If you eat a balanced, whole-food diet, you’re probably getting adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. But if not (and this applies to the majority of the U.S. population), there’s a good chance you may be lacking important nutrients. “Even if you put the cleanest ingredients into your body, chances are that life forces get in the way of being on point every day,” says Kelly Boyer, founder of farm-to-table meal delivery service PALETA. “There are also environmental forces that get in the way; consider how and where your food was grown, which can also influence your nutritional intake. Soil quality, storage time, and processing can affect the levels of certain nutrients in your food. Additionally, your age and own health issues impact your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in your food.” Unfortunately, in many cases, nutrient deficiencies can be difficult to assess, making it easy not to notice that you are developing symptoms until the deficiency has become pronounced.
Probiotics have been thrust into the spotlight as of late, and while it’s always best to get these healthy bacteria strains from food, it’s not always feasible to load our plates with kimchi and sauerkraut. Countless wellness experts advocate adding a daily probiotic supplement to your diet, but they’re far from created equally. Recent skin breakouts and a bloated belly (despite a healthy diet) made me take a deeper look into the ins and outs of probiotics. I spent hours Googling (to the point at which my boyfriend said, “I see what you mean when you say you can get obsessive”), and the ideas out there are so ridiculously conflicting that I decided to reach out to some experts. Read on to find out what they say and for some trusted brands to boost your digestive health.