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Prebiotic Supplements

You may have heard of prebiotics before—they're basically substances that you can't digest, so they reach your stomach whole, where they act as food for your gut bugs. They're in foods like Jerusalem artichokes and raw chicory root (things you probably don't eat that much of, TBH). If you don't eat enough, your gut bacteria can end up malnourished—not a good thing. Thankfully, now prebiotics are showing up in more and more supplements. One good option: ISOThrive ($40, isothrive.com) is a naturally fermented prebiotic nectar that feeds your gut bugs to keep your GI tract in healthy shape.

Photo: ISOThrive

Beyond-Bacteria Strains

Brands like BIOHM ($40, biohmhealth.com) are thinking outside the bug. Your gut contains good and bad fungi in addition to bacteria. But many probiotics ignore that fact, just containing beneficial bacteria. Not BIOHM. It contains good fungi as well as bacteria cultures, which could make it even better at restoring internal balance to your microbiome than bacteria-only pills.

Photo: BIOHM

Strain-Spiked Soaps

Some of the harder-to-wrap-your-mind-around probiotics come in the form of personal care products. But just like there are healthy bacteria in your gut, they also live on your skin and elsewhere in your body, where they help fight off bad, disease-causing bugs. Our obsession with showering and hand-washing, however, means we don't always have as many of these good bugs on our skin. Enter: probiotic personal care products. P2 Probiotic Power's iClean Every Inch ($15; p2probioticpower.com), for example, contains mild detergents to wash away dirt while also leaving behind organic probiotics meant to live on your skin and fight off that harder-to-reach bad bacteria on a microscopic level. The brand also has an iClean Your Teeth product ($15) that does the same thing for your mouth. Another option is Mother Dirt AO+ Mist ($40; shop.motherdirt.com), a probiotic spray you mist on anywhere you get sweaty after showering or working out, or before bed. It contains so-called "peacekeeper" bacteria that restore balance to the skin, fighting dryness, oiliness, and even odor.

Photo: P2 Probiotic Power

Solution-Oriented Strains

Companies have long sold probiotics marketed toward men or women (hello, Activia). But after years of in-depth research, companies are finally starting to make some more specific claims than "good for [fill in the sex]." Trusted probiotic giant Culturelle, for instance, now sells strains specifically to support the immune system or to help with digestive health (from $17, target.com). Probiogen has an allergy-defense probiotic. There's even a supplement, ClearVia ($15, amazon.com), that claims to have bugs that help your liver metabolize alcohol, to help you sidestep a hangover.

Photo: Culturelle

Cultured Sweets

Follow up the chips and burrito with a probiotic-packed dessert—courtesy of brands like Attune Foods (about $2.50, sold at Whole Foods stores), which makes probiotic chocolate bars, or Thrive Ice Cream ($5, icecreamsource.com), which in addition to the four probiotic cultures it contains is also high in protein and natural fiber and sells no-sugar-added varieties to boot.

Photo: Thrive Ice Cream