Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut (i.e. microbiome) which help promote a good immune system and digestive system. If someone has a good digestive system, it will help with skin health as well.
Every person’s gut’s makeup of probiotics is unique. Unfortunately, most individuals don’t have a perfect microbiome; therefore, it’s really important to supplement with probiotic foods. It’s never too early or too late to start taking your probiotic bacteria intake seriously.
Where Can You Find Probiotics?
Individuals will commonly answer:
Today, I want to highlight two less common sources: Natto Beans & Tempeh.
Through my 10 years of practice, I have always acted as a cheerleader for Natto Beans. The only individuals who ever get excited about eating Natto beans are individuals who are of Japanese decent. I recently met a non- Japanese individual who also shares a passion for eating Natto Beans; it was an instant bonding moment.
Natto Beans are fermented soybeans; they are best known for its strong odour and slimy texture. I admit- it is an acquired taste. I have personally grown up in a household where the philosophy of health comes before taste; therefore, I am able to stomach it and I eat Natto Beans purely for its health benefit as it offers probiotics and very little sodium. If you are feeling adventurous and eat items purely for health benefits, this is an item you want to look for the next time you are in Chinese or Korean supermarket. They usually come in packs of 3 or 4 and are found in refrigerators.
For those not quite ready to take the leap of faith, give Tempeh a try. Tempeh is also fermented soybeans; however, it’s typically more firm than the traditional tofu and has a bit more of an earthy taste. Tempeh comes usually in brick and is very easy to slice and resembles the texture of meat very much.
How Much Probiotics Do You Need Per Day?
I am comfortable with recommending the average individual to take at least 30 billion Colony Forming Units (CFU). It’s really hard to overdo probiotics as some individuals need to take up to 200 billion CFU if they are using it for therapeutic purposes. For the regular healthy individual who wants to boost his/her immune system and/or maintain good health, 30 billion CFU per day is good.
Do You Recommend Any Supplement Brands?
As a Registered Dietitian, I always say Food First. Refer above for the many different types of food you can consider incorporating into your daily diet; however, if you feel like you need an extra boost here and there, here are some wonderful suggestions:
Each container contains 50 billion CFU. This brand has both lactose free and lactose containing options. Compared to Kefir, this is a much more concentrated dose of probiotics. It is very effective! 🙂
If you are new to this brand, it is recommended to start out by taking 1/4 of the container. Increase to 1/2 the container on the 2nd day. Increase to 3/4 the container on the 3rd day. You can finally take the whole container on the 4th day to allow your body to adjust.
Many patients have told me what a wonderful product this is and has helped them to become regular. I know of coworkers who use this product as a way to boost their immune system before the start of the winter season. When I have taken it, a key difference is the bulk of my stool. I have mentioned before that as a Registered Dietitian, I am comfortable talking about bowel movements as this is a regular topic of discussion throughout my day.
2. Genestra Human Microflora (HMF)
This brand incorporates safe and effective strains from the latest evidenced based research in human trials. My mother finds great success with the brand as with other patients.
Probiotics are suggested for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and/or ulcerative colitis; however, many patients with these conditions tell me that probiotics don’t work for them. Initially, for these clients, one may want to consider digestive enzymes first before venturing into the probiotic supplement. As part of a healthy lifestyle, one can always take probiotics as a supplement to promote good gut and immune health.
3. The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder & Collagen Inner Beauty Boost
For individuals who are considering probiotic supplement but never tried before, this is probably a good option to start with. It tastes wonderful and is easy to take as all you need is to mix the liquid and powder with water. The Collagen Inner Beauty Boost is a bit misleading in the name as it does not contain any collagen; however, it is a rich prebiotic and probiotic blend intended to help with skin and digestive health. It is best if you take both of these supplements together. One will be in powder form and one will be in liquid form. When mixed together, it tastes divine!!!
Food For Thought: To boost your immune & digestive system, do you need to increase your probiotic food and/or supplement intake? By improving your digestive system, glowing skin may be the end result!