As winter fast approaches and the echo of sneezes increases tenfold, it’s more important than ever to prioritise your immune and gut health. One of the most effective ways to boost your immunity over the coming months is by integrating probiotics and postbiotics into your daily routine. Keep reading to explore the strains that you should be looking out for and how they can help protect you this cold and flu season.
What are probiotics and postbiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, often referred to as "good bacteria" that work to support your digestive health, enhance nutrient absorption, and promote an overall healthy and balanced gut microbiome.
You can think of probiotics as little helpers living in your gut, interacting with your existing gut environment and eating up all the food that you consume. During their growth and metabolism, probiotics leave behind a byproduct, which we know as postbiotics. Postbiotics can be considered the functional components of probiotics, responsible for many of their beneficial effects such as modulating immune responses and improving gut barrier function, working to support your overall health.
When seeking probiotic or postbiotic products, you’ll notice that they’re measured in colony forming units or CFUs. This refers to the number of alive microorganisms in one serving of the dietary supplement. There are also many different strains within these supplements, and it can be hard to know what to look out for. Despite the scientific inflection, the word ‘strain’ simply refers to different families of microorganisms, each characterised by their identity, potency and benefits.
With that being said, let’s get into the different strains you should familiarise yourself with this winter season.
This strain is a beneficial bacteria, renowned for producing lactic acid in the gut. This lactic acid helps to create an environment that discourages the growth of harmful bacteria. It can also support better absorption of nutrients and help to alleviate digestive discomfort, promoting both a healthier gut and a stronger immune system.
Lactobacillus casei is most commonly known to improve symptoms linked to IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders. This strain may also aid in boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation.
This probiotic strain, most commonly found in yoghurt, can help your body to enhance its immune defence mechanisms by supporting the production of immune cells and antibodies and preventing any unwanted visitors from entering your bloodstream.
Lactobacillus plantarum is a versatile strain known for its immune-modulating properties. It’s known to strengthen the gut barrier, reducing the risk of infection and enhancing overall immune function. This strain is especially beneficial during the winter months when your immune system may have been knocked down and needs a little extra support.
Now that you have a few strains down pat, let’s go through some of our top tips to ensure that you can easily incorporate them into your week, and stay ahead of germs.
Say hello to fermented foods
Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are fantastic sources of probiotics and postbiotics. Introducing these foods in your winter diet will help to boost your gut health and aid your immune system in fighting off any nasties.
No matter how much you try and counteract it, your busy lifestyle is always going to have a significant effect on your gut health and immune strength, so try to minimise stress where you can. We suggest prioritising your sleep and incorporating exercise, meditation and mindfulness into your daily routine.
Meluka Australia P3 Gut Builder - Triple Action Postbiotic Tonic
The easiest and most effective way to support your gut through winter is through introducing a high-quality prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic supplement into your daily routine. Our P3 Gut Builder Triple Action Postbiotic Tonic combines it all, featuring the four key strains that we have discussed today, plus much more. This tonic is made from a slow-fermented process combining a diverse selection of prebiotics, raw honey and inulin, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Beebiotic MAP01® probiotic plus seven multi-strain probiotics and two postbiotic strains.
As we discussed earlier, postbiotics are essentially prebiotics and probiotics in their final form, so providing your body with these directly, in combination with the rest of our gut-loving goodness, you’ll be giving your gut the best chance at making it out of winter unscathed.
Visit our online store to explore the wide range of Meluka products, and keep up with our blog for ongoing health and wellness information and ideas. Don’t forget that you can sign up for our newsletter to receive 10% off your first order.