Probiotics: Learn What They Can Do for You

best probiotic for bloating gas and constipation

When people think of the term “bacteria,” it’s usually in a negative light. While we’re generally taught that sterile things are good and bacteria is bad, this is often not the case.

That’s because your body is home to millions of good bacteria that work together to keep you healthy. These microorganisms are called “probiotics” and they help balance your gastrointestinal and immune systems in many different ways.

Balancing Your System

Probiotics work to restore the balance of your gut bacteria. But what causes that imbalance? Why are there more bad bacteria than good? A number of culprits can be the cause of these imbalances, but it’s often the result of illness or poor diet.

Antibiotics can also kill too many good bacteria by mistake and lead to an imbalance, as can certain medications. For this reason, it’s definitely a good idea to talk to your doctor about what the best probiotic for bloating gas and constipation (or other digestive issue) might be for you.

Strengthening Immune Systems and Prevention

Taking probiotics has been shown to strengthen your immune system and to aid in maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your body. It helps to think about it this way: your gut contains a lot of bacteria. This collection is called the microbiota. The microbiota consists of both helpful and harmful organisms. When you take probiotics, you introduce more helpful bacteria into the mix, and this gives your immune system an advantage.

Digestive Disorder Treatment

Now let’s talk about probiotics and digestive disorders. There have been several strains of probiotics that have shown positive results in treating ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. While there is, so far, limited proven efficacy in treatment of Chrohn’s disease, there has been success in the use of probiotics in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s important to understand that the best probiotics for bloating, gas, and constipation reduction contain multiple strains. So single strains probiotic supplements are not going to be as effective for relieving these types of symptoms.

Weight Loss and Mental Health

In addition to multi-strain probiotics being best for bloating, gas, and constipation, these types of probiotic supplements have also been shown to help in other areas of your body. Some exciting research is emerging in the field of probiotics and mental health. Although the study of psychobiotics is still developing, there have been some positive outcomes thus far.

Also, probiotics can help prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestines, causing the body to expel that fat instead of storing it. One study found that “Probiotic supplementation appears to change gut microbiota by decrease gut permeability, inflammation, and metabolic disorders, creating a promising environment to weight loss.”

Still Discovering

While research in the use of probiotics is still in early phases, when it comes to discovering the full benefits of these bacteria, the future seems bright.

So far, probiotics appear to be safe for most people with few reported side effects, but you should still talk to your doctor about the best probiotic for bloating, gas, or constipation if you’re suffering from those symptoms.

They’ll be able to give you the best advice for how to use probiotics to improve and maintain your body’s health. And we’re still learning more every day! Visit our website for more details.

Best Digestive Enzyme Plus Probiotic Supplements

Here’s the truth about the majority of digestive enzyme plus probiotic supplement reviews you read online: most are of them are incentivized.

In other words, the review websites get paid a commission to promote these products to you.

This brings plenty of bias into the mix and often you see the product with the highest commissions listed as the so-called best probiotic and enzyme supplements, rather than the one that is actually most beneficial to your health.

Even Amazon’s review criteria now gives higher ratings to big, established brands … so all the mega-corporations now get higher review ratings than smaller, less-known products just because they’ve been around longer.

But if you’re reading this, you probably already know that when it comes to supplements companies, bigger usually does not mean better!

Now, we also sell a digestive enzyme / probiotic supplement.

That’s why in this article, we will review some of the best digestive wellness supplements using objective criteria.

The goal is to help you objectively compare and review the top brands that our products compete with.

So we’ll look at the things that are important to most of you: i. cost, ii. servings, iii. ingredients, and iv. the top positive and negative customer reviews for each probiotic and digestive enzyme supplement.

We’ll wrap things up with some little-known tricks many of these supplement companies use to deceive you (and how to spot them) and share our criteria for finding the best capsule for you.

Here’s a complete list of topics we’ll cover in this article (click the links to skip around):

  • How to Find the Best Digestive Supplement for You

Who Should Take Digestive Enzymes + Probiotics?

Always check with your doctor first if you have an existing condition that affects your stomach or small intestine and get your enzyme levels tested. If you have the following symptoms, it’s possible that digestive enzymes plus probiotics could help.

  • Indigestion, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Low stomach acid
  • Chronic pancreatitis

When to Take Digestive Enzymes?

Most digestive enzyme and probiotic supplements should be taken with or immediately before a meal. Taking them on an empty stomach can often cause unwanted gas and bloating (the exact thing many folks are trying to get rid of).

If you take one capsule per day, take it with your largest meal. If you take two, take it with your two largest meals.

Benefits of Taking an Enzyme / Probiotic Supplement

Let’s take a look at some of the research that has been done on digestive enzymes + probiotics supplements.

First, digestive enzymes …

  • 2011 study:  When people with IBS took a combination of digestive enzymes and soluble fibers, they noticed a significant reduction in stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating.
  • 2011 study: Digestive enzyme supplementation significantly improved bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain, with a slight increasing of urgency for bowel movements.
  • 2014 study: Digestive enzyme supplements may offer a valuable alternative to gastroprokinetic drugs to relieve various common gastrointestinal complaints.
  • 2016 study: Enzyme supplementation therapy may play an important role in several digestive and malabsorption disorders, including exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and lactose intolerance.
  • 2018 study: Enzyme supplementation led to statistically significant differences in all efficacy parameters compared with placebo for people with dyspepsia (which includes symptoms such as bloating, early satiety, postprandial fullness, nausea, anorexia and heartburn, regurgitation, and burping
  • 2019 research review: A number of double-blinded placebo-controlled studies report a beneficial effect of oral enzyme therapy for patients with dyspepsia and IBS symptoms.
  • Animal studies have found that a probiotic plus digestive enzyme supplement may help lower harmful LDL and increase HDL.

Probiotics are more widely studied than digestive enzymes. See our article Do Probiotics Work? to read more.

Side Effects and Interactions

When you first start taking enzymes and/or probiotics, it’s common to experience an increase in gas and bloating.

If you experience any nausea or diarrhea that lasts for more than a day or two, it’s probably best to stop.

Allergic reactions can also be an issue for some people, such as itching, rash, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing. If this happens, stop taking the supplements and seek medical attention

Digestive enzyme and probiotics supplements can interfere with certain medications, such as diabetes medications and blood thinners.

If you take any medications, share the list of ingredients of the product you’re considering with your doctor to ensure there are no interactions you need to worry about.

Compare 10 of the Top Digestive Enzyme Plus Probiotic Brands

Here’s a look at cost, ingredients, servings, and the top positive and negative reviews for 10 of the best rated probiotics plus digestive enzymes brands.

Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics

Cost:

$17.97 for 60 Capsules

Ingredients / Servings: 

Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics review

Top Positive Review:

Joseph G. Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Miracle pills changed my life

Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2017

Disclaimer: I haven’t seen a gastroenterologist about any of my issues, so this is all personal anecdote/observation and self-diagnosis. I am not a medical professional.

These pills have changed my life. Allow me to describe my situation before the pills:

BEFORE: I had constant/chronic/consistent diarrhea, especially immediately after eating (practically anything), so life was hell. Any meal/snack was almost immediately followed by loose stools and messy bowel movements (and gas). This made scheduling life very difficult and full of interruptions and delays. Random trips to the bathroom everywhere suck, especially when you are out with friends/people and participating in time-sensitive activities, like movies, concerts, ceremonies, social events, etc.

My symptoms resembled IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea), although never officially diagnosed, and/or leaky gut syndrome, and/or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). To be honest, I feel like the current state of digestive disorder diagnosis is not well understood/developed and rather weak and even gut doctors can’t consistently and definitively pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with these kinds of cases with reliable accuracy (in my observations). Many articles and accounts of others with IBS-like symptoms generally have ambiguous or unknown causes and limited understanding of what exactly is wrong, and the treatment options are limited and ineffective, like simply avoiding trigger foods, which is not really a cure.

