Managing what your body needs can get overwhelming at times. People will tell you that you need more protein, more fiber, less sugar, etc. But what about the lesser known nutrients that your body desires? People tend to neglect necessary nutrients like vitamin C, D, and E, as well as microorganism we know as probiotics.

Now, you may be thinking, "Ew! Why do we need to put bacteria into our bodies?" Lucikly, probiotics are "the good bacteria". 

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live cultures that are immensely beneficial to your body. They derive from Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces boulardii bacterias.

Our bodies already have many microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal system. Over the course of your life, certain events such as taking antibiotics, eating meats that have been given antibiotics, or even eating too much junk food, destroy your body's good bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to proliferate. Bad bacteria can cause problems with bowel movements, abdominal pain, or, worse yet, bowel perforation

Probiotics are helpful because they replace the once good bacteria that have died in your body due to events such as the ones listed above.

How Do Probiotics Help My Body?

Probiotics are mostly known for helping digestive functions. They keep things flowing regularly, if you know what I mean. Also, they help to strengthen your immune system, keeping you away from that pesky cold that keeps swarming your dorm.  

Probiotics are even used in the hospital to treat Colitis caused by overgrowth of the C. Dificile, ultimately leading to a bad bacterial infection. This infection creates toxins that harm the lining of the colon. Eventually, if treated incorrectly, your colon could rupture from the bacterial infection. 

More and more research about the benefits is being conducted, so why not try them and see how you feel?

How Do I Get Probiotics?

Rachael Stockel

There have always been ways to ingest probiotics, but recently these powerful microorganisms are being added to many popular foods.

For ages, people have been ingesting probiotics though yogurt. Be careful though, because some yogurts don't have live probiotics due to heat treatment that follows the fermentation process. However, Kefir is an excellent way to get probiotics. It's basically a mix between a smoothie and yogurt and nonetheless delicious, making it an easy and nutritious breakfast and probiotic powerhouse.. 

Kevita and Kombucha are very popular packed with probiotics. They are both lactose-free. Kevita is a company that makes sparkling probiotic drinks that are low in calorie, and high in live cultures. Kevita comes in many flavors, including, Mojita Lime Mint Coconut and Lemon Cayenne. Kevita also makes Kombucha. Kombucha is also a good replacement for coffee, since it has a good amount of caffeine in it.

There are also many regular food products that have probiotics added to them. For example, Purely Elizabeth, a popular granola company, just came out with two flavors with probiotics: chocolate sea salt and maple walnut. Also, Shakeology has probiotics in it. There are many other products with probiotics added in so keep you eyes out in the store. 

#SpoonTip: There are also supplements for probiotics if you are not interested in eating any foods with it in it.

Although probiotics  may sound scary and a little bit gross, they are integral to your immune system's health. Luckily for us, probiotics come in a wide variety, so there is a world of opportunity for how to get your daily dose.