Everyone says, "Take Probiotics". Why are they important? How do they help fight Candida? Let's take a look...
What are probiotics? Probiotic supplements contain live micro-organisms that when consumed, help restore a healthy flora in your gut. A healthy gut is essential to our ability to digest food and properly absorb nutrients from what we eat into our body.
Health Benefits of Probiotics
Health benefits of taking probiotics include: Reduced gas, bloating, and constipation. It can boost energy, increase focus and curb out of control food cravings. They can reduce inflammation, acne, eczema and regulate female health issues. Probiotics keep the bad bacteria at bay!
If you have read anything about fermented foods, you will know that many of them often lend themselves to providing healthy probiotics for your digestion. However, when dealing with an issues as big as Candida, dietary changes alone will not be enough. Enter: probiotic supplements!
All for One and One for All
There are so many products out there and unfortunately not all are created equal. Before choosing the probiotic that is best for you, it helps to understand the different kinds of probiotics that exist and what their function is in the body.
According to Dr. Edward Group there are 18 strains of probiotics that are necessary to maintaining bacteria in your gut. In his article, Dr. Group lists the various strains and describes their individual functions. I encourage you to use his list as a tool when it comes time to choosing the probiotic for you. To summarize, we can see that when strains are taken in combination it creates the perfect army for fighting candida:
Fighters: strains that fight against harmful bacteria
Protectors: strains that protect our gut lining and tooth enamel
Helpers: strains that aid in digestion, ones that help our bodies absorb vitamins minerals and nutrients, and ones that boost our immune system function
Neutralizers: strains that neutralize harmful acids in digestion, and ones that lessen skin outbreaks and the affects of environmental irritants
Balancers: strains that balance blood sugar, encourages maintenance of a healthy weight and maintains energy
Choosing a Probiotic
Choosing a probiotic can be intimidating when there are so many varieties and combinations to choose from. Below is a list of tips I have come up with on how to narrow down the probiotic that is best for you.
1. Do your research
Since we know that each strain of probiotic has a specific function, narrow down the symptoms you want to treat and make sure the supplement you choose contains the correct strain of probiotics. In the case of Candida, you will want to make sure the probiotic is well varied because the goal is to kill, protect, and heal!
2. Choose a supplement with multiple strains
Choosing a supplement that contains a higher number of probiotic strains will maximize the health benefits especially if the goal is to introduce an overall general use supplement.
3. Read the label
The label on your supplement will always list the "CFU" (colony forming units). This number indicates the quantity of live bacteria per capsule. The more live bacteria in a supplement the more effective it will be in treating your symptoms. Therefore, choosing a probiotic that has several billion CFU as opposed to several million, will give you better results.
4. Listen to your Body
There are various types of probiotics from liquid to capsule form, some that need to be kept in the refrigerator and others that need to be stored in a cool dry place. Once you have chosen a probiotic, try it for a few weeks and see if you notice changes to your health. The primary indicator that your probiotic is working is improved digestive health. If you are experiencing cramps, constipation, diarrhea etc. you may need to try a different dosage, or a different supplement. As always, it is never a bad idea to consult your doctor when making changes to your digestive health.
Overall, it took several tries for me to find a supplement that did the trick. I will be the first to tell you that eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, Kefir etc. alone is not enough to improve your gut health. Taking a supplement to heal what ails you is essential to your fight with the yeast beast. Here is a link to the supplement I take for my battle with Candida, and to date, I have had no adverse effects! I am experiencing less bloating, clearer skin, weight loss, better digestion, and an improved immune system! Regardless of the supplement you choose, once you find the one that works for you, it will be amazing to see how much your life improves!