The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Probiotics
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires many commitments and presents many challenges. Several factors can affect our natural health, including genetic predispositions, proper diet and ample exercise. For many looking to get in shape, altering their diets primarily will provide a solid foundation upon which to make further improvements.
However, it is critical that there is a proper balance of dietary habits: not all foods that you think are “healthy” provide every dietary need. In fact, many health-oriented foods lack a vital component that is essential to both digestive health and overall well-being: probiotics.
In order to explain how probiotics work, how you should be using them, and how you should not, let's review the dos and don'ts of consuming these valuable dietary additions.
Do: Always Consume with Food
In reality, probiotics are most effective when there is additional activity going on in your digestive system. While this is not true for every edible item available, a proper and balanced diet combined with probiotics (taken during each meal) can significantly improve the effectiveness of the supplements.
Whether your probiotics come in capsule or powder form, they are generally tasteless and easy to consume during a meal. By doing this, you will ensure that more healthy bacteria survive the digestion process and ultimately provide their intended benefits.
Do: Choose the Right Probiotics
There are hundreds of unique probiotic combinations and options on the market today: not all are right for everybody. A variety of probiotics exists that provide benefits for unique situations. Some probiotics are for better digestive health. Others provide cardiovascular benefits. There are even highly specific combinations available, like these probiotics for histamine intolerance.
Be sure to evaluate your own personal health situation and consider the specific benefits you would like to achieve before making any purchase.
Do: Look for Naturally-Occurring Probiotics
Our diets are largely devoid of healthy and natural probiotic sources – but that does not mean that they do not exist! There are many foods that are loaded with probiotics, including garlic, onions, many fruits and vegetables, and most high fiber menu options. Ultimately, most doctors agree that obtaining probiotics through natural foods is better than via supplements – but you will likely need a combination of both to meet your daily requirements.
Don't: Store Improperly
Many people give little thought to where and how they store probiotics. This can have an enormous impact on the quality of the supplement. Generally, each package will have specific advice on how to store them. However, most probiotics require dark, dry spaces with little temperature fluctuation to maximize their shelf lives. Some – such as those that come in food – should always be refrigerated to prevent spoiling of both the probiotics and the food in which they are contained.
Don't: Make Mistakes with Antibiotics
Conventional wisdom from some has suggested that consuming probiotics alongside antibiotics is a big no-no. However, this is not entirely the truth. What you want to avoid in reality is consumption of both probiotics and antibiotics at literally the same time. Health professionals actually recommend that you continue probiotic use while on antibiotics, but consume the probiotics in between doses of antibiotics.
Don't – Consume Probiotics without Medical Advice
Lastly, it is always important not making medical judgements without the advice of trained professionals. With hundreds of different probiotics and the inherent uniqueness of each person's body, guessing which probiotics you may or may not need is just that: a guessing game. As such, discussing these options with your doctor or dietitian before committing to anything is the only sensible course of action.
These six tips regarding probiotics can help you avoid inefficiencies and safeguard your personal health. Always consult with medical professionals before embarking on any change in regimen regarding supplements – when paired with the above advice, you can find the perfect probiotic supplements for your specific needs!