Probiotics for Beginners: Support Your Gut Health

by Melissa Chichester

In the world of health and wellness, probiotics have moved from buzzword to mainstay.

From supplements to yogurt, these beneficial bacteria are hailed for supporting gut health and overall well-being.*

But for those new to probiotics, it can feel overwhelming. From probiotic foods to supplements, there’s a lot to choose from.

>>Discover probiotics

Let’s break down where to begin.  

What are probiotics?

The word probiotics comes from a Greek term that means “for life.” Probiotics are the living “friendly” bacteria in the gut. Certain strains of bacteria found in probiotics can actually be beneficial for our digestive system and overall health.* 

Health benefits of probiotics

Depending on the species and strain, probiotics have some important benefits, including:

  • Supporting digestive health*
  • Supporting immune health*
  • Balancing the gut* 
  • Nutrient absorption*

>>3 Surprising Benefits of Taking Probiotics

How should I store probiotics?

Probiotics are delicate organisms and proper storage is important to maintain their integrity. 

Here are some tips for storing probiotics:

  • Check storage instructions: Some probiotic supplements require refrigeration to maintain their potency. Check the label for storage instructions and follow them diligently.
  • Protect from heat and moisture: Exposure to heat and moisture can degrade probiotics. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Check expiration dates regularly: Be mindful of expiration dates and use probiotics before they expire to ensure effectiveness.

What time should I take probiotics?

The timing of probiotic consumption can vary depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and the type of probiotic you’re taking. Some people prefer to take probiotics in the morning with breakfast, while others find it more convenient to take them before bed. 

Ultimately, the best time to take probiotics is whichever time works best for you consistently unless otherwise discussed with your doctor.

Do I need to take probiotics with food?

This depends on the type of probiotic you are taking. While many strains are recommended to be taken with or without a meal, some are recommended to be taken with a meal. Follow the instructions as indicated on the label for whichever probiotic you are taking. 

The presence of food in the stomach can provide a protective barrier for probiotics, helping them survive the acidic environment of the stomach.

Can I get probiotics from food?

Absolutely! While probiotic supplements are a convenient option, you can also incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet. Some foods naturally contain probiotics, including:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Adding these foods to your diet can be a tasty way to support your gut health while enjoying delicious flavors and textures.

Where should I shop for probiotics? 

Shop for probiotics online at Puritan’s Pride for quality and value. Our probiotic supplements have guaranteed quality and CFU through expiration when continuously stored in the original packaging as directed.  They are tested or inspected as many as 15 times, ensuring that our products are potent and consistent.  

If you’re a first-timer to probiotics, it can be a valuable addition to your health and wellness routine with benefits for digestive health and overall well-being.* Before taking supplements, discuss it with your doctor to see if probiotics are right for you. 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.