My trigger foods were greasy/fatty foods and any milk dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheeses, whey, lactose, etc., and as milk products are practically everywhere in Western foods in various forms, this made filtering what I eat and grocery shopping a nightmare. Even things like Pringles or chips have hidden milk products in them (Lactose, whey), and obviously classic American past times like pizza (cheese), pies (cream, butter), cheesecake (cheese, cream), coffee drinks e.g. cappuccino, mocha, latte, etc. (milk), milkshakes (milk), ice cream (milk, cream), cheese snacks (cheese, whey), etc. had to be completely eliminated from my life. FML; indeed, the future outlook of the rest of my life with respect to dietary pleasure & nutrition was looking rather grim, since milk products to provide important calcium & protein nutrients.

My issues started about 3-4 years ago and have been gradually worsening since.

Now, this pill is about as close to a cure as I could have hoped for!

AFTER: Taking a pill before eating any significant meal/snack, I can essentially eat/drink whatever I want now, without any of the symptoms described above. My bowel movements have become very regular, predictable, and controllable i.e. no longer have urgency. My stool is solid and of healthy shape/color, and I almost never have to worry anymore about what I eat or the consequences thereafter.

I can enjoy all the trigger foods I couldn’t before, including greasy/fatty foods and milk dairy products, without having to worry about the aftermath anymore.

Truly, a miraculous life savior in the form of pill.

Again, as I am not a medical professional nor have seen a gastroenterologist about my issues before, I don’t know exactly what it is either in my gut or in these pills that result in such magical, miraculous recovery, but my guess is some combination of the digestive enzymes + probiotics in the pills are greatly helping to regulate the mess that is my gut. Why my gut was such a mess before (or is without these pills) I have no clue. I have many guesses like severe lactose intolerance, IBS-D, leaky gut, SIBO, gluten intolerance, etc. — just about everything under the sun as the symptoms of many of these digestive conditions overlap and are similar. I think that’s why it’s even difficult for the current medical practice to work with these conditions, as even IBS (as I understand) is less an explicit diagnosis on the presence of particular symptoms/markers than it is kind of the give-up answer after eliminating other potential causes.

I’ve tried several other products before these pills and have had little success. My initial guess for my issues was predominantly lactose intolerance, so I’ve tried lactase enzyme pills and Lactobacillus Acidophilus probiotics that are supposed to help digest lactose. Although they did help a little bit, they never truly eliminated all my symptoms, whereas these pills have (so far in about 2 months time since I started taking them). So, lactose intolerance wasn’t the only problem (if even a problem); clearly, I had issues with other substances in foods.

Since day 1, even pill 1, I IMMEDIATELY noticed a beneficial effect, so these pills definitely have potency, are robust, and immediately effective.

Hopefully within my lifetime, medical advances can cure me more permanently such that I don’t need these pills, but until then, I will gladly take these pills before every meal and basically become dependent on them for life. Zenwise Health, please continue to make these pills for the next 100 years okay? Thanks!

Value-wise, it’s a great deal. $25 for 180 pill bottle, so if you eat 3 meals a day, the bottle lasts you 60 days or 2 months; if you eat 2 meals a day, that’s 3 months. ~$25 per 2-3 months is totally reasonable.

Even if you don’t have major digestive issues like me, I still think the digestive enzymes/probiotics contained in these pills can do wonders for your digestion & gut. The concept behind them is to achieve/maintain supreme gut health and regularity. I do believe the unique combination of enzymes and probiotics in these pills accomplish that.

Current medical/scientific understanding of the complex interactions/relationships between our gut, brain, body, and the millions of bacteria/microorganisms in our guts is limited, so it’s still unclear exactly why certain substances/probiotics work for some people and do little for others (while others don’t need any external assistance at all), but it’s certainly worth a shot if you’re suffering!

It’s a minor inconvenience to have to carry around the pills everywhere I go, but for what they give me: the ability to digest any/all foods effectively, regulate my bowel movements, enable proper nutrient absorption, and allow me to enjoy all my favorite cheesy dairy products again, it is SO WORTH IT.

Okay, I rambled way too long here — just goes to show how much these pills have changed my life. Zenwise Health, again, you guys are amazing for developing this miracle formula. Please continue to make these for decades to come — I gladly support you.

Top Negative Review:

Reta
1.0 out of 5 stars Changed formula gave horrible symptoms

Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2020

I purchased the product on the right last month after a long battle with bloating/irregularity/digestive issues. The product worked so well. I no longer felt bloated or constipated after EVERYTHING I ate, and (unlike a Super Enzyme product I’d tried at the suggestion of a health professional earlier) it did NOT make me feel gassy/bloated.

I was so impressed with the product, I recommended it to a friend of mine who has similar/ongoing issues. I even set up and subscribe and save for myself.

That is, until I received my 2nd bottle of this product (pictured left). I only had a few pills left of my first bottle and dumped them into my 2nd bottle, which allowed me to see the color difference. I didn’t think anything of it, at first, as sometimes different batches of stuff like this can have different hues. That was until day three of taking the new batch and feeling the SAME uncomfortable, and embarrassing side effects (bloating and painful gas) that I’d felt from a different product.

I dug the bottle out of the trash to find out I’d been sent, without my knowledge or consent, a different formula. The formula is also different from what is shown to be sold.

I’m mainly frustrated by this as, if you can imagine, I had been SO happy to have found a product that worked so well for me, only to have it change and now work so horrifically.

I have canceled my subscribe and save and will be seeking a full refund for this 2nd bottle.

Wholesome Wellness Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics and Probiotics

Cost:

$25 for 180 Capsules (90 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

wholesome wellness probiotics plus enzymes

Top Positive Review:

Sam G Schultz
5.0 out of 5 stars This new product is taking the supplement world by storm…and rightfully so.

Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2021

I was about to go look for a replacement for the supplement I ordered for my gut problem because it did not work on me. I finished the contents of the whole bottle and yet, I still suffer from IBS and abdominal cramps. Having learned through experience that supplements are a little more like trial and error, I was caught on the wrong side of the equation. Hence, it’s back to square one for me. As I was frantically looking for a replacement to attend to my symptoms, I happened to chance upon this page about digestive enzymes. Seeing the similarity with my previous supplement, I took interest on this and placed an order. Who knows, maybe this time, I’d be finally on the right side.

I made the following observations about the product:

a. Logistics was great as it arrived way ahead of committed time.
b. Packing and handling were superb as it was neatly packed, sealed and delivered in very good condition.
c. The capsule/pill was of the right size and easy to swallow.
d. There was no aftertaste discernible.
e. And it worked super-fast!!

This being another trial and error part, I expected very little of it. To my surprise, it hadn’t taken 3 days and all my problematic symptoms were gone!! No more IBS, no more cramps and my bowel movement has gone back to normal. Finally, a supplement that I can boastfully say is the perfect one for me!! No more trial and error!! From here on, it’s smooth sailing for me and my gut.

Top Negative Review:

Kevin Crenshaw
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT a substantial enzyme source

Reviewed in the United States on March 6, 2021

218 people found this helpful

Vitamistic Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics & Prebiotics

Cost:

$16.97 for 120 Capsules (60 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Vitamistic Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics & Prebiotics

Top Positive Review:

Benji
5.0 out of 5 stars smooth, small, easy to swallow, works quickly

Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2019

61 people found this helpful

Top Negative Review:

Cassandra DeRose
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2021
I have used other digestive enzymes and these unfortunately disappoint. The other brands I used worked for the most part, but still gave me side effects. I was hoping for a product that was better. However, these are worse and I feel NO difference whatsoever. My bowels have not improved, and my stomach feels no better. Hopefully it will work for you! I am sad, I was really looking forward to this product after all of the great reviews.

