Let’s talk about the importance of probiotics! What is a probiotic? These are the intestinal flora that help us digest and assimulate the nutrients from our food. They are the actual strains of bacteria and yeast and even viruses that make up our healthy gut biome. You can find live cultures in naturally fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, pickels and fermented beverages like non-processed kombucha, keifer and coconut water or you can find them in supplements (check that they are live cultures). It’s good to eat an array of foods that contain different probiotics, this way you are receiving different strains that your body needs for metabolizing different foods and nutrients. Be sure to check the labels of the foods you buy as many “fermented” are really only soaked in vinegar or are heavily processed which will not provide you with the live probiotics you’re looking for! We home brew our own kombucha and find it works wonders for digestion and energy levels!
There’s also pre-biotics to consider. These are foods and beverages that nourish the good bacterias in your gut. These include nondigestible carbs (fiber) from whole grains, psyllium husk, raw chicory root, bananas, microalgaes and kombucha. It’s good to reduce consumption of foods that promote harmful bacteria and yeast (especially candida) by reducing your sugar intake.
If you have a history of digestive issues or have recently taken anti-biotics, it is essential bring the intestinal flora back into balance by adding probiotics and prebiotics to your diet.