Have you heard of probiotics yet? Probiotics the helpful bacteria are the good guys that help us fight off sickness and disease. We're usually so busy trying to kill bad bacteria and germs that we forget that good bacteria exist. While it's good to kill off the bad guys we still need to find ways to get good bacteria into our bodies on a daily basis. When we understand that probiotics are health promoting intestinal bacteria that help us to digest and absorb food we can begin to see their importance and function.
The use of germicides, fungicides, radiation and other chemicals that are meant to kill harmful bacteria also kill good bacteria this leaves us with food that is basically void of nutrition. Over time, maybe even years, we consume these poor quality foods along with coffee, drugs and other toxic substances then wonder what is wrong and why cancer, strokes and heart attacks are so common place in our society.
Add More Probiotics Daily
It is obvious that we need more good bacteria to maintain good health and improve our immune system, but how do we get it? It is up to us to get more probiotics into our body one way or another. This can be through food, drinks or supplements whichever you prefer. However, if all you do is add probiotics and not make lifestyle changes that are needed the probiotics most likely will not be as effective.
That said, let's look at some foods that are easily added into the diet on a daily basis that are probiotic. Probiotic foods contain live bacteria and yogurt is one of these probiotic foods, however it needs to read that it has active cultures on the container. You see, all yogurt is made with active cultures or live bacteria, but somewhere along the line in the processing the heat may kill them.
Sauerkraut is another probiotic food that we have easy access to that will add good bacteria to our digestive tract. As you know it can be added to sandwiches, salads or as a side dish. Those of you who are good cooks can be more creative and create sauerkraut specialties for the family.
Buttermilk contains probiotics as well as acidophilus milk. One has to have an aquired taste for buttermilk since it tends to not appeal to most of us. What I do is crumble cornbread in it and eat the cornbread with a spoon out of a cup. I have been doing this since I was a child and have come to enjoy it. I add chocolate syrup to acidophilus milk and make chocolate milk and sometimes add ice cream to make a milkshake. There is always a way to make it work if you actually give it a chance.
Some other not so common probiotic foods are:
* Tempeh- A fermented soy product high in protein popular with vegetarians.
* Kem Chi- Fermented cabbage eaten in Korea as a side dish.
* Miso- Japanese seasoning made of fermenting beans and grains.
Probiotics Helpful Bacteria Supplements
Let's start with prebiotics they consist mainly of sugars and are consumed by probiotics, when you eat prebiotics you ensure that probiotics continue to grow and thrive in the digestive system. Some examples of prebiotics are fruit, honey, raw apple cider, tomatoes and sprouted wheat.
As with vitamins some believe that probiotic supplements aren't as effective as foods or drinks that naturally contain probiotic bacteria. This is speculation there is no evidence to support it.
Our top contender in probiotic supplements is Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 billion. It has been voted the #1 probiotic for the past two years by Vitamin Retailer magazine. It is considered to be very effective in treating digestive disorders. Cost is around $35 for 60 capsules.
Number two in the running is PB8 High Potency Probiotic and Vitamin Retailer gives it the gold medal award. Contains 60 capsules that are all natural non-gelatin and cost is around $30.
Designed specifically for women is the Women to Women Balanced Biotic, which is also made with all natural ingredients and there is a risk free trial available at womentowomen.com. All you women who are looking for the right probiotic this would be a great way to get started and it's free!
There are many types and brands of probiotics on the market these are simply the ones voted best at this time and will give you an idea of what to expect. A couple of things to keep in mind are the actual number of living cells in the product, anywhere from 1 billion to 60 billion is good, however, the higher the number the better. Second, check to see if it needs to be refrigerated.
Lastly, remember that probiotics the helpful bacteria can only be helpful if you do your part by living a healthy lifestyle, which means eat healthy, stay in shape physically and get enough sleep.
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Also check out Why Probiotics Improve Health