Let's face it: women’s lives can be jam-packed with a never-ending “to do” list. And with everything going on in your life, one of the last things you probably think about is digestion. That is, until something goes wrong.
A sudden bout with stomach upset can put everything on an immediate and indefinite hold. Fortunately, you can avoid tummy troubles by regularly practicing good gut habits. Let’s take a closer look at how to keep your microbiome strong so you don’t get stuck on the sidelines with digestive issues.
The Importance of Gut Health
Your gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These microorganisms play a critical role in everything from digestion and metabolism to your immune function. A well balanced microbiome is a sign of a healthy digestive system. But a disruption in the balance between the beneficial bugs and the harmful microbes in your gut not only sets you up for digestive problems, it has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and several types of cancer.1
Probiotics for Gut Health
A healthy and diverse gut microbiome can promote better digestion, boost your immune system, and improve overall health. That’s why taking a comprehensive probiotic supplement is so important. Probiotics can help keep your intestinal microflora in balance and increase digestive activity.2 These actions have been clinically shown to improve a host of digestive woes, including irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, abdominal pain, functional constipation, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.3
When it comes to your microbiome, diversity is key. Look for a supplement like Kyo-Dophilus Enzyme+ Probiotic, which combines a beneficial trio of bacterial strains with four key digestive enzymes that assist the body’s natural ability to break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and dairy into nutrients the body can absorb.
Try a Synbiotic
Your body isn’t the only thing that needs the right foods to flourish. The beneficial bacteria in your gut also requires the right nutrients to thrive. That’s where prebiotics come into play. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that functions as food for the bacteria in your gut. They promote the growth and activity of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract and help improve the overall balance and diversity of the gut microbiome—key factors in healthy digestion and immune function.
Combining prebiotics and probiotics in a single supplement (known as synbiotics) can give you even better digestive support. In fact, studies show that synbiotics such as Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic, can significantly improve the gut microbiome by enhancing the population of probiotics and increasing digestive enzyme activity.4 Synbiotics can also help to prevent certain triggers that lead to overeating and weight gain.5 On top of that, treatment with this combo may reduce depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder.6
Probiotics for Urinary Tract Infections
Forty percent of women in the United States will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in her lifetime.7 Most commonly caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra, UTIs can be a painful experience. While antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat these infections, probiotics have emerged as a safe and effective alternative for handling the pathogens in the urinary tract.8
For the most UTI protection, opt for a daily dose of cranberry extract like that in Kyo-Dophilus Cran+ Probiotic. Combining probiotics with cranberry—a natural ingredient long used to support urinary tract health—has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of UTI recurrence compared to placebo.9
Eat More Gut-Friendly Foods
In addition to taking a probiotic supplement for gut health, don’t forget to focus on eating plenty of gut-favorable foods that provide plenty of dietary fiber and unsaturated fats. Good sources include avocados, beans, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and dark chocolate. Eating more of these foods has been shown to improve both your microbiome and overall health outcomes.10
Stress and digestive disruption have long been linked. This is because stress causes elevated cortisol levels that can trigger immune system dysregulation in the gut. Over time, this can then lead to poor food digestion and less nutrient absorption in the intestines. It can also irritate and inflame the gut’s critical mucosal lining.11 If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues, look for ways to reduce stress in your life. Everything from meditation and exercise to laughing and journaling can help lower stress levels and reduce your chances of gastrointestinal complications.
It’s no secret that getting a little physical activity can improve your health. But did you know that it can directly benefit your microbiome? Studies show that regular exercise can help manage and even prevent digestive issues. That’s because physical activity increases the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn supports immune protection, metabolic function, and gut barrier integrity.12 Try to get 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
A sudden trip to the bathroom is nobody’s idea of a good time. By prioritizing healthy digestion through diet, stress management, physical activity, you’ll foster a healthy gut microbiome and prevent digestive problems. Add a probiotic or synbiotic supplement to the mix and you’ll be on your way to belly bliss in no time.
- de Vos WM. Gut microbiome and health: mechanistic insights. Gut. 2022;71:1020–32.
- Wang J. Influence of probiotics on dietary protein digestion and utilization in the gastrointestinal tract. Current Protein and Peptide Science. 2019;20(2):125–31.
- Guarner F. Probiotics and prebiotics. World Gastroenterology Organisation Global Guidelines. World Gastroenterology Organisation: Milwaukee, WI, USA. 2017;46(6):468–81.
- Yang SC. Effect of synbiotics on intestinal microflora and digestive enzyme activities in rats. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005;11(47):7413–17.
- Aoun A. The Influence of the Gut Microbiome on Obesity in Adults and the Role of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics for Weight Loss. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science. 2020;25(2):113–23.
- Alli SR. The Gut Microbiome in Depression and Potential Benefit of Prebiotics, Probiotics and Synbiotics: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials and Observational Studies. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2022;23(9):4494.
- Bono MJ. “Urinary Tract Infection.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. 2023.
- Farhana F. Evaluation of the effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment of urinary tract infection among women in Bangladesh. Research Square. 2022.
- Meena J. Non-antibiotic interventions for prevention of urinary tract infections in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Journal of Pediatrics. 2021;180:3535–45.
- Vijay A. Role of the gut microbiome in chronic diseases: a narrative review. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2022;76:489–501.
- Baritaki S. Chronic Stress, Inflammation, and Colon Cancer: A CRH System-Driven Molecular Crosstalk. Journal of Clinical Medicine [Internet]. 2019;8(10):1669.
- Wegierska AE. The Connection Between Physical Exercise and Gut Microbiota: Implications for Competitive Sports Athletes. Sports Medicine. 2022;52:2355–69.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.