Purely Optimal Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics & Probiotics

Cost:

$24 for 180 Capsules (90 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Purely Optimal Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics plus Probiotics

Top Positive Review:

Vinh W. Thai
5.0 out of 5 stars Please don’t change the formula . If it works, stay with it

Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2020

53 people found this helpful

Top Negative Review:

Muhammad
1.0 out of 5 stars IF YOUR A BODYBUILDER DON’T GET IT

Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020

By far is the worst digestive enzyme I ever took, it made me super full and bloated which is completely the opposite of what digestive enzymes should do and as a bodybuilder eating a lot of protein digestive enzyme play a big role to the diet , also 2 make us eat more.
I took one dose when the bottle arrive on my lunch and until dinner I couldn’t eat anything i was so bloated so full I barely can even drink water I forced my dinner and missed my daily regular meals.
I took my second dose it actually made it worse , now I’m going to return it for a full refund and go back to “Now” probiotic or Digestive enzyme.. maybe people giving a good review cuz you can get a bonus bottle like what it says on this paper that come with it I’m not quite sure I didn’t even bother to go to that website and check it out, or they want to have something to block their appetite but it’s completely the opposite of what digestive enzymes should do to you the feelings and everything…

Enzymedica Digest Gold + PROBIOTICS

Cost:

$44.24 for 90 Capsules (90 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Enzymedica Digest Gold PROBIOTICS

Top Positive Review:

D Carbajal
5.0 out of 5 stars Best stuff on earth

Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2018

Top Negative Review:

Nick Evanish
2.0 out of 5 stars No luck for me.

Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2016

Vitalitown Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics

Cost:

$9.99 for 60 Capsules (30 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Vitalitown Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotics review

Top Positive Review:

dkelley
5.0 out of 5 stars I’ve purchased this product 3 times already. Works well!

Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021

 

Top Negative Review:

Denise
2.0 out of 5 stars May not be for everyone.
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2021
Gave me terrible stomach pain might have been too much for my stomach.

Divine Bounty Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics & Prebiotics

Cost:

$16.95 for 90 Capsules (90 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

divine bounty capsules

Top Positive Review:

Jaws
5.0 out of 5 stars This made a difference

Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2018

Top Negative Review:

Jane K
1.0 out of 5 stars A very TMI review, read at your own risk.

Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2019

I bought this product based on research in addition to all of the 5-star reviews this product received. I have a lot of IBS-like symptoms in addition to bloating. I’m seriously in the bathroom all morning sometimes because my body’s digestive system is just shot. So, when I saw recommendations on this product I thought I’d give it a try. Especially after many people claimed that their stool was a lot firmer and less frequent/normalized after taking this enzyme.

Well, I’ve been taking it for a few weeks now and all I can say is it did not help me, and honestly? I felt worse taking this. It did not firm up my stool whatsoever, in fact, I found it to be looser than before and much more frequent than when I wasn’t taking anything for it. I tried to wait it out, but I’ve decided I just cannot take this enzyme anymore. The frequent bathroom trips and constant bloating I received from this enzyme was not worth it. I was more miserable taking it, so much that I am better off not taking anything.

This may work for others, but it did not work for me. This is just my personal experience with it.

Life Extension Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics

Cost:

$39.90 for 120 Capsules (120 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Life Extension Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics

Top Positive Review:

Harley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2017

Top Negative Review:

Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars

Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2018

Nutra Champs Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics

Cost:

$23.95 for 180 Capsules (180 servings)

Ingredients / Servings: 

Nutra Champs Digestive Enzyme

Top Positive Review:

SmtShopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked for Me!

Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2018

Top Negative Review:

Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not order this product if, you think it will help with gut bloating.
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2018
I used this product for two weeks gave me severe stomach aches, constipation and could not burp or pass gas. I will never order this again, I thought I was having a heart attack, so painful. I wish, I could get my money back.

Pure Food DIGEST (Probiotics + Enzymes + Prebiotics + Soothing Herbs)

Cost:

$23.99 for 60 Capsules (60 servings) * 2-pack Subscribe & Save price with 20% coupon “2021” applied

Ingredients / Servings: 

pure food digestive supplement ingredients

Top Positive Review:

Benji
Deborah A. ZahnSimmons
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT Product for Next Step on Health Journey!

Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2021

My mother and I have been using this product for the past several months and Pure Food Protein Powder product for years. What drew me to THIS company is their transparency, dedication to clean ingredients, and lack of fillers and sweeteners (keeping it SIMPLE and whole). I have been thoroughly impressed with their customer service and amazing response time to ALL my inquiries. Scott himself takes the time to individually respond with sincerity, I’ve never had that experience with a company before. He makes me feel like I matter as a customer.
As we have been using Digest, my mother and I have both been very satisfied with our results and “regularity”. Although it might be TMI, there is so much that your excrements can indicate about your overall health and Digest has continued to improve these areas as our guts adjusted to the new flora. I have also physically noticed less bloating in my lower abdomen, which what woman wouldn’t want that.
Overall I highly recommend this product and other Pure Food products to my family and friends regularly.
PS the Pure Food blog also has some amazing resources and interesting article for anyone who is on a health journey.

Top Negative Review:

Brooklynns Nanny
2.0 out of 5 stars No change in gastroparisis but did give me a headache.
Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2021
Gives me a migraine everytime I take it. Tried for a week and no improvement.

Wrap Up: How to Find the Best Digestive Health Supplement for You

When looking at all-in-one digestive health supplements that contain probiotics, enzymes, and prebiotics, these are the criteria we recommend paying attention to:

  1. Amount of Enzymes / Probiotics / Other Ingredients: the more strains of probiotics, the more potential microbiome diversity and benefits. But more CFUs does not always mean better though! Some people’s guts are overly sensitive to certain strains and hundreds of billions of CFUs are definitely not needed. If you’re new to probiotics and enzymes, we recommend looking for a product with 1-10 billion CFUs per serving. As far as enzymes go, look for something that has at least 100 mg of a combination of carbohydrate-, fat-, and protein-digesting enzymes. Prebiotic fiber and GI-friendly herbs are also a bonus.
  2. Cost: Expect to pay around $.25 – $1.00/capsule for the best digestive enzyme plus probiotic supplements. In most cases, you get what you pay for and cheaper formulas tend to contain smaller amount of enzymes and sit on shelves longer, which can render much of the probiotic bacteria ineffective.
  3. Ingredient Sources: It’s important to understand where the ingredients in your digestive health capsule is coming from. Most of these manufacturers source their ingredients from China, where quality standards are often lower. Products that source all ingredients from the U.S. are going to cost a little more but are worth the extra cost because you know what you’re getting is safe and effective. If they don’t tell you where their ingredients come from, it’s probably a good bet it’s from the cheapest source possible overseas, especially with larger brands. W
  4. Manufacturing: All reputable probiotic plus enzyme formulas are produced in cGMP facilities, which means there are strict quality control and testing measures in place to ensure your safety and product efficacy.
  5. Doctor-developed: You want to make sure a safe, efficacious amount of each ingredient is in the product. That’s why we only recommend trusting digestive health formulas that are developed by GI health experts.
  6. Reviews: Read the reviews carefully. Oftentimes you’ll see many manufacturers with positive reviews that are several years old but when you look at recent reviews, customers are not happy about a formula change (this happens frequently when small companies get acquired by big ones).

Try Pure Food DIGEST with This Limited Time Deal

Are Plant-Based Protein Powders Better for Your Health?

protein powders plant based

Are you debating which protein powder to incorporate into your routine? Getting your protein powders from plant based sources instead of whey based can bring a lot of advantages to your health. From nutritional benefits to muscle-building to gut health, let’s take a look at what plant-based protein powders have to offer compared to their animal-based counterparts!

Nutritional Benefits

When you get your protein powders plant based, you’ll get a much greater nutritional diversity than whey-based protein powders offer. This is because plants have a much richer nutrient profile, which your body needs to function well. One of the most important nutrients you find more of in plant proteins is fiber (more on this below).

Where whey does have the edge is in its complete amino acid profile, but this can be addressed with plant based proteins by combining several different sources together..

Most people in America aren’t getting the amount of daily nutrients their bodies need, so a quick addition to your routine with plant-based protein powders is the convenient and smart way to ensure you’re better nourished.

Fiber & Digestion

Another benefit to getting your protein powders plant based is that they are generally much higher in belly-filling fiber than whey-based proteins. Fiber is excellent for your digestion, and this can be essential for those that struggle with digestive issues. Incorporating some plant-based protein powders into your routine can help your digestive system to run more smoothly and keep you more regular.

Improve Blood Flow

A lot of people invest in protein powders because they want to improve their athletic performance. This is why some of the top athletes get their protein powders plant based: because plant proteins help to improve your blood flow, which increases healing time after exercise.

Avoid Health Risks

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein/high meat intake in humans were (a) disorders of bone and calcium homeostasis, (b) disorders of renal function, (c) increased cancer risk, (d) disorders of liver function, and (e) precipitated progression of coronary artery disease.”source: NCBI).

Getting your protein powders plant based can help you reduce your intake of animal protein.

Lactose Free

Up to 65 percent of people in the U.S are lactose-intolerant, which can mean major gut issues when consuming whey and other dairy-based proteins. That’s why, if you’re lactose-intolerant, it’s good news to know that you can get your protein powders plant based.

Don’t settle for proteins that will make you sick or avoid proteins altogether—get the protein you want without the negative effects on your body.

Overall, plant-based protein is a better choice than whey protein for many people, especially those with GI issues. If you get your protein powders plant based, especially from high quality plant protein sources like Pure Food, you can count on certain benefits, such as higher nutritional density, improved digestion, natural ingredients, better blood flow, avoiding health risks, and a lack of inflammation-promoting lactose. Click here for more details.

Vegan Protein Powder for Bodybuilders, Athletes, and Conscious Eaters

There are many good reasons to seek out the best vegan protein powders if you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or simply a conscious eater. Protein powders are especially important if you follow a plant-based / vegan diet and you’re an athlete or bodybuilder (it takes lots of protein to obtain/maintain a healthy physique)! We’ll talk about this more below.

In addition to smoothies, vegan protein powder can also be used in other recipes, too. The best vegan protein powders can be used for puddings, breads, cookies, and in protein bar recipes.

If you’re an athlete or body builder looking for the best vegan protein powders, here are a few things to consider to find the “best” one for you!

Types of Vegan Protein Powder

If you are looking for more ways to get vegan proteins into your diet, you obviously don’t want to choose protein powders with whey, egg, milk proteins, collagen, or other obvious animal proteins because, of course, those are not vegan.

Even for non-vegans though, dairy and whey can cause GI problems … especially for bodybuilders and athletes who tend to consume more protein than most folks.

Vegan proteins come from ingredients like brown rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein, and chia seed protein, which are completely plant-based and easy to digest. Pea and rice protein, in particular, are higher in essential amino acids than other plant-based proteins and are absorbed easily by the body, making them among the best vegan protein powder choices.

Who Needs Protein Powder?

If you’re an athlete or bodybuilder, it’s generally recommended to eat close to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight each day.

If you can get that much protein from eating whole, plant-based foods, then that’s great! But for 99% of people, that’s a very difficult thing to do.

Vegan protein powders are best for people who aren’t getting their daily protein requirements from whole foods.

Why Vegan Protein?

The best vegan protein powders contain only all-natural, plant-based ingredients that blend well into shakes, smoothies, and other recipes.

Watch out for hidden junk ingredients like gums, “natural flavors,” and sugars / sweeteners.

If you want to sweeten your vegan protein shake, add your own ingredients (like fruit)!

When figuring out the best vegan protein powders for you, it’s important to do your homework. Make sure you’re reading the ingredients lists and nutrition labels, researching the company you’re buying from, and looking beyond price (because you get what you pay for!).

So long story short, the best vegan protein powders are convenient, they’re “clean,” and they’re not made from ingredients that your body does not want. Read more about the ingredients in our vegan protein powders to see if they’re right for you.

How to Select the Perfect Protein Powder for Women

Protein powders are everywhere these days. They’re made with a variety of ingredients, plant- and animal-based, and come in many different flavors. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which is the best womens protein powder.

In this article, you’ll learn what protein powders are most commonly used for and the criteria we use to evaluate the best protein powder for women.

What Exactly Are Protein Powders and What Are They Used For?

Protein powders are powdered versions of common food proteins (duh).

The most common type of protein powder is made from whey, which is a milk-based protein. The problem with whey protein is that many women and men are lactose intolerant (an estimated 65% of adults!). If you’re lactose intolerant, consuming dairy products can cause issues with inflammation, digestion, immunity, etc.

Collagen protein is a newer source of animal protein made from the hair, skin, and nails of animals like cows, chicken, and fish. The long-term benefits and risks of collagen protein have not been established just yet, but it appears to be safe based on the current data available.

The most popular vegan option is soy protein powder. Unless it’s organic, however, soy protein is made from genetically modified (GMO) soybeans. Other plant-based protein options include pea, rice, hemp, pumpkin, and chia.

But plant proteins can be lacking in certain amino acids and therefore are not synthesized/absorbed quite as well as dairy proteins in the body.

That’s why the consensus among health experts is that the best women’s protein powder is actually a blend of other plant proteins like pea, rice, hemp, pumpkin, and chia. If you blend the right ratio of vegan / vegetarian proteins together, it can result in a perfect PDCAAS (protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score) of 1.0, the same as whey but without the inflammation!

In other words, combining these plant-based protein powders supplies your body with a healthy source of “complete” protein.

Why Use Protein Powder? 

People may want to increase their protein consumption with protein powders for a variety of reasons.

Many people use protein powders to help build muscle or improve body composition, while others use them to recover from sports injuries.

Women and men tend to lose muscle mass as they age, which is why eating a little more protein is recommended for most older adults.

What to Look in a Protein Powder

There are a few things that you should look for when you are shopping for the best women’s protein powder.

Organic – The best protein powders for women and men should have organic ingredients. You don’t want to consume unnecessary chemicals and toxins along with your protein.

• Easily digestible – Some protein powders, especially whey protein, can be hard for many folks to digest. For most women, a plant-based protein blend with pea, rice, hemp, chia, and/or pumpkin seed protein will be easier on the stomach.

• Tastes good (but no sugar) – Choking down a glass of awful tasting protein powder each morning is not fun…but the best women’s protein powders taste good and are good for you … so avoid any protein shakes with added sugar, which is the biggest contributor to weight gain!

• Probiotics –The best women’s protein powders are more than just a source of clean protein. Look for products that also give you added benefits, like probiotics, fiber, and amino acids.

The Best Women’s Protein Powder

One of the best women’s protein powders on the market is Pure Food Plant Based Protein Powder.

It’s made of a blend of organic pea, organic brown rice, and organic hemp proteins, and it is sweetened with all-natural stevia leaf extract. No gums. No “flavors”. No junk.

Each serving of Pure Food Plant Based Protein Powder has 20 grams of protein per serving, 4 grams of branched chain amino acids, and 4 grams of fiber. It also contains 9 essential amino acids, 1 billion CFUs of probiotics, and zero grams of sugar per serving.

Pure Food Plant Based Protein Powder is available in vanilla and raw cacao flavors, and it blends smoothly for a delicious finish. Mix it with your favorite fruits, vegetables, plant milks, and/or nut or seed butter to make a satisfying shake. Try Pure Food Plant Based Protein Powder if you are looking for one of the best women’s protein powders. Click here to find out more.

Plant Based Protein Pudding Recipe (Vegan, Keto, Low Sugar)

Creating a healthy and tasty chocolate plant-based pudding recipe that was vegan, keto-friendly, and high protein was quite the challenge, let me tell you!

But I can confidently declare this one a winner … and it has very solid nutrition facts profile, as you’ll see below.

The highest percentage of calories in this recipe come from fat (29 grams). But don’t fret–it’s good fats (monounsatured and polyunsaturated)–the types that have a beneficial effect on your heart health.

These “good fats” in the recipe come from three nuts that pair surprisingly well together: cashews, macadamia, and peanut butter.

And the protein content ain’t too shabby either–a solid 18 grams per serving thanks to the addition of Pure Food Cacao Protein Powder with Probiotics.

For all of you low carb / Paleo / Keto peeps, the carb count comes in at 17 with 4 grams of belly-filling fiber … for a grand total of 13 g net carbs and just 1 gram of sugar!

You could lower this even more by switching up your nut ratios and doing more macadamia/nut butter and less cashews.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

Chocolate Plant Based Protein Pudding Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened oat milk
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (soaked overnight)
  • 1/8 cup peanut butter
  • 4 scoops of Pure Food Cacao Protein Powder with Probiotics (note: you can also try 3 scoops of Pure Food Cacao REAL MEAL Meal Replacement Powder).
  • Optional: If you like it sweeter, you can add a banana, 1-2 T sweetener like honey or maple syrup, or a tiny bit of monkfruit or stevia if you prefer lower sugar, which is what I used. Or try it with shaved dark chocolate and/or strawberries.

How to Make This Keto-friendly Chocolate Vegan Protein Pudding

  1. Start by combining the macadamia nuts and cashews into a bowl. Cover and soak overnight or give them a “quick soak” by adding near-boiling-hot water and soaking for 1 hour. Overnight will get you a smoother consistency though. Drain the water once done.
  2. Add the rest of your dry ingredients to a food processor or high powered blender (I used my Vitamix) and pulse. Slowly add the oat milk a little bit at a time until you get the consistency you’re looking for (taste frequently!). I blended mine for about 2-3 minutes on medium.
  3. Scoop the pudding into a bowl. Cover and chill overnight, ideally (or at least a couple hours if you can wait that long). Serve as-is or with some fruit/dark chocolate and you have yourself a very tasty and healthy dessert!
  4. This plant-powered protein pudding will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can probably freeze it too, but I haven’t tried so proceed at your own risk! 😉

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 4

Per Serving:

Calories: 387

Fat: 29 grams

Carbs: 17 grams (4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar)

Protein: 18 grams

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Probiotics and Immune Health: Which Strains Are Best for Immunity?

how to boost immunity naturally with probiotics

Can probiotics boost your immune system? The answer, as you’ll learn below, is yes … but there are some caveats.

In this article we’ll review several research studies that have explored the role probiotics play in immunity and reveal what, if any, probiotic strains may help improve your immune health. We’ll also talk about the right foods to eat to boost your immunity and situations in which you should probably avoid probiotics.

Let’s dig in …

The Microbiome, Explained

You have an estimated 40 trillion bacterial cells living inside your body at any given time.

A good chunk of these microorganisms live in your gut and are part of your “microbiome,” the collective community of microbes that reside with you.

The microbiome plays quite the important role in your body, particularly when it comes to immunity …

Scientists have discovered that 70-80 percent of your immune system is controlled by your microbiome.

And your gut microbiome is largely shaped by what you eat and drink, as we’ll explore further below. First, let’s talk probiotics …

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep your body healthy and working well. These good bacteria can provide assistance in a number of interesting ways.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics can help you maintain a healthy balance in your body by:

  • Supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation.
  • Helping your body digest food.
  • Keeping bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
  • Creating vitamins.
  • Helping support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed (through food or drinks) from entering your blood.

Probiotics are commonly used by medical professionals to treat the following conditions:

  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • H. pylori (the cause of ulcers)
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Infection of the GI tract caused by Clostridium difficile
  • Pouchitis (a possible side effect of surgery that removes the colon)
  • Eczema in children

Let’s take a deeper dive into the role probiotics play in your immune health, specifically.

Probiotics and Immune Health: What We Know Based on Current Research Studies

Study #1: Beneficial Effects of Probiotic Consumption on the Immune System

According to this 2019 study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism medical journal:

Probiotic bacteria have significant effects on the functionality of the mucosal and systemic immune systems through the activation of multiple immune mechanisms.

The researchers in the study discovered that probiotic bacteria induce signals in the intestine that improve the behavior of the immune system and the host’s health. Probiotic bacteria were deemed to be an “effective tool for the maintenance of the intestinal homeostasis and the stimulation of the mucosal immune system.”

Study #2: Prospective Study of Probiotic Supplementation Results in Immune Stimulation and Improvement of Upper Respiratory Infection Rate

In a 2018 double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, researchers found that a 3-strain probiotic supplement was “safe and effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections by boosting the immune system.”

Probiotics do appear to be somewhat effective in preventing the common cold. More research is needed but early results are promising.

“Probiotics are particularly helpful for maintaining normal bowel function and good digestive health,” says Bruce Eisendorf, M.D., a family medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “They also keep your immune system strong so you can fight and prevent infection.”

Study #3: Probiotics and Immune Health

A 2011 study found that:

Probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses.

Which Probiotics Are Best for Immunity?

Here are the strain-specific probiotics that may work for boosting your immune system:

Probiotic StrainImmune System Benefit
Bifidobacterium bifidumReduces cold and flu incidence.
Lactobacillus brevisReduces the incidence of flu.
Lactobacillus GGDecreased risk of upper respiratory infections for children in daycare.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum Reduces the risk of colds in school-aged children.
Lactobacillus rhamnosusReduces the incidence of pneumonia in people in the intensive care unit.
B. longum Helps prevent the flu in elderly patients.
Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracaseiReduces the number of days with symptoms and severity of colds.

*Shameless Plug Alert: Our digestive health supplement, Pure Food DIGEST, contains ALL of these probiotic strains!

How to Build a Healthy Immune System By Feeding Your Microbiome the Right Foods

One way to improve the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut without probiotic supplements is to eat more foods these “good bacteria” like to eat—namely, fiber-rich foods.

This means increasing your intake of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans/legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds

Getting all your fiber from a single source (like a fiber supplement, for example) is not the best way to boost your gut health and immunity.

Your goal should be to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods each day.

Another way to promote a healthy gut and immune system is to eat foods that already contain beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

This includes:

  • Yogurt, kefir, and other cultured dairy products (there are plant-based options available now too).
  • Kim-chi, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables.
  • Miso, tempeh, natto, and other fermented soy products.
  • Kombucha (fermented tea).

All of these products are available on grocery store shelves or you can make them yourself, which is actually quite fun. My personal DIY foods: kombucha, preserved lemons, fermented pepper paste, and pickles.

Is it Safe to Take Probiotics When You’re Sick?

Probiotic supplements are generally safe for healthy people.

Studies show that taking probiotics may help you get sick less and reduce the amount of time you’re sick for (in regards to common colds/respiratory infections).

But there are some situations where beneficial bacteria (either from foods or supplements) can cause adverse affects.

Acute illnesses such as pancreatitis, Crohn’s, colitis, and celiac disease can lead to increased intestinal permeability, which is when bacteria penetrate the lining of the gut far enough to cause an inflammatory reaction from your immune cells. If your gut is already inflamed, that can spell trouble.

Those with compromised immune systems, either from a severe illness or due to medical treatment for a disease, are also generally advised to avoid probiotic foods and supplements. Some studies have found that using probiotics in severely ill or immunocompromised individuals can increase the risk of adverse effects such as infections.

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Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: What’s the Difference?

Types of Digestive Enzymes and Benefits of Each

In this guide, we will answer all of your most common questions about digestive enzymes:

  • What are digestive enzymes, what do they do, and where do they come from?
  • Digestive enzymes vs probiotics: what’s the difference?
  • What do digestive enzymes help with?
  • Which enzyme should you take to break down carbs, fats, proteins, etc.?
  • What’s the best time to take digestive enzymes and probiotics? 
  • Do you need an enzyme supplement?

Let’s get started …

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes help break down food in your mouth and gut so nutrients are released and can be absorbed across the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream.

Therefore, one of the main things digestive enzymes do is to increase the bioavailability of nutrients. In other words, they help your body digest certain foods better

Where Do Digestive Enzymes Come From?

Our bodies make some types of digestive enzymes. They’re produced in your saliva and as exocrine secretions from the pancreas when you consume food.

Digestive enzyme supplements come from three different sources: animals, plants and microbes.

Animal-sourced

These include pancreatin, pepsin, trypsin and chymotrypsin. Pancreatin includes many of the enzymes necessary for digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (proteases to break down proteins into amino acids; amylase to break down complex carbohydrate molecules into manageable sugars; and lipase to help break down fats).

Plant-sourced

Plant-sourced enzymes include bromelain (from pineapple), papain (from papaya), and gluten-specific proteases, which help break down proteins.

Microbial-sourced

These enzymes come from fungi and bacterial sources and can be used by vegetarians and vegans instead of animal-based enzymes. Common enzymes in this group include amylase, glucoamylase, proteases, lipase and multiple types of saccharidases including lactase (to digest lactose), alphagalactosidase (for digesting beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables) and cellulase (to help digest cellulose in plants).

Are Digestive Enzymes the Same As Probiotics?

Digestive enzymes and probiotics can both help you improve digestion but they’re not the same. Probiotics are living microorganisms that may provide certain health benefits when ingested while digestive enzymes are non-living molecules that help you digest specific foods better.

Your body produces enzymes but does not produce probiotics, so they must be consumed through the diet or supplemented.

Who Should Take a Digestive Enzyme Supplement?

First, it’s important to understand that an enzyme will only help improve digestion of a food if it’s the right type of enzyme for the right type of food.

Second, digestive enzymes will also only help improve digestive symptoms if those symptoms are  related to poor digestion of particular nutrients or enzyme deficiency. 

What Causes Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies? 

There are many reasons why our bodies often don’t make enough digestive enzymes. One of the main reasons is poor exocrine pancreatic function. The causes of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) are quite diverse and include:

  • Problems with the endocrine part of the pancreas such as insulin dysregulation from diet high in refined carbohydrates and diabetes
  • Gall stones that block the bile duct and reduce/halt the flow of pancreatic juices (biliary stasis)
  • Poor function of the Sphincter of Oddi
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Micronutrient deficiency
  • Protein deficiency
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates causing hypoglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes
  • High calorie intake
  • Too little or too much exercise

Other factors that also impact digestive enzyme output are:

  • Consuming foods or drinks that promote intestinal inflammation including coffee, alcohol, sugar, and highly processed foods
  • Individual food sensitivities like gluten, dairy, corn, soy etc.
  • Chronic GI infection or inflammation
  • Repeated antibiotic exposure, which affects gut microbiota, digestive and liver health
  • Physical, emotional or psychological stress
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging

Symptoms of Digestive Enzyme Insufficiency 

Symptoms of digestive enzyme insufficiency usually appear in the gut and may include:

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Irritable bowel type symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gut microbiota dysbiosis
  • Undigested food in the stools
  • Stools that float (steatorrhea)
  • Feeling full after only a few mouthfuls
  • Food allergies and intolerances

And for some folks, the lack of enzymes can become a chronic insufficiency that may lead to obesity, allergies and poor immune function, depression and anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Types of Digestive Enzymes and Benefits of Each

Different types of enzymes have different benefits. Here are some of the most common ones:

ENZYME CLASS

TYPE / SOURCE

FUNCTION

LipasesLipase / humans, plants and microbes
Essential for digestion of fats.
ProteasesGluten proteases / microbes
Digest gluten and casein.
Alkali proteases / microbes
Digest proteins with pH 4.0-11.
Acid proteases / microbes
Digest proteins within pH 2.0-6.0.
Bromelain / pineapples
Digest proteins.
CarbohydrasesAmylase / humans and microbes
Digest starch and glycogen-specific enzymes and gluten.
Amyloglucosidase / plants and microbes
Digest amylase disaccharides into monosaccharides. Works best with amylase.
Lactase / humans (babies), plants and microbes
Digest the milk sugar lactose.
Alpha galactosidase / microbes
Digest raffinose, stachyose and verbascose in legumes, whole grains and some vegetables.
Invertase / humans, plants and microbes
Digest sucrose and maltose.
Fibrolytic EnzymesPhytase / plants and microbes
Digest phytic acid from nuts, seeds, and grains.
Cellulase / plants and microbes
Digest cellulose, a plant fibre found in fruit and vegetables.

What to Expect When Taking Digestive Enzymes and/or Probiotics

When introducing new bacteria and/or an enzyme supplement into your system, it’s common to experience a brief increase in GI activity like gas, bloating, etc. This normally lasts 1-2 weeks max and is your body’s way of acclimating to a shift in the balance of bacteria in your microbiome. If symptoms persist past this point, it’s probably a good idea to stop.

After a couple weeks, you should notice less of these types of symptoms, as long as you’re taking the supplements at the right times. Which leads to our next topic …

When Is the Best Time to Take Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics?

It’s best to take digestive enzymes and probiotics either right before or with a meal to maximize their time of being in contact with food. Try taking them before or with your largest meal or two of the day to start, and then before/with other meals as-needed.

You should not take probiotic or enzyme supplements first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach because you will likely experience an increase in gas and bloating (note: per the section above, it’s normal to have some of these symptoms even if you take the supplements with food for the first couple weeks). Give your body time to adjust!

Do You Need Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, or Both?

If you’re having gut issues, the first thing you should do is go visit a licensed healthcare provider who can help you determine if you have an enzyme deficiency. We also recommend scheduling an appointment with an allergist to see which foods, if any, you may be having adverse reactions to.

There does appear to be some benefit to taking a combination of probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes (this is called a synbiotic).

While digestive enzymes will help you break down food and absorb its nutrients, the probiotics will create a natural protective layer of bacteria and the prebiotic fiber will help “feed” the good bacteria.

What to Look for In a Digestive Enzyme / Probiotic / Synbiotic Supplement

Our criteria is admittedly more stringent than others but here’s the checklist we recommend using:

  1. Formulated by a doctor or credentialed healthcare expert.
  2. Contains multiple strains of probiotics and enzymes at safe, efficacious doses.
  3. Ingredients sourced from North America or Europe.
  4. Delayed release capsule or spore-forming probiotics used to ensure most probiotics reach your small intestine.
  5. Third party tested for pathogens and other contaminants and post-production testing done on each batch to ensure you’re getting what it says on the label.

About Our Probiotic / Digestive Enzyme Supplement, DIGEST

If you’re considering a supplement, here’s some more information about our product, Digest, and what sets it apart from other digestive health supplements:

pure food digestive enzymes plus probiotics ingredientscompare digestive enzyme probiotic supplements

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Kachava Reviews: Compare Ka’ Chava Meal Replacement to Pure Food Real Meal

Most Kachava reviews you see online have one thing in common: a vested instead in selling more Ka’ chava protein!

This one is the opposite.

Because we sell our own line of plant-based protein and meal replacement powders.

And for that reason, we like to write honest assessments of our competitors’ products to help our customers understand how they compare to ours.

How do you remain unbiased when selling a competitive product?” you may be asking. The answer is:

  1. By focusing on objective criteria in our reviews: ingredients, nutrition facts, and price.
  2. By analyzing real customer reviews from the best source of consumer product feedback, Amazon.

Ingredients-wise, Kachava is actually one of the better plant-based meal replacement products on the market.

There are a few things we don’t love about their products too.

Read the rest of our Kachava review to learn more …

What Is Kachava?

Kachava, also known as “Ka Chava,” is an “all-in-one plant-based superfood meal,” according to kachava.com.

It’s available in two flavors, Vanilla and Chocolate.

Ka’Chava provides you with all the functional fuel you need to thrive both physically and mentally in a single, ready-to-go meal.

Source: https://www.kachava.com/pages/benefits-all

Kachava Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Kachava shakes are quite nutrient-dense. They contain:

  • 70+ Superfoods & Nutrients
  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Greens
  • Omega 3s
  • MCTs
  • Probiotics
  • Adaptogens
  • Antioxidants
  • 26 Vitamins & Minerals

Ka’Chava serving sizes (62g Chocolate & 60g Vanilla) are larger than most other shakes on the market.

Nutrition-wise, here’s a summary of what you get per 2 scoop serving:

  • 240 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 4.4 grams of saturated fat
  • 24-25 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of dietary fiber
  • 6-7 grams of sugar (5-6 grams added sugar)

Here are the complete nutrition panels / ingredient lists for each of the two Ka’chava flavors currently available:

Kachava Chocolate Protein Powder / Meal Replacement Nutrition Facts

kachava chocolate meal replacement powder nutrition

Kachava Vanilla Protein / Meal Replacement Nutrition Facts

kachava vanilla ingredients nutrition facts

Kachava Cost

On their website, Kachava costs $69.95 / bag for a single purchase ($4.67/serving), or $59.95 with a monthly subscription ($4/serving).

On Amazon, Kachava costs $77.95/bag.

Other Ka’chava Reviews (from Amazon)

Amazon reviewers rate the product as-follows:

ka chava reviews

Here are the three most popular Ka’chava positive reviews on Amazon:

On a lark, I bought a bag because I often look for something quick and easy for lunch at work and have tried a LOT of different meal replacement/protein shakes. Either they taste great and have really iffy nutritional value and high sugar, or they are really healthy, high in protein, low carb and taste like chalky watery paste. The nutritional value of this stuff is pretty amazing and it is low sugar/carbs. I took a chance because I don’t mind the cost if the taste will compel me to use it and not spend my usual $5-$10 per day for a nutritionally questionable lunch I often don’t have time to eat. Based on reviews saying it tasted “amazing”, I went in cautiously hopeful. Let me be clear, this does not taste “GREAT” or “AMAZING”, imo. But more importantly (for me at least), it does not taste BAD like so many other drinks I’ve tried. I keep a bag of frozen berries in my office fridge and add a few with just water to a small bullet blender. I can actually drink it down quickly without feeling like I have to force it down in an unpleasant way. I am sure if I start experimenting with other ingredients, I can get it to taste great, but I don’t really feel the need. I’ve used it for about two weeks consistently and I was very suprised to note that I was not hungry or peckish for late afternoon snacks, of which I am often guilty. Felt pretty sated and energized till dinner. Not to get all TMI, but my “movements” have also been really healthy as well the following day, and on days where I have a lunch meeting or something other than the shake, I definitely note the difference in that department. Sorry, but it seemed like a relevant observation. The ingredients and purported nutritional value are the highlight here. I don’t feel guilty “only” having a shake for lunch and actually suspect it is good for me? Pricey for sure, but so far two weeks in, I am a believer and suspect I’ll buy more. I’m not on a crusade to lose weight or eat super healthy all the time, but was just looking for something convenient, healthy and good enough that I wouldn’t dread going to it for a quick lunch from time to time. That I stuck with it for two weeks compelled me to write up a review. If it was $10-$20 less, I’d probably make it a subscription.
The Ka’chava meal replacement is packed full of excellent nutrients! I actually really like the sweet chocolate taste, yet it also has 9g of sugar (which appears to be naturally occurring from all the added fruits?). However, there are a few things that I would like the company to alter, before I would purchase this meal replacement again:
1. Please use methylcobalamin Vitamin B12, NOT cyanocobalamin Vitamin B12, because the former is natural and the latter is synthetically bound to cyanide! It appears the only damn reason nutrition labs make cyanocobalamin is because the cyanide gives the B12 a slightly longer shelf life, but at what toxic cost to a human body taking it?!
2. Most of the ingredients are organic, which is good, but it would be truly excellent if all the ingredients were sourced organic.
3. The price for the Ka’chava blend is a bit steep. I predominantly purchase the Sunwarrior and Garden of Life meal replacements, because they both have excellent, all organic ingredients at a far better price to quantity ratio.
I have tasted a lot of protein powder over the years. This one is worth the money. The ingredient list is really impressive – all
You need to add is some nut butter (for a little more fat) and it’s a really good meal replacement. Like – really good. I only gave it 4 Stars because it’s so pricey. There is no other protein powder out there with clean and super healthy ingredients that tastes like this – except maybe shakeology – and this tastes better. I love a good shake after a tough workout – I’m sticking with this one.
I was not given product or anything in exchange for this review.

The three most popular Ka’ chava negative review on Amazon are:

I am a pretty easy to satisfy when it comes to food and beverages… definitely not too demanding on flavors. But I must say that the chocolate flavored version of this product is pretty bad tasting. I carry a very low sugar diet and I do not spice up or season too heavy any of my meals, so I am not expecting “healthy” alternatives to taste particularly good or sweet. But this is ridiculous.
Considering how expensive this product is, that most, if not all of the statements claimed by the product are “non FDA evaluated”, that daily nutritional/dietary values are not established, and that the flavor is *extremely* bad, the price should be subject to a steep downward correction. I would not pay more than $19.99 for a product like this. Yet it is priced at $77.99.
I most certainly don’t want a refund or to be contacted regarding my review. I am just being purely honest about my experience with it.
Be very careful purchasing this there’s no return and it’s very expensive. I did not like it it does not shake well with water almond milk etc. even when blended it’s uncontrollably thick …

Summary: What We Love / Don’t Love About Ka’ Chava

What We Love About Kachava:

  • Solid organic plant based protein blend.
  • Balanced macronutrient profile for a meal replacement.
  • Quality superfoods, adaptogens, probiotics, and enzymes.

What We Don’t Love About Ka’ Chava:

  • Get rid of the 6 grams of added sugar! Use a bit more organic monkfruit instead.
  • Ditch the “natural” flavors and gums.
  • Find an organic source of pea protein.

Compare Our Kachava Alternative–Pure Food Protein Real Meal

Here’s a quick comparison of Ka’ Chava Meal Replacement Powder vs. Pure Food Real Meal:

BenefitKa’Chava Meal Replacement PowderPure Food REAL MEAL
Calories Per Serving240205
Protein Per Serving25 grams26 grams 
Sugar Per Serving 5-6 grams 0 grams 
Cost Per Serving (Subscribe & Save Price)$4.00$3.20
Contains Gums and Flavors YesNo 
Organic ingredientsYes (except for pea protein)Yes
Stevia-freeYesYes

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How to Reduce Anxiety Naturally: Foods, Supplements, and Techniques That Actually Work

If you’ve ever felt “butterflies in your stomach” or “gone with your gut”, you’re likely getting signals from an unexpected source hidden in the walls of your digestive system.

