Gut Health, Probiotics, Enzymes and all that good stuff!

Gut health is such a mysterious pillar of wellness. It is not easy to define which things our bodies can tolerate and which things that they can’t. As we age, different foods become harder to digest and it is more common to grow food intolerances. Unfortunately, bloating is common and we’ve all had meals that have left our stomachs in knots. The hardest part to me about all of this is that our gut is technically our “second brain”. There is a nerve that physically connects our brain to our gut called the Vagus Nerve. This connection can lead to imbalances in our bodies, whether it be bouts of anxiety, depression, etc.

So, how do you even begin to figure this all out?! Every situation looks different, but here is the story of my journey with my gut. I share this in hopes that anyone with a similar story can gain insight into what may be going on inside.

My Gut Health Story:

My story with my gut is complicated and frankly still is. About two years ago, I started having extremely bad stomach pains. It got to the point where I did not want to go out knowing that my night would probably end in a stomach ache. The most frustrating part was that I really could not decipher which foods made my stomach feel that way. The pain was inconsistent and not telling of what was going on inside of me.

We all know that the internet is a scary place, but I definitely learned this on my journey. “Cut out all grains, all dairy, sugar, etc. indefinitely”, you name it. I did not want to go this route as it felt extremely restrictive. I came across a lot of credible sources that shared information with me about elimination diets, probiotic supplements and foods.

After a lot of reading, I decided to follow an elimination diet for 3 weeks solely to figure out which foods were causing the discomfort. I don’t like to use the word “diet”, but in this scenario it was a short term protocol with the purpose of getting down to the bottom of some health issues. For three weeks, I cut out a specific list of foods. After the elimination phase was over, I would add one thing back each week that was typically harder to digest. This ranged from gluten, dairy, legumes, and so on. I learned from this protocol that my gut was extremely sensitive to dairy. Sigh. My diet did not include an abundance of dairy, but I knew it was time to limit it.

Beyond the Elimination Diet

Aside from this, I spent a lot of time doing research on a probiotic to start incorporating into my routine. I wanted the very best option, as probiotics surely are not cheap. A good probiotic has the true power to monitor the gut and make changes in gut health for good. They have the power to to destroy harmful organisms which allows the growth of good microbes in the gut. On top of all of this, they can help us digest foods more easily and absorb more of their nutrients. I was on a mission and I was not giving up.

A plethora of peers recommended Silver Fern Probiotics to me. I was hesitant at first about the price, but I was not in a place to put a price tag on my health. I read countless reviews, did the groundwork, and placed an order. About two and a half weeks after I started to take these probiotics, I noticed huge changes. My stomach pain and bloating had been immensely reduced. I began to have less social anxiety about going out and ending the night in pain. These probiotics worked WELL and they worked FAST. I’ll spare you on too many details, but my tummy was definitely happy again. 🙂

Where I’m at Now

About two months ago, I visited Greece. Before my trip, I had not consumed any dairy in two years. When traveling, I am ALL about gaining experiences and fully immersing myself into a country’s culture. I could not go on the trip and not try the local feta, right?! After some more research, I decided to buy digestive enzymes to eat before all meals that contained dairy. I still was going to continue taking my probiotics everyday, but use the enzymes as a precautionary step.

Overall this went pretty well! At first, I definitely felt some discomfort as dairy was a foreign substance to my body. I also definitely over did it as I was super excited to try all of the local foods. By the end of the trip, I was able to figure out a routine with dairy that didn’t upset my stomach too much. I limited my intake each day and made sure I was eating the highest quality that I could find. I learned that my body responded better to goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses. With the help of these enzymes and my daily probiotic usage, I was able to find a love for dairy again.

I’m not here saying that it has been the perfect gut health journey since Greece, but I am extremely happy with the progress I have made. My gut has been so much stronger, and I have been able to enjoy some forms of dairy here and there. Two years later, I still take the Silver Fern supplements everyday and completely trust everything about the brand. I know that consistently taking the probiotic for two years has yielded in positive, permanent changes in my gut health. That is something for me that you can not put a price tag on.

My meal recently, enjoying homemade Shakshuka with my favorite cheese that I discovered in Greece — Halloumi.

The Silver Fern Difference

As mentioned before, there are so many benefits to taking a high quality probiotic. From restoring the gut flora to helping improve your stomach acidity, they really do have so much power. When we opt for lower quality probiotics, often the strands are already dead on the shelf. If they aren’t dead yet, there is a high chance that they will die upon entering a gut with high acidity. If you have taken a probiotic before, you are probably familiar with the strands they contain and the amount of CFUs. Many bottles advertise thousands of different CFUs. This is often a marketing tactic, so again you have to do your research. It really is about the quality of the strands you are putting into your body, not the quantity.

The Silver Fern Brand has had third party testing done to guarantee 100% survive-ability rate once the probiotic reaches your gut. Silver Fern Brand’s Ultimate Probiotic contains potent high quality strains that offer an endless amount of benefits to our bodies.

Probiotics help produce digestive enzymes in the gut like lactase. As we age, we produce a significantly less amount of digestive enzymes. This yields in a difficulty digesting our foods and absorbing their nutrients. This is why when we get older, we may develop food intolerances that we have not had before. Its why I decided to add digestive enzymes to my routine before meals. They are made to help replenish your gut with missing enzymes and help you break down foods that are difficult to digest. The Silver Fern Ultimate Digestive Enzymes are THREE TIMES stronger than common enzymes on the market. They help your intestines directly with complete protein digestion.

My General Gut Health Advice:

I have never been a science person, but the science behind our gut health and the impact of probiotics and digestive enzymes really fascinates me. Please remember that I am not a qualified health practitioner, and if you are facing serious gut health issues, you should definitely consult your doctor. I am sharing with you my general gut health advice that can hopefully help give insight into stomach discomfort you may be dealing with and beyond.

When purchasing any probiotic or digestive enzymes, do endless amounts of research. This is one area of my life that I really do not put a budget on. The gut is our second brain, and when there are imbalances it can really effect our mood and mental health. Try out different supplements and really tune in to how they are impacting your body. These days, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the trends on social media. It is important to be able to sort through this and be able to find out what works for you and your body. Don’t over complicate things. If a company has high quality practices, it will not be hard to find information on the products that they offer.

If you have the time and the patience, you could explore an elimination diet! This helped me immensely and I was able to see which foods really did trigger bloating and discomfort. I also have made a conscious effort to include fermented foods into my diet. Although these do not travel directly to our gut and provide us with probiotics, they serve as a great source of nutrients for the bacteria in our gut. Another supplement I take often is collagen, which helps support the lining of our guts.

Everybody is different!

You know the drill, but we really all do have different imbalances in our gut and what works for me may not work for you. Be sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing serious issues; there could be an underlying issue that is causing everything. There are actions that we can take each day to help improve our gut health, even if there is something more serious going on on the back end.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this! I could write a handful of posts all about gut health and different things that help me, but I will keep this one at an appropriate length. If you have any questions about my personal journey, I am an open book and am always happy to chat with you.

This post has been sponsored by the Silver Fern Brand, but all of the opinions and recommendations are wholeheartedly my own. I am extremely proud to be partnering with a company that has had such a positive impact on my health the past couple of years! Cheers to good gut health and less food intolerances 🙂