Products sold as probiotics include foods (such as yogurt), dietary supplements, and products that are not used orally, such as skin creams.
In fact, microorganisms in the human body outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies.
As you may already know, there are two types of bacteria in the human body.
Bad bacteria – responsible for a wealth of illnesses and diseases
Good bacteria – commonly referred to as “probiotics”.
In a nutshell, probiotics are yeasts and live bacteria that are extremely important for your immune system, as well as for your digestive system.
Unfortunately, antibiotics are known to kill both the good and the bad bacteria. This is why it often happens that our probiotics levels plummet after a treatment with antibiotics.
For this reason, many doctors recommend us to take probiotic supplements in conjunction with the antibiotics.
The good news, however, is that you do not need to resort to synthetic probiotics – you can naturally increase your daily consumption of probiotics by making some small dietary changes!
How Do Probiotics Work?
Before moving on to probiotic foods that are naturally rich in good live bacteria, it is important to mention that probiotics can benefit your health from many points of view.
Not only do they strengthen your immune system and counteract the effects of the bad bacteria, but they can also help you achieve a smooth, healthy and glowing complexion by eliminating acne and the inflammation that occurs inside the body.
Moreover, probiotics are also known for their detoxification properties, as they can help you purge your body of toxins and chemicals.
They can stimulate the nutrient absorption, thus making it easier for your body to process vitamins and minerals.
How To Increase Your Intake Of Probiotics
If you have just finished an antibiotic treatment, or if you suspect that your probiotics levels are at an all-time low, then you can easily restore the balance by eating more sour foods and beverages, such as apple cider vinegar.
Sour products are high in acetic acid and gluconic acids, both of which are essential for creating the proper environment for probiotics to thrive, inside your body.
The apple cider vinegar is a rather versatile product that can be easily added to your dinner or lunch – you can add it to your soup, for instance.
Also, consider eating more fermented veggies as well: kimchi or sauerkraut are two of the best choices known for boosting the levels of probiotics.
Another great way to restore the probiotics balance is by simply eating more probiotic-rich foods, such as kefir or milk yogurt.
Ideally, try to consume these products along with the sour veggies and the apple cider vinegar mentioned above.
Two or three servings of kefir or yogurt a week are a great way to support the growth of good, live bacteria in your body. Kefir can easily be added to your morning smoothie (preferably, an organic smoothie).
Now that you know how to make your body more “probiotic-friendly”, it is important to make sure that the probiotics thrive by feeding them properly.
As mentioned above, these are live bacteria that must be fed with quality fiber. Soluble fiber will not only help you feel full for hours (thus helping your weight loss efforts), but it will also serve as fuel for your probiotics.
Chia seeds or flax seeds are two of the richest and healthiest sources of fiber you can find, althougth organic sweet potatoes should not be neglected either!
Last, but not least, if you feel that you simply cannot restore the natural level of probiotics by tweaking your diet, then consider taking an organic probiotic supplement (Amazon) that will quickly and efficiently boost the good, live bacteria in your system.
However, it would be useless to do that if you take antibiotics on a regular basis, as they can be very counter-productive.
Many people tend to take antibiotics for common colds and flus, when they are solely intended for treating serious infections.
To sum it all up, if you have decided to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your system, you will need to:
- Eat more sour fruits and veggies
- Consume one or two spoons of apple cider vinegar a day
- Add several glasses of kefir or yogurt a week
Moreover, chia and flax seeds serve as great “fuel” for your probiotics, so make sure to consume at least two servings a week!
On a personal note… Several years ago I had a rash on my face which continued to get worse and would not go away. After visits over months to the doctor and several creams and ointments nothing worked.
I went to another doctor who takes a more natural approach. He pin pointed the problem almost immediately – my gut. With some diet changes and probiotics the rash went away within weeks.
More and more we are learning the importance of “gut health” to the overall health of our body and “good bacteria” is where it all starts!
Some Bifidobacterium strains are considered as important probiotics and used in the food industry. Different species and/or strains of bifidobacteria may exert a range of beneficial health effects, including the regulation of intestinal microbial actions, the inhibition of pathogens and harmful bacteria that colonize and/or infect the gut mucosa, the modulation of local and systemic immune responses, the repression of procarcinogenic enzymatic activities within the microbiota, the production of vitamins, and the bioconversion of a number of dietary compounds into bioactive molecules.
There are lots of different species of lactobacillus. These are “friendly” bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease. Lactobacillus is also in some fermented foods like yogurt and in dietary supplements.
Live cultured yogurts especially Greek yogurt offers many strains of bacteria. There are yogurts that contain fruit, plain and unflavored. Yogurt drinks, smoothies and Kombucha Tea are also available. Soy yogurt for individuals that are lactose intolerant. Other probiotic choices are buttermilk, cheese, goats milk, Kefir, sauerkraut and Kimchi an Asian spicy sauerkraut. Other choices include dark chocolate, pickles, tempeh, miso soup and microalgae. There are also many supplements that are available.