What comes to mind when you think of bacteria? If you’re thinking of nasty microscopic organisms that do nothing but make you sick, you’re not alone.

But the truth is, not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, some are actually good for you – and maintaining a proper balance of these “good” bacteria in your system can make a big difference in your quest to maintain a healthy weight and keep your body in peak condition. Let’s take a closer look at probiotics, and how they can benefit your gut health and improve your overall wellness.

Many don’t realize it, but your gut is home to a myriad of bacteria that are perfectly healthy – hundreds of different types, in fact. Collectively, these are known as the gut flora, and they perform a variety of beneficial functions, from producing essential vitamins, to converting fibers into fatty acids that fortify your gut wall and strengthen your immune system. An unbalanced gut flora has been shown to contribute to conditions ranging from heart disease to type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer – and can also complicate your weight loss efforts in a big way.

So, how can you tell if your gut flora is out of whack? Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea are a major symptom; some others to look for include weakened immunity, increased sensitivity to certain foods, mood swings, sugar cravings, or unexpected weight gain. If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, an unbalanced gut flora could be to blame – and this is where probiotics come in. But what are probiotics?

Simply put, probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed, can help to reinforce and restore your gut flora. They’re found in foods that involve bacterial fermentation in their production, like yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut, and can also be taken in the form of supplements.

To help keep your gut flora in balance, Olivera Health + Wellness is now proud to offer UltraFlora Control as part of our new, expanded menu of services. Made by Metagenics, an industry leader in nutritional supplements, UltraFlora Control includes Bifidobacterium lactis B-420, a clinically studied probiotic which has been shown to affect long-term weight maintenance by helping you get body fat under control.

So, don’t let a gut flora imbalance sabotage your healthy living goals. By reducing the tummy troubles and mood swings that can blunt your motivation, and fighting the sugar cravings that can throw a wrench into your carefully planned diet, probiotic supplementation can help you overcome setbacks on your weight loss journey, and achieve a healthier weight.

What’s more, if you’re dealing with other effects of gut flora imbalance, suffering from flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other bowel conditions, or if you’ve noticed a change in your health after using antibiotics – probiotics can help to ease your symptoms and restore your sense of health and well-being.

Want to learn more? Stop by our Chicago or Elmhurst locations today. And, for the latest news from Olivera, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter.