This might be a little too much TMI, but up until university, I would get stomach aches all the time.
As a kid I didn’t eat healthy at all. And although that definitely took a toll on my body on more ways than one, once I entered university I really started to actively change the things I put in my body. You know what happened when I ate more natural food? Not only did I lose weight, but my stomach aches subsided and now it’s pretty rare for me to actually get them.
Gut health is super important to me. When I choose to eat — and for a lack of a better word — shitty food, I feel it and I feel it for a while after. I meal prep every Sunday so I don’t feel the urge to go out and eat processed, greasy food during the week (I have to say though, that weekends are a different story – hey, we’re all allowed to have fun!). I’ve heard a lot about probiotics from friends, but since I usually try to make good food made from whole ingredients, I’ve never really bothered to look into them.
Renew Life reached out to me a few months back and asked me to take a 30-day challenge to test out their probiotics while taking extra care of my fitness and healthy-eating routine. They hooked me up with the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 billion probiotic, The Keto Diet, and a Leaf by Bellabeat fitness tracker. Since I work out everyday and eat healthy for the most part, I thought this was going to be a breeze.
And it was, for the most part.
I actually own an Apple watch already which I use on a daily basis to track my move goal anyways, so although I didn’t really need the Leaf by Bellabeat, it did make a cute accessory and did help me realize the things my Apple watch doesn’t do, like track my stress levels and sleep (it’s crazy accurate), and help me meditate before falling asleep at night (I love this feature in the app). As for the Keto Diet, although I did find the theory of high fat interesting, I was told by a nutritionist to keep fat at a minimum so it’s forever ingrained in my head to do so. I did make her ranch chicken salad recipe (with some modifications) and loved it so much that I did it two weeks in a row. That was the only recipe I tried since a lot of the meal plans were pork heavy, and being Jewish, I don’t actually eat pork (well, I try not to at least haha).
Anyways, fitness and health helpers aside, we are here to actually talk about the probiotics. If you’re clueless like I was about what these actually are, let me enlighten you. Probiotics the beneficial bacteria that grow naturally in our intestinal tract. Its primary role is to aid in digestion, however, studies have also shown that they help with immune system function as well. The point of the probiotic supplements is to bolster what your body is already making, or to compensate for what your gut may be lacking in order to balance the good and bad bacteria. In short, you would take these probiotics as daily supplements that support healthier digestion and re-balance your gut flora.
Probiotics have also been shown to help with skin concerns since gut health can affect the appearance of skin. In addition to taking probiotics, there are also several things you can do to improve your gut health, such as drinking plenty of H2O, limiting the amount of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine (all things I do on a regular basis). Also, and this is kinda cool, studies have shown that having plants in your home and spending time with pets can help as well.
For the past month I have taken one capsule of the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 billion probiotic, which is ideal for people with chronic digestive issues or those who want to strengthen their immune system after a round of antibiotics. This once-a-day probiotic features 50 billion active cultures from 10 strains of bacteria (as a comparison, typical probiotic yogurt contains one-billion bacteria). Not only are these good for your gut, but they may also produce B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, which can help boost energy levels.
Since I was travelling a lot this past month I do have some probiotics still left to finish (they have to be refrigerated since its a live culture, so I didn’t bring them on my trips), overall though, I have found that I have felt good, gut wise, and I’ve had a healthy digestive system (again, too much TMI?).
I’m not one to actually take multivitamins or anything like that on a daily basis, but I have been enjoying the way I’ve been feeling lately. I really like the idea of having a nice gut health and adding something new to my health routine. I have the fitness and the eating down (for the most part on the latter), but adding these extra little goodies that I can incorporate on a daily basis is always a plus in my books.
Do you take probiotics? What do you do for healthy gut health?
Please note, I was provided with these items by PR. All opinions are my own.
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