Probiotics, Digestion & Gut Health Microbiome
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Table of Contents
- 1 Probiotics, Digestion & Gut Health Microbiome
- 2 Introduction
- 2.1 How Do Probiotics Work?
- 2.2 Identifying Probiotic-Rich Foods
- 2.3 Benefits Of Probiotic Bacteria In Health
- 2.4 Diverse Probiotics Strains
- 2.4.1 Streptococcus Thermophilus
- 2.4.2 Bifidobacterium Breve
- 2.4.3 Bifidobacterium Infantis
- 2.4.4 Bifidobacterium Bifidum
- 2.4.5 Bifidobacterium Lactis
- 2.4.6 Bifidobacterium Longum
- 2.4.7 Lactobacillus Acidophilus
- 2.4.8 Lactobacillus Brevis
- 2.4.9 Lactobacillus Bulgaricus
- 2.4.10 Lactobacillus Casei
- 2.4.11 Lactobacillus Gasseri
- 2.4.12 Lactococcus Lactis
- 2.4.13 Lactobacillus Plantarum
- 2.4.14 Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
- 2.4.15 Lactobacillus Salivarius
- 2.4.16 Bacillus Laterosporus
- 2.4.17 Pediococcus Acidilactici
- 2.5 How To Ingest More Probiotics In Your Daily Life?
- 2.6 Choosing A Quality Probiotic Supplement – the Best Probiotic Supplement for You
- 2.7 Choosing The Right Probiotic-Rich Foods
- 2.8 Planning a Pro-biotic Meal
- 2.9 Probiotics Myths Debunked
- 2.10 Probiotics: A Final Word
Probiotics are live bacteria to supports the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infections. Probiotics are everywhere in the body, specially lining the digestive tract, intestine and colon.
What happens in the gut largely influences the immune functions. When the gut is healthy we have a larger thriving alive population of beneficial bacteria around the gastrointestinal track that helps form a protective barrier within the intestines and colon.
The digestive tract is critical for the optimal function of the body given 80% of the whole immune system resides in the gastrointestinal track as receptive cells.
The digestive system also houses the enteric network system (ENS) or intrinsic nervous system playing a major role in the development of nerve function.
It’s essential to optimize beneficial bacteria for whole body health. Ideally 85% of the gut bacteria should be beneficial, for the right balance.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics or beneficial gut bacteria, have an impact in many functions in the body.
Researched has found the benefits of probiotics includes energy, nutrition, better digestion, proper brain function and other psychologically and neurological effects.
When for some reason we lose good bacteria from the gut (like when we take antibiotics for example) the right strains of probiotic supplementation can aid replenishing the lost by Helping balance good/ bad bacteria and assisting in moving food through the gut among other things.
It turns out the body is home to a lot of beneficial bacteria, there is 10 times more probiotics in the gut than cells in the body. The skin and the digestive track host about 2000 kinds of different bacteria.
Beneficial bacteria is responsible for:
- Cleaning the gut from bad bacteria, fungi and yeast.
- Creating helpful enzyme to eliminate harmful bacteria.
Probiotics begin in our system as soon as we are born. Starting at the birth canal of the mother a newborn is submerged In an array of beneficial bacteria.
The absence of probiotics can lead to many side effects such as skin problems, digestive issues, candida and persistent colds.
Supplementing with probiotics can help:
• Strengths the immune system
• Better digestion
• Increased production of vitamin B12
• Improve the appearance of skin.
• Control diarrhea and improve bowel movements.
• Reduce eczema and allergies.
• Reduce belly fat and lose weight.
• Help cope with leaky gut syndrome.
• Brain Development
• Mood Enhancement and many more!
Identifying Probiotic-Rich Foods
In the early years our food used to be richer in probiotics since we ate fresher and used the process of fermentation to preserved foods. Throughout the years we began implementing dangerous agricultural practices, like soaking grains in chlorine and even white bleaching other grains to give them a more enticing look.
These practices along with spraying dangerous antibiotics on foods take away beneficial bacteria.
Ideally is best to keep 85% of beneficial bacteria to 15% bad bacteria ratio, if these ratios come out of balance they can cause certain conditions such as dysbiosis, which is known as an imbalance of too much bad bacteria, fungus and yeast. Eating the right probiotic foods can bring your system back to balance. Probiotics and intestinal flora are the foundation of a healthy gut.
The first thing that you need to be able to do before you can take advantage of the health benefits of probiotics is learn to identify probiotic-rich foods!
Keep in mind that most of the naturally probiotic food will contain a mixture of different bacterial types.
