Probiotics and Your Health

Probiotic (or prebiotic) rich foods with a medicine pill jar in the background

Probiotics started being well-known in the mid 1990’s, and are now found in a wide variety of foods and known for improving digestive health.  But what are probiotics?  They are live bacteria and yeasts found in some foods, supplements, and inside your body.  Bacteria… sounds gross!  

 

Your body – and especially your digestive tract (your gut) contains plenty of bacteria.  There are good types of bacteria and bad types of bacteria – probiotics are good!  Your body is constantly trying to balance your microbiome – and taking in a healthy amount of probiotics helps your body with this process.  Probiotics are especially important to take after taking antibiotics (because antibiotics strip your body of good and bad bacteria).

 

According to WebMD, taking probiotics can help improve a number of conditions including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • Eczema
  • Urinary problems
  • Oral health problems

 

So how can you increase your intake of probiotics?  Try your favorites from the list below!

 

  • Yogurt: stick to low-sugar, high protein varieties.  Plain is best!
  • Kefir: try to buy organic varieties with low sugar.
  • Sauerkraut: also rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E!
  • Dark chocolate: yes, it’s true, some high-quality varieties contain ample probiotics
  • Microalgae: think spirulina and chorella
  • Miso: also helps stop the effects of carcinogens in the body!
  • Pickles: yum 🙂
  • Tempeh: an awesome meat substitute AND probiotic source!
  • Kimchi: spicy and oh-so-good
  • Kombucha: an all-around health elixir!
  • Beer & Wine: always consume in moderation…
  • Natto: a strange, but seriously healthy fermented dish
  • Sourdough Bread: wheat is fermented in order to make this bread
  • Kvass: a Russian drink also known as “children’s beer”
  • Probiotic Supplements: if it’s difficult to eat the foods above, you can always supplement!

 

Have fun incorporating probiotics into your diet.  Your digestive system (and consequently, your entire body) will thank you!

For more information on this topic, check out this link from Health Ambition.  https://www.healthambition.com/health-benefits-yogurt/