You’ve added a probiotic to your diet—maybe an afternoon yogurt snack, or a kefir or similar drink at lunch, or maybe just a probiotic supplement with breakfast.
And you’re feeling better—maybe you’ve noticed some weight loss, better digestion, fewer instances of food poisoning, or any of the other benefits studies have shown come from probiotics.
Presumably, you’ve established a healthy colony of gut bacteria. Do you still need to stay up on taking a probiotic?
Yes! There are many ways your good gut colony could be disturbed: a string of bad eating habits (extra pumpkin pie or other sugars, for instance), a round of antibiotics, an illness… and according to a new study, even if you don’t notice some event like that, your genes could be sabotaging you.
There’s a good chance that you’ve inherited one or another type of bacteria from your parents, or possibly an inclination toward one type or another. Thin families tend to have thin-encouraging bacteria, obese families tend to have weight gain encouraging bacteria.
That means you have ongoing work to do encouraging a healthy colony with probiotics (and prebiotics, like garlic, onion, and other foods).
Good thing it’s easy! Most probiotic rich foods are healthy and delicious—just make sure you read labels and get one with lots of active colonies (pro-tip: shop the refrigerated section). If you can’t (lactose intolerant, no selection at your grocer), just take a probiotic supplement. It’s the one area of your health where it really is as easy as just taking a pill!
What are your favorite probiotic recipes? How about a good yogurt based salad dressing? Smoothies? Or pickled side-dishes?