Probiotics: Why and How

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. These are live organisms that are beneficial to the host organism. You can call them the Good bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be used. Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures; such as in yogurt, kambuchas, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements. The word probiotic in Latin means for life, pro=for and biotic=life. Probiotics increase the colonization of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and limit the proliferation of pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria. An optimal intestinal microflora is believed not only to enhance digestion, but promote general health and boost immunity as well. Probiotics help with digestion functions and also increase the body’s immunity. Probiotics have other functions, as well, such as: (1) breaking down food for digestion, (2) producing the lactase enzyme (which helps digest milk sugar), (3) producing vitamins in the intestinal tract, and (4) changing the acidic environment in the intestine to create less desirable conditions for harmful organisms.

I would recommend adding some probiotics with your regimen.
Here is a life of some tasty and easy ways to add some of these good bacteria in to your diet!

Kefir is a popular health drink in many European countries including Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine. It is produced by adding kefir grains to cow, goat or sheep’s milk and letting the mixture ferment for a day. The fermentation of milk by the bacteria and yeasts in kefir starter breaks down lactose in the milk. That’s why kefir is suitable for those who are otherwise lactose intolerant. Kefir is tart and tastes thicker than milk with a slight hint of alcohol. You can also find non-dairy kefir made from sugary water, coconut water and fruit juice.

Sauerkraut is the western counterpart of kimchi, except that it doesn’t contain as much seasonings and ingredients the way kimchi does. Popular in the Europe and America, sauerkraut usually only has shredded cabbage and salt as the main ingredients. It’s produced by allowing salted cabbage to ferment on its own without the addition of any starter or vinegar for two weeks or more. Sauerkraut is sour in taste due to the formation of lactic acid during the fermentation of cabbage.

Kombucha Tea is a form of fermented tea high in healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your wellbeing and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those that already have a problem with candida.

Sources: 1; 2; 3.