It is well established now that probiotics are a real winner in the diet and the different ways to get your daily dose of probiotics is becoming more exciting and abundant all the time. Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that are naturally present in your intestinal tract, therefore they play a significant role in your digestive, and overall, health!
People have been eating probiotic-rich foods for centuries for improving gut health, minimising allergies, clearing up skin, boosting immunity and even promoting a clear and focused mind. There’s no doubt about it, these microscopic good bacteria are a must!
Whether you’ve been supplementing for years, you add a little fermented goodness to your lunch each day or lather up your bircher with some probiotic yogurt, you’re doing your mind and body a world of good with this simple dietary addition.
How to Consume Probiotics
After once being relegated to the shelves of obscure health shops, nowadays probiotics can be accessed at the tip of our fingers – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, and everywhere in between! This growth seems to have stemmed from a notable increase in digestive complaints causing people to turn to probiotic (and prebiotic) supplements, as well as food sources that are rich in these friendly gut bacteria.
Kombucha and Kefir are both yummy fermented beverages that can be consumed in place of refined sugar-laden drinks with the bonus of boosting your energy, minimising inflammation, and of course soothing your digestive tract and replenishing that all-important good gut bacteria. A number of brands have launched these yummy fizzies so you won’t have trouble purchasing small or large bottles, OR if you’re feeling extra brave try making your own at home. There are plenty of how-to articles and videos on the internet, as well as starter kits that can be purchased from most health shops.
Sauerkraut and Kimchi are tasty fermented veggies with an abundance of health benefits and some great flavour to boot! Add a little to your savoury breakie, your lunch/dinner salad or even on top of some avo on toast as one of the most delish ways to get your daily dose of probiotics. This is a great example of using your food as medicine!
Probiotic-rich yogurts have long been consumed by health enthusiasts keeping their bacteria levels in check. The fermenting process that milk goes through to become yogurt means that it is bursting with beneficial bacteria. But beware… Always check the ingredients label of your yogurt to make sure it does not contain any added nasties, such as refined sugar, that may cancel those awesome probiotic benefits.
Benefits for Health
Probiotics have been used for centuries to calm the digestive system and promote a strong gut by replenishing that friendly bacteria. This helps improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food allowing you to gain the most nutritional value from the foods you choose to eat. Because 80% of your immunty lives in your gut, nourishing your gut health like this will naturally boost your immune system, thus increasing your overall health!
Probiotics have also been traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory to help stave off colds, flu and other inflammatory conditions by reducing your natural inflammatory response, thus lessening your symptoms… YAY! When you are burdened with any type of illness, your body will kill bacteria, including good bacteria, so it is important to replenish this good bacteria once you have overcome the illness to reach a full recovery.
Probiotics may aid in your natural detox processes by soothing your belly. This is particularly important if you are undergoing a cleanse or detox programme that involves high amounts of fibre, raw juices or herbal protocols that may be harsh on your system without the help of these friendly bacteria.
If you fall unwell and require medication to recover, add some balance back into your system with probiotics. Antibiotics and other prescription drugs can take their toll on your body. Your happy intestinal flora may become compromised so a little probiotic a day can help offset those negative consequences of meds.
Last but certainly not least… Probiotic food sources are deeeelish!! Gone are the days of consuming your probiotics in the way of a supplement. It’s easier than ever to find yummy probiotic food and drinks to meet your daily needs and of course by choosing the right brands of these fermented products without the added nasties (or even making your own at home!) they are a tasty, guilt-free addition to any snack or meal in your day. Treat your tummy, treat your health, and treat yourself!
What is your fave way to get your daily dose of probiotics? We would love to hear in the comments below xx