Gut health & my favourite probiotic rich foods
‘The moment you put something in your mouth, there is an impact on your health, positive or negative. When something goes wrong with the digestive system, the whole body can be affected.’ – Dr. Mosaraf Ali
Our digestive system is the direct link between the outside world and the inside of our bodies. Inflammation, constipation, bloating, IBS, reflux, colon cancer are just a few issues that many people suffer from on a day to day basis. We are all responsible as humans for the changes that have reduced the level of health in our society.
There are many things we can do to help prevent and reduce all of the above issues. Our internal gut bacteria play a huge role in our health but they are given little respect with the amount of toxins we put into our body every single day. Bacteria are essential for life, however we need greater amounts of good bacteria than bad bacteria to protect us and prevent us from getting an array of illnesses.
Today I want to focus on certain foods, probiotic rich foods which contain a large amount of good bacteria which we can consume to help support our gut and digestion system. Probiotics are found naturally in certain foods or can also be easily supplemented. Probiotics contain live, beneficial micro-organism which provide your digestive tract with the beneficial bacteria it needs to support your whole system. These beneficial bacteria are essential for optimum health as mentioned above.
Don’t let an unhealthy gut prevent you from reaching your goals. Try adding these probiotic rich foods into your diet to help restore balance to your intestinal tract:
- Kefir – My favourite and top of the list, kefir is a fermented, enzyme rich drink that contains lots of probiotics, micro and macro nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals like proteins. It is an acquired taste as it can taste rather bitter but the health benefits are certainly worth it!
- Kombucha – A fizzy fermented tea at times compared to drinking carbonated vinegar is made by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast to brewed tea which is sweetened by sugar. Kombucha can be found in many health food stores and comes in an array of flavours.
- Sauerkraut- Sauerkraut can easily be made by combining cabbage and salt which helps to ferment the cabbage. The fermentation process increases the number of microorganisms dramatically to produce lactic acid which helps to ward off bad bacteria. The lactic acid also helps beneficial bacteria reproduce to keep our gut happy and healthy.
- Pickles – Just like sauerkraut, pickles are probiotic rich foods which help maintain our gut flora. Add them to your salads & curries to help reap the benefits.
- Greek yoghurt – It can be fairly easy to incorporate Greek yoghurt into your diet if you don’t have an intolerance to dairy. Try and add a good quality plain Greek yoghurt into your diet once a day or at least a few times a week to get those good bacteria into your body. Make sure you check the ingredients list for ‘live active cultures’ and no added sugars. Yoghurt also contains a fair amount of protein in it making it the perfect afternoon snack or healthy dessert!
- Supplement – When choosing a probiotic supplement make sure it has at least 1 billion counts of live bacteria, you should be able to easily find ones that go up to 50 billion and sometimes even 450 billion. Start with a higher dosage for a month or so and then reduce down.
Other probiotic rich foods include kimchi, miso, sourdough bread, tempeh and lassi. Make sure you are also eating foods high in prebiotics as they compliment each other and work together for overall health. Prebiotics are a form of fibre that the probiotic rich foods feed off. Some prebiotic rich foods which I would recommend include oats, garlic, artichokes, onions and wheat.
It’s time to eat your way to better health and incorporate these foods into your diet today to shift away all that bad bacteria!
Let me know which types of probiotics you like to consume and why…??
For further information on probiotic supplements check out the link below for some very helpful information on which supplements to buy.