Bacteria has a bad rap. Associated with infections, illness and disease, we automatically view it as a negative thing. It’s time to change this reputation because not all bacteria is bad. In fact we need a certain amount of bacteria in our body in order to stay healthy. This is where probiotics come in.
Probiotics aid in the breakdown of toxic chemicals and harmful bacteria in the intestines.
It’s like a little battlezone in your gut. Probiotics face off against the bad bacteria and keep your body functioning at its best. They can help to prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, candida, and other intestinal infections. This good bacteria will also fight strains of bacteria that lead to colds.
Diets high in sugar and refined flours will kill existing probiotics in our gut. Increased stress levels can also decrease probiotic levels and antibiotics do their job so well that they eliminate good bacteria along with the bad.
Dysbiosis: Imbalance of gut flora. Can cause Candida which is when there is not enough good bacteria and too much bad bacteria.
Including fermented foods in your diet can help encourage growth of good bacteria. Yogurt is often thought to be a good source of probiotics but because it is pasteurized most of the good bacteria are killed during processing. Kefir and Bio K are two products that are rich in probiotics. You can use these like a yogurt. Try adding it to your shakes or granola. If you aren’t used to the taste you can always mix it in with regular yogurt for an even greater pump up of probiotics. Both are available at most grocery stores near the dairy products.
Other sources of probiotics include tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut. Be selective when shopping for these sources and always buy organic and unpasteurized to ensure you are getting the maximal benefits.
Lactose intolerance is often a result of not having enough probiotics in your intestines. Including probiotics like keifer and bio k in your diet can actually help to build tolerance back up. They help to repopulate your digestive system with probiotics. Always start with small dosages to see how your body reacts. 1/2 tbsp per day is a safe amount to start with.
Often people get probiotics confused with prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestable carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. The allow the good bacteria to multiply and remain in the gut. You can get prebiotics from garlic, artichokes, bananas, and onions.