Probiotics: Healthy or Another Marketing Fad?

Probiotic is one of those words you’ve been hearing a lot about lately—on yogurt commercials, in health magazines, on Pinterest, etc. Seems like it’s good thing, right? Well, we think so, but let’s go back to the beginning for a second. A good place to start: what the heck is a probiotic? The semi-technical definition is they’re live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits. When we say microorganisms, we mean live bacteria. We usually associate the word bacteria with bad stuff. Germs, gross stuff growing in our son’s college dorm, etc. But in this case, it’s a good thing!

Often times people think of bacteria and other microorganisms as harmful “germs,” however many microorganisms help our bodies function properly. For example, bacteria that are normally present in our intestines help digest food, destroy disease-causing microorganisms, and produce vitamins. Large numbers of microorganisms live on and in our bodies. Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies, hence the promoted health benefits. Along with improving gut health, they’ve been known to help urinary and vaginal health, prevent allergies and colds, and improve skin conditions like eczema.

Where Can I Get Probiotics?

Probiotics are found naturally in a handful of foods. Top sources are:

  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Miso Soup
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi

If the list of foods containing high counts of probiotics aren’t for you, you may consider taking a supplement. As you can imagine, there are a lot of different types and brands currently on the market. Check out this page from Reviews.com. They’ve done a ton of research and have put this guide together to walk people through the different varieties and benefits to each. Towards the end, after the research, you’ll find a list of their recommendations. With that being said, please remember we are not doctors. Before you being adding a daily probiotic to your medicine cabinet, we highly recommend speaking to your primary care physician.

We’ll be honest. With deadlines at work, family responsibilities and wanting to spend as much time as possible with our little ones, we sometimes slack on our food choices and therefore where we’re naturally getting our nutrients. If adding a probiotic to the mix can help even in the slightest, we’ll take it.

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