When it comes to your gut health, probiotics for women play a very important role. The right balance of bacteria in your gut helps prevent certain illnesses, keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and helps you feel better overall. At Naples Vitality in Naples, FL, we can help you understand how to use probiotics to keep your gut bacteria in balance and help you become the healthiest you can be.
Women need good gut health throughout their lives at different ages as hormones change and fluctuate, and probiotics can also help with vaginal issues like odor and yeast infections. The best probiotics for women have certain characteristics in common. Because not all probiotics are the same, it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a probiotic for you.
Qualities of the Best Probiotics for Women
Live and Active Cultures
The most important characteristic of a top probiotic is that it contains live and active cultures. Your probiotic will state this on the label if it includes these cultures. If the bacteria in your probiotic is not live, it will be useless in your gut and a waste of your money and effort.
Some probiotics will need refrigeration, and others will not. You will want to choose a probiotic that has a long shelf life so that the cultures remain alive and active. Look for a probiotic with a shelf life of at least 2 years, especially if it does not need refrigeration.
The CFU count tells you how many viable cells there are in the probiotic you choose. The higher the CFU count, the more viable cells you will have and the more you will get out of your probiotic.
You will want to choose a probiotic with a variety of different strains of bacteria. This is important to achieving a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut because you need many different strains represented. Look for a probiotic with as many active strains as possible for the best results.
Some of the most popular strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus, a strain that is typically found in dairy foods. Bifidobacterium longum is a strain that helps your body break down proteins and carbohydrates. Lactobacillus plantarum is helpful because it attacks bad bacteria, protecting you from getting sick. These are just a few of the strains you may get from a probiotic.
A probiotic that is coated will have a delayed release that will help you from getting an upset stomach and will keep the probiotic in the right place in your gut.
Reasons To Use Probiotics
One of the most important roles of probiotics is to bring balance to the bacteria in your gut. Your gut contains all kinds of bacteria, including bad bacteria that can make you sick. Probiotics help target and destroy that harmful bacteria and keep the types of good bacteria in the right combination so that they can work for you.
Immune System Health
The right balance of probiotics supports a healthy immune system. Your immune system needs to function at its highest level in order to keep you from getting sick from viruses and bacteria that you come in contact with throughout your daily life. Probiotics will keep your immune system working properly so you don’t catch illnesses.
Urinary Tract Infection
Probiotics can help all parts of your body, and that includes your urinary system. You can help prevent urinary tract infections by taking probiotics that allow healthy bacteria to thrive in your gut and prevent the growth of damaging bacteria that can cause infections such as urinary tract infections. If you commonly suffer from UTIs, probiotics could be an important addition to your routine.
Probiotics are helpful for all kinds of digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. These are disorders that can damage the quality of your life and keep you from doing things you enjoy. Probiotics can help fight these conditions so you can be free to live the life you want again,
Bacteria doesn’t just exist in your gut. There are also healthy and unhealthy bacteria present in your mouth, and bad bacteria can cause gum disease. Probiotics can help add healthy bacteria to your mouth and fight against gum disease. Gum disease can cause tooth loss and even other infections in the body.
Eczema is a skin condition that involves embarrassing rashes that are sometimes itchy and painful. The proper balance of healthy bacteria can help prevent and clear eczema so you can stop the itch and show your skin again.
Upper Respiratory Infections
If you suffer from coughing and sneezing due to an upper respiratory infection, you may be able to find relief by taking probiotics. This can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your throat and lungs as well as your gut to help you breathe more easily and clear blockages.
Bad bacteria is often what causes diarrhea, and this can become chronic if you don’t do something to restore the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can bring in the healthy bacteria and fight the bad bacteria. This will help to prevent diarrhea and give you a healthy digestive system.
You may not think of mental health as being helped by bacteria, but it is true that the right balance of bacteria can actually fight problems like depression and anxiety. If you suffer from these mental health issues, try using probiotics to find relief.
Heart disease can be deadly to women, Probiotics can increase the function of your heart and help strengthen your cardiovascular system. Take probiotics if you have been told you are at risk for heart disease or to help prevent heart disease as you get older.
If you suffer from allergies, you might find that taking a probiotic can help relieve some of that suffering. Take a probiotic to see if your allergies are decreased and you are better able to tolerate plants or other things that have bothered you in the past.
One excellent reason to take a probiotic is to increase weight loss. Using a probiotic as part of a weight loss plan that includes exercise and eating the right foods can lead to greater loss of weight and specifically belly fat.
Good vaginal health requires the right balance of bacteria in your gut and in your vagina. A probiotic will work to keep this proper balance of good bacteria as well as eliminate bacteria that could cause infection, irritation, and even vaginal odor.
Foods with Probiotics
Can You Get Probiotics Through Food?
You can get probiotics through certain foods, but some of these foods can be hard to find. Also, it is difficult to know which strains you are getting and to get a variety of bacterial strains through eating alone. Even if you get some of your probiotics through fermented foods, you will still want to take an oral probiotic to be sure you are getting the right bacteria and enough of it.
Foods That Contain Probiotics
Yogurt is probably the most popular probiotic food, but not all yogurt contains probiotics. The only yogurt that has live and active cultures will contain probiotics. Also, yogurt can contain a lot of sugar which can make some health problems worse instead of better.
This is a fermented food that contains probiotics when made in a traditional way. However, some sauerkraut is made using vinegar instead of fermentation, so it is difficult to know if you are getting probiotic benefits if you eat it at a restaurant or do not have access to the nutrition label. Also, some sauerkraut is pasteurized, which also removes the probiotics.
Traditional pickles are made by fermenting cucumbers. In order to get probiotic benefits from pickles, you will need to choose pickles that contain live and active cultures. These pickles are not those on the grocery store shelf. They must be refrigerated. You can also make these pickles yourself in your home.
Olives are created through fermentation. Like pickles, not all olives you find in the grocery store will have live and active cultures. You will need to look for specific olives to get any probiotics.
Many types of cheese contain probiotics, but it has to be raw and unpasteurized. Most cheese in the United States is pasteurized. However, if you can find raw cheese it will have some probiotic strains.
Kefir is another dairy product that is made from fermented milk. It is consumed as a beverage and can usually be found in specialty stores.
This Indonesian fermented soybean food is similar to tofu and comes in a loaf or block. It can be used in cooking in place of meat or pasta. It is another food that is most easily found in specialty stores.
This is fermented tea. It is usually made from black tea or green tea. In order to contain probiotics, however, kombucha must be pasteurized. If you are drinking unpasteurized kombucha, you are not getting the probiotic benefits. Also, be aware that Kombucha does have alcoholic content.
Kimchi is a side dish found in Korean cuisine that contains fermented vegetables. This dish is also sometimes pasteurized and sometimes isn’t and will only contain probiotics if it is unpasteurized.
This dish is made from fermented soybeans and is part of the Japanese food tradition. It can sometimes be found at Japanese restaurants or in grocery stores specializing in Asian products.
This is a Russian drink that is made by fermenting rye bread. Kvass does include alcohol and tastes something like beer. It may be found at Russian restaurants and can come in different flavors.
Probiotics are Important To Women’s Health
Taking a probiotic is a healthy choice for women and will help with a large variety of conditions, diseases, and issues from digestive problems to mental health trouble. Taking the right probiotic is essential to getting the most out of this healthy routine. Be sure your probiotic includes live and active cultures and a variety of bacteria. Be sure to take an oral probiotic instead of relying on food.
Contact us at Naples Vitality in Naples, FL to learn about living a healthy, vibrant lifestyle and about which probiotics are the best for you. We want to help you live your best life, and we offer educational programs that will teach you how to have energy, increase your immunity, and maintain a healthy weight and body.