Hey guys, what a beautiful Saturday it is, right? I’m currently sitting outside posting on my patio in 65 degree weather with a nice iced coffee- perfect!
So I come today to discuss Probiotics. Whether you know what they are or have just heard about them, probiotic talk is everywhere. Previously probiotics were a thing of only doctors offices and vitamin shops, but with endorsements of celebs like Gwenyth Paltrow added to the healthy world we’re all trying to live in they’ve become trendier than ever! Now you’ll find entire aisles dedicated to “gut health”, gas stations offering “Kombucha” drinks (more on that later) and you’re more likely to hear about probiotics everywhere – from your smoothie girl to your skincare consultant.
So what’s the deal?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, particularly your digestive system. Think of them as “good bacteria” (not the kind you’ve read about in the latest Chipotle outbreak). You’re born with this bacteria of many shapes and sizes in your body and they keep your “gut” healthy. Unfortunately they can be killed over time due to over-consumption of sugar, alcohol, as well as the introduction of antibiotics, hand sanitizer, or many prescriptions. This means your body no longer has all it needs to function and can become slow. The introduction of probiotics can help with many not-so-pleasant gut malfunctions from minor bloating to IBS, people also claim they can help with weight loss and fight disease.
What to look for?
As with any trendy health product, it can be difficult to decipher between cleaver marketing and real benefits. Pick up a bottle of probiotics and you will see all sorts of claims, and CFU’s (colony forming units) ranging from 1 to 450 billion (most people need anywhere from 30 to 100 billion a day). In general capsules are more effective than powders, as their protective shell helps them get past stomach acid unharmed, and any drink with probiotic properties should be labled “raw” “unpasteurized” and preferably cool as any high heat source or pasteurization process will destroy them.
Where to start?
With probiotics you have choices. You can drink them in juices, eat them for a snack, or take them in pill form.
- Kombucha (Kom-boo-cha). This date dates all the way back to ancient china and claims to cure anything from tummy aches to aging, though the claims aren’t backed by scientific evidence. Chock full of probiotic microbes, this fermented black tea will taste slightly (okay, moderately) like vinegar, but it’s only around 60 calories and is a great way to improve your gut health on the go. Just look for a “raw” “pasteurized” formula.
- Natural Probiotics. For those who don’t quite want to purchase a 50 dollar bottle, or who prefer not to take a pill every day. A great way to get your probiotics is through your food. Eat naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi (Asian garlicky tomato cabbage), Greek yogurt, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and sourdough bread. Feed your existing probiotics with pre biotics such as raw garlic, cooked onion, raw asparagus, oats, and bananas. Easy.
- Capsules or powders. Like I mentioned, powders can be destroyed in your stomach so i prefer capsules but powders are an option to add to your favorite smoothie. Purchase kinds that have “Lactobacillus”, “Bifidobacterium” “Lactobacillus Rhamnosus”, “Bacillus”, and “Streptococcus”
That’s all I have for today guys, I hope I’ve been able to help you on your journey to healthiness. I take a probiotic daily and have found that when I take them I feel much healthier and less bloated.
Have great weekends<3