Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics

You’ve probably heard of probiotics, and that they’re good for you… but you may be confused about why they are helpful, what they do for the body and whether you should be taking them.

I get it… I’ve asked the same questions.


Below we answer the “need to know” questions regarding probiotics:

  • What are probiotics?
  • Where do probiotics come from?
  • Why do we need probiotics?
  • How can I increase my probiotic intake?

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the trillions of “good” or “helpful” bacteria that naturally live in your gut. In fact, these little critters outnumber our own cells about 10 to 1! Crazy, right?!

Since they are so numerous, they must be doing something important.

They play a huge role in proper digestion, nutrient absorption, the healing process and immune function…

…in fact, your gut is responsible for about 70{831152ed6c31b2d70bf685057a8ccfa0a5d9aec09f3ef830c770c48681358d83} of your body’s immune function.

Ultimately, probiotics impact the way your cells, organs and entire body functions.

These 100 trillion bacteria live happily in your gut, and account for about 7 pounds of your total body weight.

Where do probiotics come from?

Remember, probiotics are bacteria… and bacteria live on everything.

Historically, we got most of our probiotics from eating dirt and fermented foods.

Now, the idea of ingesting live bacteria to promote health might seem a bit hard to swallow, but I suggest you keep reading if you or someone in your family often experience:

  • Allergies
  • Acne
  • Illness
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Colds
  • Infection

These can be warning signs that your body is lacking good bacteria.

If you have recently completed a round of antibiotics, this means you need to definitely increase your probiotics regardless of symptoms.

Why do we need probiotics?

We’re designed to receive our first dose of probiotics from Mom during the physical birthing process.

Babies are born with no gut bacteria. The population of gut bacteria in these first few years of life is crucial.

With increasing cesarean section rates, living in over-sanitized and antibiotic abundant environments, many of us have far less than the optimal amount of good bacteria in our guts.

We are also guilty of washing everything… which means the trillions of organisms along for the ride are eliminated.

On top of all that, we kill off many of our existing probiotic bacteria with poor nutrition, prescription medications and stressful lifestyles.

How can I increase my probiotic intake?

Eating By Design is our body’s primary and best approach to meeting our nutrient requirements with the least amount of toxicity… but sometimes we need a little help.

Get your Eat By Design Manual here.

A supplement is the easiest way to restore the bacterial balance in your gut.

We recommend a 10-30 billion CFU/day. There are plenty of brands out there selling probiotics, so be sure to look for the following when choosing your supplement:

  • Number of live colonies in each capsule (before expiry date) is indicated
  • Several different types of bacteria are included (minimum of 10 billion)

A shelf-stable probiotic is most convenient, with ease of use anytime, anywhere – no refrigeration required.

If you’re a practice member at The Powerhouse, we’ve got you covered.  We stock one of the highest quality probiotic supplements, in addition to the other Eat By Design Essentials: Omega 3 and Vitamin D3.

For kids, a probiotic powder is recommended, as it can be mixed with pureed food or sauces.

If you are pregnant, check out this article outlining everything you need to know about probiotics during pregnancy.

Can I get probiotics from real food sources?

Fermented foods are the ideal way for boosting your daily dose of probiotics.

The fermentation process naturally produces probiotics, just like the ones found in a commercial supplement.

So, the more probiotic rich foods you eat, the less probiotic supplementation you will require.

Fermented foods include:

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha Tea (click for recipe link)
  • Pickles (unpasteurized, preservative-free)
  • Olives (in brine, preservative-free)
  • Coconut Kefir
  • Beet Kvass
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, unfiltered)

Fermented vegetables can be added to a salad, served as a side or even popped into a smoothie.

Replace your morning high-sugar juice with kombucha for a flavourful and beneficial boost.

Adding in a probiotic supplement or consuming them naturally really is one of the simplest first steps to a healthy life.

Discover the other essential steps to living your Life By Design by scheduling your Complimentary Consultation with one of our Chiropractors or attending one of our Life By Design Workshops.

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Thea is a Life By Design Chiropractor, author, blogger and international speaker on creating extraordinary health. Thea is passionate about powering your health, allowing you to create an extraordinary life! She has long known the benefits of regular Chiropractic care, experiencing drastic improvements in athletic and academic performance as well as an enhanced quality of life. Dr Thea shares the simple principles of achieving total health and inspires families to reach their full potential. Thea and her partner Brian own and practice from The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada.