"What the heck is that stuff? Are you trying to kill me?!?!"
It may sound a little dramatic for a title (it really did happen), but I wanted to get your attention for this post because the benefits of probiotics are SO numerous that if I could only get you here for one post (to begin with), I wanted this one to be it.
|Kefir is a fermented milk |
drink rich in probiotics.
From Dr. Axe's article on probiotics
The roots of the word “probiotic” mean “for life.” Probiotics refers to the “friendly” flora living in our digestive tracts that help us to break down our foods and gain nutrition from them. These bacteria, yeasts and molds make up 70%-85% of our immune system.
There is no standardized definition of probiotics as of yet, but the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations refer to probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
Probiotics have existed in every traditional diet in recorded history. German sauerkraut, Russian kefir, Korean kimchee, the cured meats and cheeses in France, soy sauce, pickles, sourdough breads, beer… even ketchup was originally a fermented fish sauce!
Food preservation before the use of refrigeration was the reason the practice of fermentation and the use of “friendly” flora emerged. The practice was sustained by the healthy by-product-benefits they conferred.
What are some of the health benefits of probiotics?
Besides helping us to digest our food, probiotics:
- compete with unhealthy bacteria for food
- produce antibacterial substances
- help to manufacture vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A and K
- help us to extract minerals from our food
- help us to produce essential fatty acids
- eat excess sugar
- stimulate cell repair
- increase number of immune cells
- combat allergies and inflammation
- transform toxic metals and chemicals into useful compounds
ResearchThe strongest evidence to date finds that probiotics help to:
- reduce diarrhea during antibiotic use
- prevent and treat urinary tract infections
- prevent and treat genital tract infections
- treat irritable bowel syndrome
- manage and prevent eczema in children
- fight food-borne illnesses
Since not all probiotics in the supplemental pill form are not created equal, two trustworthy sources are from Garden of Life and New Chapter Organics which can be found at most health foods stores. Click onto Amy's List to find more local stores who carry these products.
Foods that contain probiotics naturally that you should know of are:
- Fermented cabbage
- Fermented cheeses
- Brine-cured olives
- Salted gherkin pickles
- Apple cider vinegar
So... next week I will be posting about how I have succeeded at making my