Trust your GUT HEALTH: why probiotics are SUPER important to your overall health (with Silver Fern)

The other day I was trolling Instagram (which TBH I don’t do much because like who has time to search for reasons to compare their lives, ha) but I was doing some research, trying to find good brands to work with, that would be a good fit for Hundred or that I hadn’t heard of yet.

I came across Silver Fern, and was super curious about their products because I need to get a good probiotic in my routine. So, I sent them a DM and at that same moment, Kelli from their team had emailed me about potentially trying a few products out to see if it made sense as a fit for talking about with you guys.

Fate! I took it as a sign, and quickly after, scheduled a call to speak with Charity Lighten their Chief Nutritionist.

Let's just say, I was SOLD on the benefits!

(Also on her. She is AMAZING!)

She is coming on The Almost 30 Podcast soon, and the episode is JAW DROP! I can't wait to share with you.

When I received my new product, I was so eager to get on the pro-biotic train. Everyone was talking about gut health, and how important it was to feeling better. 

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With all of the things that wreak havoc on our digestive systems these days, it seems impossible that we can get to an optimum state of health.

But the gut, is not just about digestive issues alone. Gastrointestinal health can be the root cause for many other health issues including brain and mental health

Crazy, right? That's why they call it the second brain. 

The good news is that with a bit of planning and time, it’s possible to restore the full health of your gut.

AKA you can see major positive effects on your entire body, from mood, to memory, and more. What's also rad, is that healing your gut allows the body to build a stronger immune system and produce the right kind of bacteria that tells your brain lots of things like, 'feel good' and 'be happy'. 

I can't stress it enough that the health of your gastrointestinal system is extremely important to your overall well-being.

Because it is largely responsible for the critical functions of the body’s digestive and immune systems, beneficial bacteria in your digestive system have the capability of affecting your body’s vitamin and mineral absorbency, hormone regulation, digestion, vitamin production, immune response, and ability to eliminate toxins, not to mention your overall mental health.

What really gets me, is the mental health component. I know that when I fuel my body in the right way, I not only look better, but I think more clearly, I'm less moody and overall I have a brighter outlook on life.

Plus, the hormone regulation piece since I have been struggling with hormone issues across the last year. I wrote a post on it here.

Given I am not an expert in the space, I wanted to pull in Charity Lighten, Chief Nutritionist for Silver Fern, to share the details on why we need to be paying attention to our gut, gut health, and why you NEED a probiotic in your life if you want to look and feel your best.

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Why is gut health important? 

Charity Lighten: There is more and more evidence indicating that many health problems start in the gut. Thus, when the gut is off, or rather when the levels of bacteria in the gut are off…if can lead to problems elsewhere.

We now know that 10 trillion cells make up the human body and more than 100 trillion beneficial bacteria cells call our body home. The average person has 10 times more bacteria cells than human cells.

We also know that so many metabolic functions are dependent upon bacteria. Everything from our brain health, to our gut health and even our energy levels are affected by bacteria.

We are learning just how critical gut health is for overall health.

What is meant when people say 'the gut'? Where is that on the body?  

CL: The gut (or gastrointestinal tract) is essentially a long tube that begins where the food goes in (the mouth) and continues all the way to where the food goes out.  Some people think it is just the stomach areas, but by definition it's the whole thing.

What are some signs of having an unhealthy gut?

CL: Clearly there are obvious issues like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, yeast infections frequent gas or bloating etc. 

But there are deeper issues that might also be at play. For example, if you have intense sugar cravings, have a hard time losing weight, or extreme hunger.  

These might be signs that you need to get you gut more balanced.

Also, feelings of depression or anxiety, skin issues or frequent illnesses could also be indicators that you may need a probiotic.

What are some things that damage or give a negative effect on your gut?

CL: Diets high in processed foods and sugar will cause damage to your healthy bacteria.  Excess alcohol use, antibiotics and chlorinated water will also kill off healthy bacteria. Emerging science is showing that strenuous exercise can also make someone prone to gut issues.  The good news

What are some foods to help heal or maintain a healthy gut?

CL: Many people think that fermented foods are probiotics. 

While I absolutely love fermented foods (as long as they are not loaded with added sugar like many yogurts are), they are not technically probiotics.  Meaning they won't make it to the large intestine and help colonize bacteria. 

From a food stance, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will give your gut the fiber it needs to fuel healthy bacteria. 

What is a probiotic and why is it important?

CL: Probiotics are not a luxury; in fact, they are a very essential nutrient that the human body requires for proper function. Recent advances in science have demonstrated how critical our beneficial bacteria are to our health and wellness. As it turns out, we count on them a lot more than previously thought.

Good bacteria in the gut take the healthy macronutrients (fibers, carbs, protein fats) and convert them to necessary, healthy nutrients like amino acids, omega fatty acids, quinols, B vitamins, GABA, BDNF, serotonin, vitamin K, short chain fatty acids, antioxidants, etc. etc. 

Bad bacteria in the gut take the healthy macronutrients and convert them to unhealthy, harmful compounds like aldehydes, endotoxins, ammonia gas, hydrogen gas, lipid peroxides, etc. 

So, the "health" in healthy foods is primarily dependent on what your gut microbiome looks like.

With that in mind, you need the gardener in your garden tending to the flora and ensuring that the bad bacteria are out and good one’s flourish. The old saying of "you are what you eat" is now better understood as "you are what you absorb". 

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Pre-biotic? What is that and why do we need one?

CL: Basically, prebiotics are food for probiotics. 

Healthy bacteria need the right fuel and the easiest way to get these "pre-biotics" is to make sure you are eating a diet rich in fiber.

What should we look for when shopping for probiotics and prebiotics?

CL: 1. Survivability.  It's important that you look for one that can survive all the way until it gets to the large intestine. This is where probiotics work to colonize your healthy bacteria. Most probiotic supplements are dead on the shelf and those that aren’t will die when they encounter the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. Look for the strains like bacillus that will naturally survive.

2. DNA verified. Most probiotics on the market contain strains not listed on the bottle. If a product hasn’t had strain verification or DNA analysis then you have no idea what you are actually getting.

3. Quality of quantity. Many probiotics promote dozens of strains with tens of billions of cfu, but these strains are ineffective bacterial strains that offer you no benefit. There isn’t a single scientific study that shows that more strains and more cfu’s are more effective. It’s all about the quality of the strains, not the quantity.


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So I am so excited that I get to share Silver Fern with you guys, because I believe SO strongly in healing and maintaining a healthy gut, you can rest assure that their products have you covered. Not only do they do probiotics well, but they also have amazing things like probiotic drink mixes, clean protein, healthy energy supplements, sweetener, baking mixes and fiber

I have also been taking their multi-vitamin, which has been amazing for covering all the bases, and making sure I am starting on the right food. I love that it's a whole food vitamin, it's vegan, it's natural. ALL OF THE THANGS.

My additional obsession is their Wai Drink Mix. If you want metabolic restoration, hunger control assistance, potent immune stimulation, prebiotic fiber, and 5 billion CFU of probiotics then Wai drink mixes are for you. TRUST, that they are DELICIOUS. 

I am thinking I need to do a separate post on fiber, btw because that is a BIG ONE. 

Are you guys currently on the probiotic train? Have you seen the benefits? I know for me, my SKIN has completely changed since getting my gut health in check, and I feel less moody, more present than ever before.

LOVE IT.

LMK and if you have questions, ask away!

xo

Krista

*This post was done in partnership with Silver Fern, all opinions are my own.