by Will Grumke March 15, 2021 5 min read
In recent years, there's been a tremendous amount of information and research regarding gut health, the connection with overall improved health, and even how it can increase your results.
The gut health conversation doesn’t happen without bringing up Probiotics as well.
Which is great, because of how beneficial probiotics are ... whether they are coming from the foods you eat, or if you choose to supplement them.
That said, some people may be thinking, “What are probiotics?” or even “Are probiotic supplements good for you?”. Shoot, I used to wonder the same things myself, so now I'm going to dive in and answer a few of the most common questions we get about probiotics.
Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria) that can be consumed, and have been shown to have health benefits. They're often referred to as “healthy gut bacteria”.
Now I know that when I say “living”, you may be curious about ingesting a living organism ... but that's where it's helpful to understand that our gut houses trillions of living bacteria at any given time, both good and bad, called our “gut flora”.
The goal of consuming probiotics is to reestablish a positive balance of good vs bad bacteria in your gut flora.
These bacteria can play a huge role in digestion, strengthening immune function, and promoting a healthy overall metabolism, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients that you're consuming more effectively.
For some people, the old saying “you are what you eat” is changing to “you are what you absorb”.
If you can utilize the nutrients in your food more effectively, then your progress overall can improve as well!
There can be a few negative outcomes of an unbalanced gut. Things such as: a weakened immune system, inflammation, insulin resistance, and even hormonal imbalances, along with possible changes to mood, appetite, and complexion.
That's why it's important to get ahead of it and understand what the possible causes are.
The most common factors that can lead to an imbalanced gut are: a lack of diversity and key micronutrients in our diets, stress, toxins in our daily environment, consumption of processed foods/alcohol, and taking antibiotics/some medications. Even genetics and aging can contribute to an imbalance in the gut.
Since I would be wondering the exact same thing myself after reading all of that, I want to lay out some signs and symptoms that may be indicators of less than ideal gut health.
The main thing you may be experiencing if you have a poor balance of your gut flora is chronic digestive issues - including things like, bloating, diarrhea, and gas.
Some may also notice depression, anxiety, sugar cravings, food sensitivities, and noticeable skin problems such as eczema.
For the most part, there are short-term signs ... and if the gut is the issue, they can be helped.
However, without changing nutrition and lifestyle habits, we can suffer long-term issues. Poor gut health can lead to diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune disorders.
This is exactly why I want to make sure you are aware of the positive benefits of getting your gut health in a good place!
Since I have laid out what probiotics are, and the fact that they can help with gut health, especially if you are dealing with any issues above ... I want to talk about where to find them.
Typically, you will find them in fermented foods, which is a process where carbs and starches are broken down by bacteria. Actually, this is a way of preserving foods.
Foods with probiotics include:
Many of these foods above are not a consistent daily choice for very many of us. Yogurt is about the only one that I have seen the people I work with consume semi-regularly.
Knowing that, and knowing how hectic someone’s life may get, we wanted to provide a solution that is much more convenient.
This is exactly why we have made multiple products that contain probiotics, including a standalone probiotic supplement.
As I mentioned above, we have multiple products that contain probiotics, That said, we do have one that is specifically just probiotics, and I'm going to start with that one.
1st Phorm Probiotic contains 8 billion shelf-stable CFUs of living and healthy bacteria. These are mainly from the strain Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is one of the most common “healthy” bacteria found in the gut.
I know, 8 billion sounds like quite a bit, but remember that there are TRILLIONS of living microorganisms in the body.
Also, it's important to note that CFU is the measuring unit used for probiotics ... while "shelf-stable" simply means they are able to stay alive while being stored on a shelf before being purchased and consumed.
The second product I want to discuss is our Daily Essential Nutrient Pack, called Micro Factor. This is a supplement to help fill all known and unknown gaps in our diets.
Containing 6 different products in one quick and convenient little packet, Micro Factor contains the probiotic supplement mentioned above.
That way, you're not only taking care of your gut health, but also getting in much of your daily micronutrient needs.
Last, but definitely not least, is our green superfood powder, Opti-Greens 50. Opti-Greens 50 contains 1 billion CFUs of a powerful probiotic called “DDS-1”.
Not only do you get the probiotic, but you also get a blend of 8 organic greens and grasses, phytonutrients from a wide variety of fruits/veggies, and so much more.
Technically, you CAN use all of them! However, that is not my suggestion, and I want to help you prioritize to see the most benefit.
Since Micro Factor delivers a broad spectrum of nutrients, and fills daily gaps in our diets, that is where I would start. It can help establish a solid foundation for any healthy lifestyle and supplement regiment to build off of.
Opti Greens 50 would be my next suggestion for many people. This is because with Opti-Greens 50, you're able to get such a wide variety of nutrients that are difficult to consume through food.
Heck, when was the last time you ate Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Alfalfa, and Oat Grass all in one day? If you're like me, it's probably been a while.
Probiotic could be a great tool if you are battling some of the symptoms I mentioned above, and want to kick that probiotic number even higher than one of the two previous options above.
It's a great choice to help alleviate any issues that may be arising from poor gut flora balance, or if you were recently taking an antibiotic, due to the fact that it targets all bacteria in the gut, not just the bad ones.
But I'm going to wrap it up here, so if you have any questions at all or need any help, please let us know! You can email us at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 from 6am-10pm CST Monday thru Friday!
Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.