Friday, May 3, 2013

What's the Scoop on Probiotics and Prebiotics?


In a recent post about bacteria and the role it plays in our health, I mentioned probiotics and prebiotics. There was a lot to digest (ahem!) there. So I feel the need to help you along with some practical information.

I believe that Americans in general are bacteria-starved. They have upset their body's ecological balance and, as a result, get hit regularly with illness (minor and serious).

The Solution
We need to add good bacteria (Probiotics) to our systems so we have half a chance of fighting off illness and disease. Then we need to make sure we feed the good bacteria (Prebiotics) so it remains healthy and grows.

There are two ways to get bacteria back at work in our bodies.
  1. Eat/drink fermented foods
  2. Take a probiotic supplement
Eating fermented foods provides 1000 times more bacteria than taking a probiotic supplement.

I like to recommend PB8 because its the brand prescribed by my functional medicine doctor.

In the area of fermented (or cultured) foods, I recently discovered some new products in my favorite grocery store, Nugget MarketWildbrine sauerkraut salad and Synergy Kombucha tea. Both are raw and organic foods.

I drink about 8 oz of Kombucha every day. There are several flavors to choose from. The sauerkraut gets mixed into my raw, cut-up veggie salad. It adds a zip to the flavor I really enjoy. You can also eat yogurt, but I'm highly suspect unless the ingredient's label states live bacteria. Many yogurts are pasteurized once the cultures are added, which kills the bacteria. Duh!

Similar to probiotics you can take a supplement or you can eat foods that provide nourishment for your friendly bacteria. I recommend the eating route.

Here's s list of foods that provide fuel to your good bugs: onions, garlic, milk (including breast milk), bananas, wheat, oats, artichokes, asparagus, leeks and chicory. I know I eat many of these foods on a regular basis.

You can order 100% raw and organic cultured vegetables from Immunitrition.

Also, check out this video to make your own (its very easy) fermented vegetables:

Start a routine to build up your bacteria and see if you start feeling better. You'll manage to ward off those nasty bugs going around that you always seem to get smacked with.


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