Probiotics are healthy bacteria that offer numerous health benefits for the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are known to keep the stomach healthy by bettering digestion but that is not all. Consuming probiotics can also strengthen the immune system and improve mood. These also play a vital role in synthesis of vitamins and minerals in the body. All in all, probiotics are a must in your diet but when should you have them and what is the right way to consume probiotics? Read this article as we explain everything related to probiotics consumption here.
Probiotics help in eliminating harmful bacteria, increasing good bacteria in the stomach, allows breakdown of nutrients and keeps the gut healthy. It is said that consuming probiotics daily can ward off gastrointestinal issues. You can have probiotic foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, etc. Alternatively, you can also take probiotic supplements but always consult a doctor before taking them to avoid any health risk.
When to take a probiotic?
Probiotics are good but they may trigger production of stomach acid. If the concentration of acid in the gut increases, it can kill good bacteria in the gut, destroying the purpose of probiotics. To allow gut bacteria to flourish in the gastrointestinal tract, probiotics need to survive acids in the stomach. In order to avert this complication, timing of taking probiotics is important.
When you should take probiotics totally depends on what type of probiotic you are taking, whether it is a live strain probiotic (fermented foods) or delayed-release probiotic capsules. Probiotics with live bacteria enters the digestive system quickly and starts their work. Whereas, slow-release capsules take time.
- If you take live strain probiotic, you can either take it 20 to 30 minutes after your meal, in the morning on an empty stomach, or before bedtime.
- If you take probiotic capsules, there is no time restriction as such because they don’t interfere with acid production.
How to take probiotics?
As important as it is to have probiotics at the right time, how to take them is equally essential. Foods containing probiotics should be consumed after meals to help with digestion and survive stomach acid. Don’t over consume probiotics as this may lead to gastrointestinal problems. Excess bacteria can interfere with gut microbiota that can lead to digestive problems.
Instead of taking one big dose of probiotics, split it into two smaller doses. For example, consume half a bowl of yoghurt 30 minutes after lunch and half a bowl 30 minutes post dinner. This way you are giving probiotics to your stomach in a regulated amount.
Similarly, you should also split your probiotic supplements (if you take any). Portioning out the daily probiotic dose instead of having it all at once can rev up the benefits. This maximises the benefits without putting additional load on your gut. Your system can easily get accustomed to it and this would help align your gut flora.
In a nutshell, you need to see how your body reacts to this plan. If you feel no changes in your gut health after taking probiotics, you might be taking the wrong one or taking it incorrectly. It is always best to consult a gastroenterologist if you have gut problems.
Disclaimer- These are generic views based on studies. This might not suit everyone and so, we advise taking expert consultation before taking any step.
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