By: Dave Asprey
If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, you might have been told to take them with a big dollop of yogurt because it contains something called “probiotics.” Or maybe you’ve seen probiotic supplements that say they support gut health, keep you regular, and even control your appetite. That all sounds great, but what are probiotics?The bacteria living inside your intestines are crucial for your health. Probiotic supplements are good for your beneficial gut bacteria, but they aren’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to gut health. Here’s what you should know about probiotics, plus my top recommendations to maintain a rockstar gut biome.
Probiotics are the good gut bacteria that are normally found in your intestines. They help digest food, produce vitamins, and destroy microorganisms that would otherwise make you weak.The human gut biome consists of about 100 trillion bacteria cells, more than 10 times more than there are human cells in your body. Think of your gut biome as a significant organ in your body. Keeping it healthy and balanced is essential to reduce your risk of disease and upgrade your performance. After all, your gut bacteria control your mind, appetite, and even your stress levels.So, if you already have good bacteria in your gut, why would you want to add more with a probiotic supplement? Unfortunately, modern life is full of factors that wipe out good gut bacteria, like the overuse of antibiotics, diets high in processed foods, and foods containing inflammatory histamines.  Histamines are a type of immune cell that triggers inflammation throughout the body. When your gut bacteria get thrown off, you can develop something called histamine intolerance, which leads to increased inflammation, congestion, hives, and migraines — just to name a few symptoms. In fact, research shows that an unhealthy gut contributes to obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, depression, and chronic fatigue.Here’s the absolute best thing you can do to repair an unhealthy gut: Feed the good bacteria with a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, and kill the bad guys by limiting your exposure to kryptonite foods. Think of probiotic-rich foods and supplements as part of your overall gut health toolkit.
BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS
However, probiotics won’t go very far if you aren’t already supporting your gut with a diet filled with fibrous vegetables, grass-fed and wild-caught meats, ditching industrial meat, and managing your stress. Keep reading to learn about the best sources of probiotics, including probiotic foods.
If you’re concerned about your gut bacteria, and you take probiotics to help those bacteria flourish, you may be doing the exact opposite of what you want — depending on the specific bacteria that you’re supplementing.For example, if you’re taking a histamine-producing bacteria in yogurt like Lactobacillus casei, you’ll be doing more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to be aware of which bacteria produce histamines, which degrade them, and which don’t affect them at all. Foods in the Bulletproof Diet’s green zone are low in histamine so you don’t feel foggy and fatigued.To repair an unhealthy gut and decrease histamine intolerance, you need to eat an anti-inflammation diet, minimizing histamine-producing bacteria and maximizing histamine degrading bacteria. Here’s what that means in terms of probiotic strains:
If you want to feel great and support your good gut bacteria, eat these foods:
You might have seen headlines saying that red wine and fermented foods are good for you, but the reality is that the risks associated with these foods far outweigh their “benefits.” Yeah, you’ll get a dose of probiotics from kombucha — but you might also feel fatigued and unfocused because fermented foods don’t work for everyone.Here’s why. Certain foods have higher histamine contents or help release stored histamine. Some people can tolerate histamines better than others. If these foods make you feel tired and weak, don’t eat them. It’s that simple.
A note on yogurt, since it’s so heavily marketed as gut-friendly: Not all probiotics are created equal, and all of that “probiotic-rich” yogurt might actually be making you feel bloated and foggy. Although some probiotic supplements are good for you, most manufactured probiotics are only minimally effective at repopulating the gut biome because not all strains of probiotics interact with the gut in the same way.Oh, and if that probiotic yogurt is loaded with refined sugar, it’s not going to make you feel great. Read your labels.Gut health, like biohacking in general, comes down to a lot of trial and error. Over the last decade, I estimate I’ve spent around $25,000-$50,000 on various strains of probiotics to fix my gut, including the time I took pig whipworm eggs. Some supplements will make you feel great. Others will make you feel inflamed and tired. Probiotic supplementation is a catch-22, and you should not just grab whatever has the best label on the shelf.Instead, throw away the pre-packaged, processed, and sugary junk in your kitchen. Fill your plate with low-toxin and nutrient-dense foods that will heal your gut and help you perform on all cylinders. After eating like this regularly, you’ll feel focused, energized, and lighter. Why? You’re protecting your gut and reducing histamine intolerance — and it feels incredible.Related: How to Start the Bulletproof Diet in 10 Easy StepsJOIN THE BULLETPROOF REVOLUTIONSign up for early access to sales, product launches, the latest Bulletproof news and more!Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Bulletproof recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition.
ABOUT DAVE ASPREY:
Dave Asprey is founder of Bulletproof, and creator of the widely-popular Bulletproof Coffee. He is a two-time New York Times bestselling author, host of the Webby award-winning podcast Bulletproof Radio, and has been featured on the Today show, Fox News, Nightline, Dr. Oz, and many more.
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