact from fiction – are these pricey supplements doing what they claim to do?
First things first: What are probiotics?
According to FAO/WHO, a probiotic is a “live microorganism which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host” (1). So, probiotics are basically any species of bacteria, fungi or virus that could potentially enhance your health when provided in large amounts.
Our gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms, which might sound gross, but it is actually a beautiful thing! Your microbiome works hard to kick out the bad bacteria, while creating a cozy home for the good bacteria.
We need the good bacteria to help us digest food, maintain our intestinal walls, coordinate our intestinal wall movements, regulate our immune system function and coordinate nerve signaling and brain function. This balance can be upset or altered by diet, lifestyle, exposure to toxins and antibiotic use (2).
When we take probiotics, we introduce “good” bacteria into our gut to help support our overall health. However, one probiotic definitely does not fit all. While one person may colonize the bacteria from a given probiotic, another person may not.
There is high-quality evidence that probiotics can help with acute infectious diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, hepatic encephalopathy, ulcerative colitis, IBS, C. Diff- associated diarrhea, functional GI disorders, and necrotizing enterocolitis (3). Magical for weight loss? We have yet to see it.
A Cochrane review found that a dosage of 5 billion colony-forming units or greater per day was most effective. The effectiveness of probiotics varies based on the species, dose and disease state (4). It is wise to discuss the appropriate probiotic for you with a health care practitioner who understands how the different probiotic species might help you. For example, Align contains probiotic species that are helpful for antibiotic-associated diarrhea, while Culturelle contains probiotic species that are helpful for necrotizing enterocolitis.
One other thing to note: Prebiotics are super important too! You can think of prebiotics as food for the “good” bacteria (the probiotics). Food sources of prebiotics include artichokes, bananas, berries, garlic, onion, chicory, green vegetables, legumes, oats, barley, asparagus, linseed, barley and wheat (5). Some artificially produced prebiotics are being introduced, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing them on the shelves.
Have questions about probiotics or struggling with your gut health? Reach out to our RD’s to help get you back to healthy!
It is always difficult to see someone you love struggling with an eating disorder. If you’d like to give your loved one a boost but don’t know how, we love The Brave Box! Each box contains products for the mind, body, and soul to help with the recovery process. We love that a portion of the sales go directly to the Multi-Eating Disorder Association to fund their programs. Learn more here:
On the Lighter Side
Recipe of the Month:
Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini
Quick weeknight meal!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
1 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium bell peppers, chopped
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin, divided
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Tex Mex or Colby Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat large deep skillet on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Move vegetables to the side of the skillet and add chicken. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add corn, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, taco seasoning and remaining cumin. Stir, cover and cook on low-medium for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for a few minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with green onion and cilantro. Serve hot, with brown rice or quinoa.
Recipe courtesy of www.ifoodreal.com.