According to a local nutritionist, the bacteria in your body outnumber your body's cells 10 to one. Most of that bacteria lives in your gut. Some can be bad and some can be good. Probiotics are considered to be a good bacteria and a way to start taking care of your gut today.
"Pro stands for good and the biotic is bacteria," said Emily Wartisk, a registered dietician at Adventist Health.
Sounds like an oxymoron but probiotics are good bacteria that help restore and maintain order in your gut's ecosystem.
"And they're responsible for helping us digest our nutrients, have a healthy immune system and decrease inflammation in our body."
Health symptoms that if ignored can cause things like Alzheimer's and depression according to recent studies. Chronic stress, unhealthy diets, and exposure to pollutants or chemicals are some factors that can unbalance your gut health.
"I study something called functional medicine which is looking at the whole person getting to the root cause of the problem. So I see really sick patients and I always start in the gut because if your gut is unhealthy you're not gonna make any headway," said Wartisk. "And also antibiotics. If you're someone that's taken antibiotics you've probably wiped your gut clean of probiotics and good bacteria."
So how should you start? Probiotics can be taken in different ways.
"When you're looking for a probiotic you want one that doesn't have just one strain I've seen them up to 30 strains of probiotics," explained Wartisk.
The more strains of probiotics, the better. This ensures your gut has options to pick from when deciding which good bacteria to keep and which to digest.
"I'm an advocate for getting your nutrition through food so if you want to focus on your gut health eat things that support your gut health naturally, that have probiotics in them [such as] Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are good options."
So whether it's a probiotic meal or supplement, the idea is to listen to your gut.