Taking probiotics has health benefits - primarily that of strengthening and regulating immune system function and strengthening gut integrity. Your best source of probiotics comes from naturally-fermented foods. Learn to make your own fermented foods. These are best made from highest quality vegetables grown on soil that is microbially robust and nutritionally balanced. In addition to lactic acid and bifidus strains of bacteria, many other strains of bacteria are proving to be benefial to our health. Microbial diversity is paramount to a healthy microbiota. A high diversity of species creates a healthy ecosystem, which increases resistance to disease.
Soil-based organisms are important to microbiome health. Historically, much of our exposure to beneficial microbes occurred through our contact with an environment that was teaming with microbes originating in a healthy balanced soil. This is largely lacking in the modern world due to mainstream agricultural practices.
Can't I just take a probiotic supplement and be done with it?
Taking probiotics does not necessarily increase the total amount of good bugs in your gut over the long haul, rather is has an effect on physiology and gut health for the duration of treatment. If you really want to make a difference in improving your microbiome, the focus needs to be on feeding the healthy gut bugs, allowing them to proliferate and make a home in your gut. Reduce your intake of processed foods such as sugar and flour products, processed vegetable oils and food additives. Naturally fermented foods improve the gut microbiota, as does the intake of a diet high in plant foods which contain plenty of fiber and prebiotics.
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Dr. Jacinta Willems, Naturopathic Doctor
Optimizing Health and Wellness Using Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine