Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Lori Geurin
Wondering, what are probiotics? In this post, you’ll learn about probiotic foods and how they can improve your health.
When you hear the word bacteria does it remind you of something scary you saw on Dateline? If so let’s take a closer look, because, in reality, many bacteria are beneficial for your health. So let’s examine these friendly bacteria and discover how they can help you!
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What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for you.
They’re good because they help keep your gut healthy. They can lower the number of bad bacteria in the body. Plus, they help replenish good bacteria when they’re lost, like when you take antibiotics.
Types Of Probiotics
The most common groups of probiotics are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Within each group are different species. These species are further broken down into strains.
Bifidobacterium is in a few dairy products. It may also help treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
You can get probiotics through supplements too. They’re available in capsules, chewable, and liquid forms. I’ve tried several different brands from both Amazon.com and Vitacost. Amazon has over 3000 to choose from. I bought Culturelle when our daughter was younger and dealing with a long-term stomach illness. It helped her so much.
I’ve taken probiotics daily and will for the rest of my life because of the health benefits. Also, research indicates that probiotics may help treat autoimmune diseases, something I’ve dealt with since my Lyme disease diagnosis. If you have an autoimmune disease you may want to discuss probiotics with your doctor for this reason too.
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What are probiotics foods?
Great sources of probiotics include:
- Yogurt – When you buy yogurt, make sure to look for the words “active live cultures” written on the package. Greek yogurt is good too.
- Tempeh – Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is eaten as a meat alternative in stir-fries or other dishes.
- Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage and salt. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for sauerkraut in a Mason jar.
- Kimchi -This is the Korean version of sauerkraut and is high in digestive enzymes. I love eating it as a side dish. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way.
- Kefir is fermented cow’s milk. Kefir has a sour taste and is great in smoothies.
- Kombucha is a unique and slightly sour-tasting fermented tea.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV has many health benefits. It can be taken daily in small amounts (always diluted) and used in salad dressings. For more ideas about how to use ACV, you can check out 22 Amazing Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar
- Miso – a Japanese spice used in many traditional Japanese dishes. Maybe you’ve tried miso soup?
- Olives cured in brine – Try to select an organic brand that doesn’t contain sodium benzoate.
What are the benefits of taking probiotics?
Wondering, what are probiotics good for? Here are some of their benefits:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Can help prevent allergic reactions
- Effective treatment for diarrhea
- Can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
- Destroys harmful bacteria that can cause ulcers
- Lowers the number of enzymes that cause cancer
What is the best probiotic to take?
If you’re looking for a probiotics supplement, many recommend using one with at least 1 billion colony-forming units. Also, look for ones that contain Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, or Saccharomyces boulardii.
Final Thoughts – Probiotics And Your Health
As you can see probiotics are good for your health. There are many healthy foods full of these good bacteria. Best of all, they are easy to include in a healthy eating plan. I recommend probiotics to anyone, but especially if you’re dealing with stomach issues. I hope this has helped you learn more about probiotics and how you can include them in your life.
Below are a few probiotic products that our family uses if you’re interested in trying them.
What is your favorite source of probiotics? Do you take a supplement?
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