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types of probiotics and why they’re great for you

Balance—the key to life, happiness, and … gut bacteria? The first two may take some soul-searching, but when it comes to finding balance in gut health, probiotics may be the answer you’ve been searching for.

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the various types of probiotics lately. These supplements and foods contain live cultures of certain beneficial bacteria. When you take probiotics, the bacteria pass through your upper digestive tract into your gut. More and more studies are being done on the effects that the bacteria that live in the gut have on health, and the findings have come as a bit of a surprise to some doctors and researchers.

What science is now beginning to piece together is that the bacteria in the gut, also called gut flora or microbiome, are influence many different health functions. A good balance of gut bacteria can help protect against a range of serious problems, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease. Conversely, an imbalance in the gut flora can disrupt your digestion, your sleep, your mood and compromised immune system. The more we learn about the microbiome, the more it seems that understanding the balance—and making sure that the balance is correct—is key to ongoing health.

Enter probiotics, which may help create the kind of balance that you need to be healthier. Probiotics can be especially important for people who need to augment their gut flora with good bacteria, which may have been depleted by medications like antibiotics. If you struggle with digestive issues, probiotic


Probiotics increase the amount of healthy gut flora, providing a boost to the immune system. This lift helps counter or prevent seasonal illnesses. Eating foods that are rich in live culture probiotics and taking probiotic supplements are smart ways to enhance your immune system so that when cold and flu season comes around, you’re strong enough to stay healthy.


Lots of delicious foods contain probiotic cultures, and high-quality probiotic supplements, such as RECHARGE HEALTH Core Value Prebiotic+Probiotic, can further buoy your immune system.

You’re probably already familiar with some food sources of probiotics, like yogurt, but there are many others that will likely be completely new to you. Here are a few other excellent food choices if you’re trying to add probiotics to your daily diet:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Natto
  • Kombucha

Some of the foods on that list may not be familiar to you. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable (like sauerkraut), that usually includes radishes as well other ingredients. Natto is a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. Kombucha is a drink with a tea base.

A note about apple cider vinegar: this is a great overall health tonic and has many healing properties, including lowering blood sugar. However, if you’re going to take apple cider vinegar, always dilute it with water—it’s much too strong otherwise and can damage your teeth if you drink too much. Also, be sure to check that the apple cider vinegar you use has live cultures. You should be able to see what’s called the “mother” (strands of proteins and enzymes) floating in the bottom of the bottle: That’s how you know it’s got live cultures.

It is possible to get all types of probiotics from food, but you’ll have to eat an awful lot of them to get the amount and/or types of probiotics that you need. That’s why many health professionals recommend taking probiotic supplements, which provide concentrated live cultures in larger amounts.


Hundreds of bacteria, yeasts, and viruses live in your gut. Bifidobacteria and lactobacillus are the two that you can add to your diet.

Bifidobacteria is most often found in natural food sources and supplements. This probiotic species boosts the immune system, limits the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, and breaks down lactose in dairy foods so that the body can use the essential components.

Lactobacillus produces lactase. People who are lactose intolerant often don’t have enough of this probiotic. Lactobacillus also creates lactic acid, which increases the body’s absorption of certain minerals and also replaces unhealthy bacteria in the intestines.


One of the most frequently asked questions about probiotics is whether it’s to take them along with antibiotics. Doctors often suggest probiotics when prescribing antibiotics but don’t always explain the connection between the two.

Here’s the story: Antibiotics wipe out some bacteria in the gut, even good bacteria. That’s why people often get diarrhea when they take an antibiotic. The healthy gut flora that maintains the right balance is disrupted and that causes diarrhea.

When you take a probiotic supplement, you are essentially repopulating the good bacteria in your gut. For that reason, it is important that you never take antibiotics and probiotics at the same time. If you do, the probiotics don’t have a chance to provide you with any benefit because they may be killed by the antibiotic. Instead, take the antibiotic and the probiotic a few hours apart, with enough space in between that the good bacterial from the probiotics have a chance to reach your gut. The time lapse between doses gives the probiotics time to work. Whatever good bacteria manage to survive the antibiotic are joined by the new live cultures from the probiotic supplement, and from there you can start to rebuild a healthy balance of gut flora.


When it comes to choosing which probiotics to try, taking a quality supplement is essential. If you don’t start with a high-quality supplement, those live cultures may not survive the journey through your stomach (and its high-acid environment) and into your gut to thrive. And if they’re not alive, they’re no good to you. Try RECHARGE HEALTH Core Value Prebiotic+Probiotic, which contains Fructooligosaccharides, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, Bacillus Coagulans BGI-30 and Rice Flour, all of which are naturally sourced and derived from whole foods.

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