If you don't live under a rock, you've *probably* seen, heard, or read something about probiotics in the last few months. Probiotics are everywhere, from your favorite instagrammer's selfie with kombucha to grocery store aisles, and even memes.

milk, coffee, yogurt, cream, sweet
Kristine Mahan

Probiotics (aka "good bacteria") are the new superstars in the world of balanced living and gut health. While it sounds pretty gross, these good bacteria help keep your immune system strong and your digestive system on the right track... literally. Your gut is home to over 100 trillion intestinal microorganisms, and while some of these help promote health and immunity, others can be harmful and make you feel bloated, nauseous, and irritable. Yikes!

coffee, tea
Hana Brannigan

Basically, probiotics balance the "bad" bacteria in your gut and keep your body happy. They keep your intestinal tract healthy by aiding digestion, absorbing micronutrients, and protecting against other bacteria. In addition to easing digestive issues like IBS and giving your skin a nice I-just-did-sunrise-yoga-and-drank-two-bottles-of-kombucha-y glow, probiotics can even alleviate depression. Talk about miracle microorganisms. 

Gut health is incredibly important, especially because of the link between your brain and your stomach. There's a reason phrases like "butterflies in your stomach" and "gut-wrenching feeling" exist. Your gut is hypersensitive to emotional changes. For example, when the brain thinks about eating, it sends signals to the stomach to release digestive juices before the food even gets there. Because of this connection, your upset stomach can be the cause OR the product of stress, anxiety, or depression. Cool, right?

Pickles, Skewer, sticks, sky
Brooke Shuler

While many people take a probiotic supplement, you can also increase your probiotic intake by eating certain foods like greek yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and pickles. Any fermented foods like these will give you the dose of probiotics you need. 

Another great way to get more probiotics is apple cider vinegar. ACV is a fantastic source of probiotics in addition to other nutrients that can control diabetes and aid weight loss. Try adding 1-2 tablespoons to a glass of warm water with lemon juice and drinking it first thing in the morning! This concoction will help you start your day with a happy, balanced gut.

So go grab that new kombucha flavor you've been wanting to try and maybe even a yogurt too. Your digestive system will thank you.