Why You Should Consider Probiotics: Exploring their benefits 

February 12, 2024

Probiotics in Yoghurt
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Probiotics, commonly referred to as ‘good’ bacteria, are live bacteria (or microorganisms) known for their positive impact on digestive health. They work by counteracting the harmful effects of bad bacteria, providing your immune system with a boost to combat infections.  

Where to find Probiotics

Yoghurt: A well-known source of probiotics, yoghurt is made through the fermentation of milk by probiotic bacteria. It can contribute to improved heart and digestive health and may reduce the risk of diabetes. However, it is important to note that not all yogurts contain probiotics. Be mindful to check product labels and be aware of high amounts of added sugar. 

Kombucha: This fermented tea drink is popular in many parts of the world for its health benefits. Drinks made of green tea are known to have antioxidants and are also beneficial for weight loss, cholesterol, and blood sugar management.    

Kimchi: A Korean side dish often containing a mixture of vegetables, mainly cabbage. It is fermented and contains lactic acid bacteria that work to improve digestive health. An added bonus is that kimchi contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B2, vitamin K and iron.  

Kefir: A fermented probiotic milk-based drink made by combining lactic acid bacteria (kefir) and yeast with goat or cow milk. Kefir has been shown to promote bone, digestive and immune system health. Kefir is known to be a more potent source of probiotics, more so than yoghurt, in fact. 

Pickles: Fermented cucumbers or gherkins that have been preserved in salt and water are good sources of probiotics as they naturally contain lactic acid bacteria, which is beneficial for gut health. Pickles also contain vitamin K, which is needed for blood clotting and bone health, and are also low in calories. It is important to note that pickles tend to be high in sodium, and those made in vinegar do not contain probiotics.  

Supplement: For those who prefer alternatives, probiotics also come in supplement form, often containing a variety of beneficial bacteria. Always consult a healthcare professional regarding dosage.  

Benefits 

Digestive support: Probiotics help to promote a healthy gut ecosystem by maintaining a healthy balance of healthy bacteria and ‘bad’ bacteria. Supporting this balance is essential for your body’s overall health and well-being. It could reduce or prevent diarrhea

Mental health benefits: Studies have shown that a connection exists between gut health and mental health, meaning that a healthy body keeps a healthy mind. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression.  

Promote heart health: Certain probiotics (lactic acid-producing bacteria) have proved to be beneficial in maintaining heart health. These bacteria can reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut. There is also evidence that probiotics aid in blood pressure control. 

Immune system support: Probiotics improve immune function by decreasing the body’s vulnerability to infections and promoting general well-being. The health of the gut also relates directly to the health and function of the immune system. Immune cells interact with bacteria in the gut, which are influenced by diet and lifestyle, therefore making it important to support gut health. 

Probiotics work to cultivate a healthy gut for a vibrant lifestyle. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet to ensure your body gets the probiotics it needs. Swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt, enjoy kombucha with meals, blend kefir into your morning smoothie or add a few extra pickles to your burger! Remember, thinking about gut health holistically is important as it involves various factors. Consider your diet and daily exercise, and for an added boost, our liver detox boosts digestive system health and enhances overall well-being.  

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