When you're juggling so many responsibilities on any given day, ensuring that you receive the proper nutrition to support a healthy diet is paramount. Unfortunately, this essential priority can often take a backseat when you're trying to keep up with your (and your family's) active lifestyle, and the result can be damaging to your health —and your waistline.
Probiotics, or beneficial gut bacteria, are particularly important for a healthy immune system, and go a long way toward supporting your weight loss goals. Luckily, you can easily and conveniently reap the benefits of probiotics by taking a daily supplement, no time or prep required!
In this article, we'll cover a few of the ways you can capitalize on the benefits of probiotics, and list a few great supplemental options for you to consider if you're not receiving the beneficial bacteria you need from food sources.
What exactly are probiotics?
Glad you asked! Probiotics are a naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria, and live in a variety of bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (both of which you'll find in an average cup of healthy yogurt). These two strains of beneficial bacteria are particularly helpful for weight loss; in fact, a lack of healthy gut bacteria may even lead to an increased risk of obesity.
Probiotics also play an important role in strengthening and building your body's immunity, fighting acne, improving mental health, and increasing fertility for women, to name just a few other advantages. You can learn more about the myriad benefits of probiotics here.
How do probiotics help weight loss?
The beneficial bacteria that probiotics provide help your body to better break down food and absorb nutrients. When there's a lack of healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome, you can experience side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive consequences. In addition, you're more likely to be susceptible to illness — and all of these consequences can throw your body out of whack, making it harder for you to practice healthy lifestyle habits to achieve your body goals.
Alternatively, more and more research is showing that people who regularly consume probiotics — whether from a natural, food-based source or a supplemental source — are much more likely to lose weight. This brings us back to the two strains of bacteria we mentioned earlier: Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which each play a significant role in digestion and weight loss. According to Will Bulsiewicz, MD (gastroenterologist), naturally lean individuals have a higher amount of naturally-occurring Lactobacillus rhamnosus in their gut. Lactobacillus gasseri is also linked to a quicker reduction of body weight and deep-belly fat among dieters.
For those who aren't genetically blessed with just the right amount of beneficial bacteria, there's good news: you can get the exact kinds of probiotic your body needs through natural sources, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, or other fermented food products, or by taking a high-quality, daily probiotic.
Selecting a Probiotic
If naturally-occurring probiotics don't happen to come from your favorite foods, or if you simply aren't a habitual yogurt-eater or Kombucha-drinker, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about introducing a daily probiotic supplement to your diet.
The commercial range of probiotics is wide, and supplements vary greatly, from refrigerated and room-temperature options, to number of CFUs (colony-forming unit — one billion to several billion CFU/mg per day seem to be most beneficial), to specific strains of beneficial bacteria, such as the two main types we discussed in the section above, among many others. With so many options available, you might be wondering: where do I start?
Not to worry! We've compiled a short list of fantastic options for you to explore below.
Vitamin Bounty Women's Pro-Daily Probiotic
The Women's Pro-Daily Probiotic is one highly-effective supplement for nourishing your gut with healthy bacteria, in addition to reducing gas, bloating, and cramps, and aiding in overall stronger digestive health for women. Optimal digestive function ultimately means that your body will be in a better position to adapt to and maintain any weight loss you achieve.
The Women's Pro-Daily Probiotic also specifically targets vaginal, urinary, and immune health in addition to providing digestive support, working as an extremely versatile supplement to protect your reproductive and overall health. Best of all, one serving (supplement) contains a highly-effective dose of 10 billion CFUs and five different strains of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, to aid in weight loss!
Vitamin Bounty PRO Supplements
Four other great supplements to consider for supporting your health and weight loss journey are Pro-Daily Probiotic, Pro-25 Probiotic, Pro-50 Probiotic, and Pro-100 Probiotic, all of which contain the Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain of beneficial bacteria that contributes to thin, lean body composition. With copious amounts of different strains of bacteria per supplement, plus several billion CFUs (from 5 billion to 100 billion, depending on your selection), these options will ensure that your digestive system is properly supported, so that you can more easily achieve your weight loss goals!
Vitamin Bounty Pro-Daily Immunity Probiotic
If you'd like to specifically target your overall immune health in addition to supporting your weight loss goals, the Pro-Daily Immunity Probiotic couldn't be a better option for you! With nine strains of beneficial bacteria and ten billion CFUs, these supplements also contain essential vitamins and minerals for helping your body to fight and prevent colds, such as Zinc and Vitamin C. Why not give your immune system an extra boost while optimizing your digestive function?
A Final Word
Ultimately, the data doesn't lie: beneficial bacteria found in probiotics not only promotes a fabulous host of health benefits, but can specifically help you achieve your weight loss goals by aiding in optimal digestion.
If you're not regularly eating foods that contain naturally-occurring probiotics, it's never been easier to replenish that essential gut bacteria than with a high-quality probiotic supplement. With the options listed in this article, or with the right number of CFUs and particular strains your body needs, you can't go wrong!
Lastly, always remember to consult with your doctor before making any severe dietary changes or restrictions, and before introducing a daily vitamin or supplement to your diet.