Scientists call this “second brain” the enteric nervous system (ENS) and it’s made up of two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from your esophagus to your rectum, connected by a giant nerve called the vagus nerve.

How, exactly, does this “gut-brain axis” affect your mental health? What role, if any, do microbes in our gut play in how we feel when we’re stressed and anxious? Can you reduce your anxiety levels just by changing the way you eat? What are some proven strategies you can use for reducing anxiety, starting right now?

We’ll answer all those questions and more in this article.

The Role of the Enteric Nervous System (ENS)

how to reduce anxiety without medicationThe ENS controls digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination, according to Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology. Pasricha states:

The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.

The ENS may trigger emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. Dr. Pasricha noted:

For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around.

This means that inflammation in your gut may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.

But feelings like anger, anxiety, sadness, surprise—all of these (and others) can also be the cause of symptoms in the gut.

With that in mind, let’s explore some strategies proven by research to help you reduce inflammation in your gut, which can help you significantly reduce your stress and anxiety as a result.

What to Eat to Decrease Your Anxiety and Stress Levels

Food plays a vital role in helping to control anxiety and stress. Let’s look at what to eat and what not to eat if you want to reduce your anxiety.

What Not to Eat

  1. Sugar: A diet low in sugar can starve out undesirable bacteria in the gut, leading to a positive effect on the gut-brain axis. Also, anxiety is often associated with hypoglycemia, a condition in which blood sugar drops to an abnormally low level a few hours after a sugary meal or drink. Balancing blood sugar is crucial to keeping symptoms of anxiety at bay.
  2. Saturated Fat: Diets higher in saturated fat and added sugars have been associated with higher anxiety levels.
  3. Alcohol: Drinking booze is also associated with higher levels of anxiety. Moderation is key.

What to Eat

  1. Vegetables and Whole Grains: Studies have found that people who eat more vegetables and non-refined grains are less likely to suffer from anxiety.
  2. Unsaturated fats: A meta-analysis of 14 studies found that people who suffer from depression and anxiety consumed lower levels of healthy monounsaturated fats (from olive oil, fish, and nuts).
  3. Fermented foods: Fermented foods like sauerkraut have beneficial microbes that may play a role in stress, anxiety, and depression. Aim to add a serving or two of fermented vegetables to your diet each day.

Specific diets, such as a low-FODMAP diet (a diet low in carbs and sugars), eliminate certain foods that can produce gas and bloating in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) patients. But this diet is hard to adhere to and may not be healthy in the long run because you’re forced to eliminate so many beneficial foods.

Supplements That May Help Improve Your Mood and Decrease Feelings of Anxiety

By now, you know that a healthy diet is crucial for physical well-being. Researchers in recent years have also begun to study whether certain supplements can improve gastrointestinal health and your mood.

Here are some of the most promising ones:

1. Probiotics

Probiotics have been shown to help improve the overall balance of your gut flora, leading to a “broad healing effect” in multiple body systems.

Researchers have found that manipulating the gut microbiota with probiotics may help manage symptoms of mental disorders.

And a 2019 review study published in the journal General Psychiatry revealed that over half of the 21 clinical studies included in the review showed positive results in treating anxiety symptoms through regulation of intestinal microbiota.

The review looked at two kinds of interventions (probiotic and non-probiotic interventions). Both probiotic and non-probiotic (diet and exercise) interventions were found to be effective.

It’s important to note that multiple probiotic strains across varying studies were used and contributed to positive outcomes in improving gut-brain connectivity and, hence, anxiety. Diversity is key.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium has been shown in small studies to have a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms. More research is needed but because of its other many benefits, we highly recommend magnesium as a front-line supplement for most adults.

3. CBD

While human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point, there are several small studies that have been conducted:

  1. A 1993 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology followed four groups of 10 people. Groups were given either CBD, Valium, ipsapirone, or placebo. The results suggested that ipsapirone and CBD have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties in stressful situations.
  2. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, “CBD reduces anxiety in social anxiety disorder (SAD).”
  3. A 2015 review published in the journal Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may help improve the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

4. L-lysine and L-arginine

A double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study showed that taking a combination of the amino acids L-lysine and L-arginine can help reduce mental stress and anxiety.

5. Kava

Kava is a plant extract made from Piper methysticum, a plant native to the western Pacific islands. There is evidence that suggests kava may be a useful way to treat mild anxiety.

How I Have Personally Reduced My Anxiety Dramatically

These are the strategies I have personally used that have been most impactful for reducing and controlling my stress and anxiety:

best sleep dietResearch shows eating a diet high in certain foods (like sugar) is associated with higher anxiety levels. So how do you know what the “right” foods for you are?

My advice: avoid fad diets and one-size-fits-all approaches to nutrition. Different foods affect people different ways and I think we’re entering a very exciting new chapter of personalized nutrition.

To that end, I highly recommend getting a microbiome test from Viome and an allergy test at a physician’s office. These two tests will tell you exactly what foods to eat more of and which ones to avoid based on your unique gut bacteria.

how drinking impacts sleepHaving a drink or two a day may have some longevity benefits … but the problem with drinking alcohol to help ease anxiety is people who do so are more likely to develop a dependence to booze.

Let the record show I still enjoy my glass or two of wine each night but my days of hard drinking are long gone, thankfully, and it has definitely made a difference in my quality of sleep.

You sleep much worse when you’re drunk, by the way, for those of you who still have friends who think they sleep better when they’re inebriated.

sleep gratitude connectionExpressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to feel better. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re writing down things you’re grateful for. It’ll help shift your thoughts away from what’s not going well for you now so you can focus more on what is. 

how exercise affects sleepExercise is a “keystone habit,” which means it leads to other healthy habits. When I feel stressed and anxious, working out always helps me feel better (I’m partial to strength training and playing basketball).

It’s no secret that taking care of your body is one of the best ways to quell anxiety and feel better about yourself.

deep breathing for sleep

Your brain may control your body, but the body can also control the brain. Deep breathing is a powerful tool that can be used to shift your brain-state and the stress response quickly.

Research shows deep breathing can help lower cortisol, a stress hormone your body produces when you’re anxious. It can even reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.  There are many different deep breathing techniques you can.

To learn some tools and techniques we recommend for using your breath as a weapon to stop anxiety in its tracks, check out our article How to Breathe Better

creativity for insomniaWhat’s your creative outlet? I love cooking, playing guitar, writing, and gardening. Doing these things makes me happy because I get to create, learn, and improve every single day.

I recommend scheduling time every day (even 5-10 minutes!) to work on something creative. Doing this every day significantly reduced my anxiety.

Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing.

Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH

best sleep tips for insomniaIf you’re sleep-deprived, you are likely exacerbating your anxiety. Make sleep a priority.

See this guide for details on how to do it: How to Sleep Better.

nature sleep impactStudies show that spending time outside in nature can reduce anxiety and stress levels. So whenever you’re feeling anxious, go take a walk … preferably somewhere with trees and/or green space.

best expert sleep advice everThere’s no better way to feel better, in my humble opinion, than spending quality time with family and friends and bringing your full attention to being with them. That’s the real “secret sauce” to kicking your anxiety to the curb (at least temporarily).

A proactive approach focused on diet, supplements like probiotics, and breathwork may be a good place to start in controlling anxiety. But you should always consult a healthcare professional if you’re dealing with chronic anxiety or depression.