Why Every Woman Should Consider Probiotics
Are you wondering whether you should be taking probiotics for women? Learn more about the link between probiotics and improved gut and vaginal health.
You have more bacteria inside your gut than you have cells in your entire body (approximately 10 times more, to be exact). That’s pretty hard to imagine, isn’t it? Though we often talk about bacteria with disdain, not all bacteria are bad. In fact, without the diverse colonies of beneficial bacteria inside our digestive tracts, we wouldn’t be able to digest our food or extract nutrients from it.
But it’s not just the gut that contains essential bacteria. The vagina and urinary tract also contain a delicate balance of bacteria that work together to create a hostile environment for unwanted bacteria. The ideal vaginal pH is anywhere between 3.8 to 4.5. Anything outside of this range could lead to a bacterial imbalance. We’ll talk about problems that can arise from imbalanced vaginal bacteria in a minute.
First, let’s talk about probiotics for women (such as the kind included in Hersmoothie) and how they can help us ladies maintain the ideal bacterial balance in our digestive tract, urinary tract, and vagina.
What Are Probiotics?
You’ve most likely heard of probiotics before, but do you find yourself wondering, “What are probiotics, and do I really need them?” While some of us ladies can get by without ever consuming a single probiotic supplement, many of us could benefit from taking such products regularly.
Probiotics are microorganisms that can help our bodies function optimally. There are many different types of probiotic bacteria, including these common probiotic strains:
- B. animalis
- B. lactis
- B. breve
- B. longum
- L. reuteri
- L. acidophilus
- L. rhamnosus gg
- L. fermentum
The “B.” in the above names stands for “Bifidobacteria,” while the “L.” stands for “Lactobacillus.” These are the two main species of commonly-consumed probiotics. When we don’t have a healthy balance of these bacteria in our bodies, we can become more susceptible to digestive discomfort, illness, infections, and other not-so-fun problems.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?
Women’s probiotic supplements provide various health benefits. For example, they can:
- Help us digest food
- Support healthy gut bacteria
- Boost immune health
- Aid in nutrient absorption
- Discourage the growth of harmful microorganisms in the body
- Help keep the vagina and urinary tract free from infection
Dr. formulated probiotics are a girl’s best friend. They can not only keep us regular in the bathroom and help us avoid excessive bloating, but they can also help us feel and smell fresh “down there.”
How Do Probiotics Help With Digestive Health?
Is it really necessary to have creepy-crawly bacteria living rent-free in our digestive tracts if we want to have a healthy digestive system? The answer is, “yes!” Those creepy little tenants are actually quite hospitable guests. They keep to themselves for the most part and make life a lot more enjoyable by forcing shady characters out. Every time we enjoy a meal without bloating, gas, or other forms of abdominal discomfort afterward, we can thank the healthy bacteria in our digestive system.
On the other hand, for those of us who experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, frequent vaginal infections, or poor urinary tract health, it’s time to seriously consider taking a probiotic supplement. These supplements can work wonders for women’s health.
What we eat either feeds the good bacteria in our gut or starves them. Unfortunately, good bacteria don’t like foods high in sugars, trans fats, food dyes, or other unhealthy ingredients. These foods are not conducive to healthy gut flora and can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
For those of us who are experiencing poor gut health or declining overall health due to eating heavily processed foods, taking probiotic supplements can help.
How Do Probiotics Help With Vaginal health?
As they do with gut health, probiotics can also boost vaginal health. They do this by helping us maintain a good vaginal flora balance. There are more than 50 different species of microbes that live within the vagina. These microbes help keep the vaginal microbiome healthy so it’s less susceptible to infection.
Insufficient healthy bacteria and an overgrowth of unwanted microbes in the vagina can lead to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and other conditions we’d rather not experience firsthand. Unfortunately, when we develop a vaginal imbalance, we also have an increased chance of developing a urinary tract infection. Those of us who have experienced urinary tract infections before know they can be extremely painful and debilitating.
Fortunately, there are raw probiotics women can take to help restore vaginal health. Research shows that probiotics found in capsules, yogurt, powders, and vaginal suppositories may help treat and even prevent vaginal imbalances. We can further boost our vaginal and gut health by choosing to eat healthy foods and by taking vitamin supplements as needed to improve our overall health.
What Are the Types of Probiotics?
If you’re wondering how to take the best probiotics for gut and vaginal health, you should know there are various forms available. Here are some of the most common:
And of course, there are probiotic-rich foods you can consume to boost your healthy bacteria levels. We’ll mention some of these foods in greater detail later on in this guide.
Which Probiotics Do I Need?
When looking for the best probiotics for women, you need to make sure any product you buy contains the right kind of bacterium for your needs. For example, if you’re most concerned about your vaginal flora and keeping infections at bay, look for a product that contains bacteria known to promote vaginal health. A good example is Bacillus subtilis. This bacterium exists naturally in the GI system. It is also known for its role in preventing fungus growth (such as Candida albicans) in the vaginal microbiome.
One great feature Bacillus subtilis exhibits is its hardiness. It is heat-resistant and has a unique ability to survive the harsh environments it encounters in both the stomach and the vagina. Hersmoothie contains Bacillus subtilis, which is one reason why it’s such a great choice for any woman who wants to boost her vaginal, gut, and overall health. Plus, it comes in powder form so you can easily mix it into a glass of water and enjoy. No capsules involved!
Should Every Woman Take Probiotics?
Optimal health is such a personal thing, and all our bodies are unique. For women who never get urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or stomach discomfort, probiotics may not be necessary. But for those of us who experience occasional abdominal discomfort, are prone to bacterial infections, or simply feel like our immune systems could use a boost, taking probiotics for women might be the best thing we ever do for our health.
How Can I Get More Probiotics Into My Diet?
In addition to taking the best probiotic supplements, we can get more probiotics in our diet by selecting the right foods. Here are a few great options:
- Yogurt (choose less sugary varieties though, since sugar feeds bad bacteria)
- Sourdough bread (as long as it is made with fermented flour)
- Cottage cheese
Don’t forget to also eat prebiotic foods. Prebiotics are foods that contain plant fibers that are good for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Some good examples of prebiotic foods include:
- Chicory root
- Wheat bran
- Jicama root
Basically, if you want to eat more prebiotics, consume more healthy foods that are rich in fiber. Prebiotics can help boost healthy gut bacteria and aid in digestion.
Want to learn more tips about how to enjoy your healthiest life? Check out Mixhers resources for great health and lifestyle advice for women, from women.