Enjoy a bowlful of probiotics
For a tasty and easy way to optimize good bacteria, simply increase your intake of fermented foods. Why? Because they contain and deliver a wide variety of good bacteria to the gut, versus processed foods, which have the opposite effect. Miso, tempeh, kim chi, sauerkraut and kefir are great sources.
But what about yogurt?
Many people eat yogurt because they've been told that it’s a good source of friendly bacteria. However, this is not necessarily true. The bacteria used to make most yogurt (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus) are not the key beneficial bacteria. Some brands add a small amount of acidophilus just so they can say so on the label.
Plus, much of the yogurt you buy in the store is pasteurized after it is made. This is done to increase the shelf life, but pasteurization destroys all the benefits of the yogurt. So, if you do chose yogurt in the store, make sure the label says “live, active cultures.” And of course, you want to make sure your dairy products have not been produced with antibiotics or hormones.
Send in the probiotic cavalry
To restore your “friendly” bacteria, in addition to eating the fermented foods mentioned above, probiotic supplementation is an extremely effective way to repopulate your gut quickly and return it to a healthy, balanced state.
The two most well researched and commonly used types of healthy bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, taken in capsule or powder form. The dose for both beneficial bacteria should be 5 to 30 billion viable bacteria a day. Side effects are rare, although probiotic supplementation may at first cause gas and bloating, but the effect usually subsides within a few days. If side effects are bothersome, reduce your dose and then gradually increase it over the course of a week or two.
After the initial phase, I generally advise my clients to continue taking probiotics daily to support optimal health.
The no-prescription, probiotic prescription
When buying probiotics, look for a probiotic blend that delivers the highest number of live organisms to the intestinal tract, and by that I mean at least 5 to 30 billion capsule or teaspoon of powder. Though it may sound like a lot, keep in mind that your gut needs trillions of good bacteria to stay on an even keel, so don’t be put off by the number of zeroes involved!
A good probiotic supplement should also contain a combination of different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. The Be Well Probiotics contain the five most viable and stable strains representing the best-researched bacteria known today. Take the probiotics as directed, once or twice a day, preferably with meals.
Also, keep in mind that due to recent improvements in processing techniques, you don’t need to buy probiotics that require refrigeration – the difference in potency is debatable, and for many people, refrigerated probiotics are too inconvenient to manage.
Bottom line ….
What I love about quality probiotics, is their almost miraculous ability to transform sick people into healthy ones simply, quickly and effectively, without drugs, negative side-effects or, dare I say it, much extra effort.
Just a few inexpensive capsules taken with meals can help prevent and correct debilitating digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics produce immunity-boosting chemicals and kill off invading pathogens. They help protect against stomach ulcers, food poisoning, lactose intolerance, yeast overgrowth, yeast infections, harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi.
They even help improve your skin’s health and appearance. How many things can do all that? In short, probiotics offer a massive bang for your health buck – so do all you can to help them flourish!
Have Probiotics worked for you? Please share in your comments.