Many women regularly take vitamins and supplements for the key nutrients their bodies need to function optimally – especially if they're experiencing deficiencies in certain areas. With so many nutritional supplements available, you might be wondering if there's one you can take simply to boost your overall health. If so, read on to learn more about probiotics as a dietary staple!
What Does a Probiotic Do?
If you're trying to decide whether to start taking a daily probiotic, you're likely asking: what exactly are probiotics? What are some of their popular health claims?
While there are many different types available, probiotics are essentially good bacteria that are commonly used to aid digestion and improve gut health. However, these live microorganisms can provide a variety of other health benefits, including increased fertility, improved complexion, reduction of urinary tract infections, and even improved mental health.
Basically, taking a daily probiotic won't just benefit your stomach and improve digestive health, but could impact your overall health in many other positive ways. Let's talk about a few of them.
Whether you're trying to conceive, or merely ward off a yeast infection, research shows that probiotics are beneficial to female reproductive health. The average woman's vaginal tract contains five different species of bacteria, all of which should be maintained in equilibrium for ideal reproductive health.
Taking a daily probiotic is a great way to ensure that these bacteria are always being replenished.
With so many different options available, it's important to select a probiotic that will be most beneficial for your specific health goals. Whether you're hoping for conception, or focusing on another type of reproductive health, talk to your doctor or OBGYN for recommendations.
Targeting Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is crucial to your overall wellbeing, yet with our busy schedules and hectic lives, many of us forget to slow down and take the time to make self care a priority.
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression. Aside from therapy and proper self-care – and prescription drugs, if necessary – you might think there isn't much you can do to improve your mental health symptoms.
Studies have shown that in fact, healthy gut bacteria play a significant role in what happens in our brains, and even molds brain structure as we age. In addition, the symptoms you may experience as a result of depression or anxiety – low energy, mood swings, irritability, and feelings of heightened stress – may be alleviated by the bacteria strain Lactobacillus plantarum, which is found in most healthy yogurts and probiotic supplements.
Talk to your doctor about taking probiotics to help you cope with depression or anxiety symptoms. It certainly can't hurt!
Will Probiotics Strengthen My Immune System?
Maybe colds hit you harder than the average person. Perhaps you're even knocked off your feet for a week or longer when you get sick, or are prone to secondary infections. If you're seeking a natural way to help support your immune system, and beat the odds of getting sick during cold & flu season, try taking a daily probiotic. By ensuring proper maintenance of good bacteria, you're equipping yourself with strong gut health to help support your body.
If you eat foods that naturally contain good bacteria, that's even better!
Choosing a Probiotic
It might be tempting to simply stop by a drug store and blindly grab the first jar of probiotics you see, but it's important to know the markers of a good and effective probiotic.
Choose a probiotic containing a minimum of one billion live bacteria, as well as the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii strains – all of which are well-researched probiotics.
Ultimately, the type of probiotic you select will depend on your health goals. Whether they're among the ones covered in this article or elsewhere, talk to your doctor to determine the best type of probiotic for you.
Want to learn more?
At Vitamin Bounty, we realize that every journey is different – and our goal is to support you on yours! We want you to feel confident in your unique quest for wellness, so we've created content and products that will help you along the way. Browse our full range of digestive products to determine which is best for you.