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Digestive Health Part 4: Bridge the Gap with Probiotics

This is the final post in the four-part series on digestive health. Here you will learn what to look for in a probiotic supplement.

There’s no argument that nutritious food is an important piece of the well-being puzzle. But what’s equally important is that you are able to digest and absorb the various nutrients in that food!

This is where probiotics can help. Probiotics are foods or supplements containing live bacteria that add to the healthy bacteria normally present in your gut. They occur naturally in fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt, but you can also find them in supplement form.

Probiotic Capsules

Here are four tips to help you choose the best probiotic supplement on your next shopping trip:

  1. Look for a fermented, soil-based probiotic that is stable at room temperature. Not only are soil-based probiotics part of our normal microbiome, they also form spores that can survive harsh conditions, like stomach acid and high temperatures.
  2. To ensure microbial diversity, choose a probiotic with at least 10 different strains of bacteria, like Bacillus coagulans and Lactobacillus plantarum.
  3. Choose a probiotic with a minimum of 30 billion colony-forming units per serving. These are shown as ‘CFU’s’ on the bottle.
  4. Look for prebiotic ingredients like vegetables and mushrooms. Prebiotics act as fuel for beneficial bacteria and help support their growth.

Found at your local Heinen’s, Nutritional Roots Probiotic is a high-quality probiotic meeting all four of these criteria. It’s a vegan blend made with soil-based organisms that support improved cognitive function, better digestive function, and immune system health.

Probiotic-containing Powders

To keep things fresh and exciting (and to avoid the trap of eating the same foods every day) it’s essential to experiment with new foods. Protein powders and greens powders offer a unique opportunity to boost nutrition while trying new recipes. These powders contain added probiotics and can easily be added to smoothies, yogurt, and homemade protein bars:

  • Plant-based protein powders like Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein (3 billion CFUs per scoop)
  • Collagen-based protein powders like Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein (2 billion CFUs per scoop)
  • Greens powders like MacroLife Naturals Macro Greens (18 billion CFUs per scoop)

Check out this week’s feature recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars!

Food for Thought …

A number of lifestyle habits can destroy the friendly bacteria in your gut and overpopulate the not-so-friendly ones. The good news is, you have control over most of these habits, including: overuse of antibiotics and hand sanitizers, smoking, chronic stress, lack of sleep, eating too many processed foods and refined sugars, using artificial sweeteners to flavor your food, and eating meat and dairy products full of hormones. As you work on minimizing these habits, taking a daily probiotic supplement is a smart way to bridge the gap and replenish your microbiome. Need advice on the best probiotic for your unique needs? Your local Heinen’s Wellness Consultant is eagerly waiting to help you!

Dr. Todd Pesek, M.D.
By Dr. Todd Pesek, MD
Dr. Todd is a holistic physician and published scholar who specializes in disease prevention and reversal toward longevity and vital living. Heinen's has partnered with Dr. Todd, making him our Chief Medical Officer. The first of his kind in the United States!

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