Bloating, Gas, Constipation. These pesky symptoms always seem to show up at the worst times, often after a heavy meal. They can also signal that your gut is in serious need of some TLC. One way to increase your gut health is with a daily probiotic. But, before you run out to buy a probiotic, you need to understand what they are and how they help.
All the bacteria living in your gut, both good and bad, make up your “gut flora”. These bacteria are beneficial for proper gut function. Your gut flora helps digest food, prevent illness, and reduces allergies. Problems with your gut develop when there are too many of either type of bacteria. These problems can include bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
A bad gut doesn’t only show up in the form of digestive problems. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your brain function that can also be a sign your gut is out-of-whack. Certain skin conditions, such as acne and dermatitis, are also linked to bad gut issues. Maintaining a balanced gut flora is key to a healthy digestive system.
Benefits Of Taking A Probiotic
Taking a probiotic daily can help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. These good bacteria are found in foods and in certain supplements. Some yogurts contain live cultures of the good bacteria. Milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus also has live cultures of healthy gut bacteria. Many stores carry supplements containing probiotics that you can purchase over the counter.
As women age, they are more susceptible to certain health issues, especially osteoporosis. The good news, for women over 40, is many of the probiotics you find today contain other vitamins as well. It is easier than ever to get your gut back to a healthy state. Try adding one of the probiotics below to your daily regimen.
For women over 40, a decrease in hormones also means a decrease in bone density. Bone density is also known as bone strength and the lower that number, the more brittle your bones are. This leads to an increase in breaks or fractures of the bone. A probiotic with added calcium is great for anyone at risk for osteoporosis. One benefit of a high-calcium probiotic is they also prevent vaginal yeast infections.
Soy-based probiotics are a great option for anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which have a weak estrogen property to them. Because of this, they can help slow down bone loss in women over 40. Soy is also known to reduce breast cancer and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Probiotics With Cranberry And Vitamin D
Urinary tract problems are a familiar nuisance for women over 40. The supporting organ for the bladder can weaken as women age. If the bladder prolapses, or drops, it has trouble emptying. This causes a rise in urinary tract infections. Taking a probiotic with cranberry and vitamin D helps prevent those infections. They also help decrease vaginal yeast infections. Even better is their ability to improve brain, immune, and digestive health.
Probiotics For Allergy Sufferers
There are also probiotics for those suffering from food-related allergies. Ingredients such as soy, gluten, or dairy may cause digestive upset and other problems. Some companies have started making probiotics free of these ingredients. You can also eat foods free of these ingredients that contain natural probiotics. Some examples would be sauerkraut, dairy-free yogurt, and kimchi.
Not all probiotics are the same, so don’t take one without first consulting your doctor. The best way to get the most out of a probiotic is to limit your sugar intake. Sugar promotes the growth of the bad gut bacteria. Probiotics are a great way for women over 40 to equalize their digestive bacteria.