We’re all in favor for anything that helps keep us healthy, and we consider it a major bonus if it also promotes digestive health. That’s why we’re excited about the optimistic research that’s being done on probiotics. Scientists are continuing to discover the benefits of including probiotics in your diet and are gaining a better understanding of how these “good bacteria” keep us healthy, and even prevent us from getting sick.
So what are these good bacteria and where do they come from?
When we are born our intestinal tracts are sterile, but as soon as we have our mother’s milk we begin to colonize it with good bacteria. These microorganisms are linked to our body’s natural defense system, and throughout life we will continuously replenish what they call our gut flora. However, when we take antibiotics, it not only kills off the bad bacteria, but it also kills off the good bacteria, actually making us more susceptible to getting sick. Taking probiotics helps to restore the “good” bacteria in our intestinal tract. So if you ever have to take an antibiotic, there’s no better time to take probiotics than during and after your antibiotic treatment.
So where can you find probiotics?
Probiotics are typically found in cultured dairy products, but be sure to look for “contains live/active cultures” on the label. Many yogurts, kefir and even fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kim chee contain “friendly” bacteria. You can also find probiotics in juices (like Goodbelly) and products like miso and tempeh.
How do you get your probiotics in your daily diet? Do you look for the live/active cultures on the label?