The following species are commonly found in our food:
• Lactobacillus acidophilus
• Streptococcus thermophilus
• Bifidobacterium lactis
Now that you know which type of bacteria you are most likely to encounter in your food, you can move on to the next bit of information. Following are some examples of the foods and the types of bacteria that they usually contain. L. bulgaricus and L. acidophilus, S. thermophilus, and various Bifidobacteria can be found in yogurt with live cultures.
In cheese, pickles, miso, Kimchi, and sauerkraut, you are more likely to find the Lactobacilli strains while in kefir, you will also find Bifidobacteria.
An easier way to find out the strain and/or species of probiotic in your food is to see what the label says. As mentioned above, you should pay attention to what it actually says. Be on the lookout for good probiotic products that will have labels that read, “Contains live (or active) cultures.” When you find such a label, go read the ingredient list and it will most likely detail the type of bacteria in the product.
One of the best ways to increase the gut bacteria in your system and feed the already existing probiotics in the body is by eating beneficial healthy foods daily. The followings are samples of rich probiotic goods to add to our daily diet today!
Yogurt is a well-known source of probiotic. The recommended option is a Greek cultured yogurt made from quality milk from grass fed cows, sheep or goats.
If the yogurt comes from actual quality sources such as raw grass fed milk it can be a good option. The problem is the quality of milk for most yogurts in the market can be suspect and not the best.
When buying yogurt is best to make sure the product is organic with quality milk to ensure the good bacteria content.
In the U.S., the regulations put forth by the Food and Drug Administration require that at the very least Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus be included in any product that is being marketed as yogurt. Again, caution must be taken to ensure that the bacteria in your yogurt sample are live/active to get probiotic benefits.
Yogurt manufacturers often add two other species of bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria, to their product.
It is important to look for the live culture part on the label of any yogurt you buy in the market. The reason being that during pasteurization, which is also part of the manufacturing process, the heat naturally kills off many bacterial cultures.
As you can well imagine, it also takes many of the good ones along with the bad ones. Alternatively, you can always make your own yogurt at home. If the label on a yogurt product says that it contains live cultures, it means the manufacturers likely added it after pasteurization.
Similarly, some brands sell sweetened yogurt or ones that have artificial flavors added to it. The problem with these products is that they may taste good but adding those ingredients could have reduced the probiotic efficiency. It wouldn’t thus matter whether the cultures were added before or after pasteurization in such a case.
This fermented beverage of black or green tea and sugar (honey, fruit, cane sugar) is widely use as a healthy beverages for its variety of benefits.
Also known as mushroom tea, kombucha contains tons of beneficial bacteria and yeast, there are no mushrooms in this drink but the bacteria that sits on top makes it look like a mushroom given it the infamous name.
The kombucha drink is slightly sweet and tart at first with a vinegar like taste. To make the taste more desirable juice of fruit maybe added to the base of the drink. The mix of ingredients contains a colony of bacteria from the yeast to initiate the fermentation process once combined with sugar.
After the fermentation process is done, kombucha becomes a carbonated drink full of enzymes, b vitamins, probiotics and high quantities of lactic acid that can have beneficial effects, such as more energy, improved digestion and immune support.
You may be familiar with miso or at least heard the name. This Japanese food made from fermented soy beans is full of probiotics!
Miso is usually available as a paste that contains millions of microorganisms that resembles the probiotics in our gut. These probiotics start the fermentation process that produces the miso paste.
This process can sometimes take months to years to create, the flavor and consistency of the paste is also determined by the length of fermentation. Nutritional miso paste is also rich in vitamin B and multiple minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and copper.
Since miso is a fermented food, it’s filled with beneficial, live probiotic cultures that have many advantages for the body.
Various beans and grains are fermented to make this Japanese seasoning. It has miscellaneous uses, such as a sauce that can be used during cooking, a spread that can be eaten with crackers, or a dollop of it could be used to top the soup of your choice. If you are going to add it to a hot dish, make sure that you do it after you are done cooking or you might end up killing the probiotics by exposing them to heat.
Kefir is a powerful cultured product very rich in probiotics.
Usually kefir is made with milk from goat sheep or cow.
Fermentation causes the production of lactic acid bacteria and Saccharomyces or yeast the end product has a drinkable yogurt texture.
While it is rich in probiotics, Kefir, has a lower proportion of bacteria by weight as compared to yogurt. Nevertheless, it has more variety of strains of bacteria in it. You can find it in the organic sections of most supermarkets.
Kefir is highly nutritious and has many benefits because of its high content of good bacteria and multiple vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Pickels are cucumbers that have been submerged in salty water for fermentation. After the cucumber is Fermented from its own lactic acid bacteria, the result is a tangy probiotic rich food.
Pickles are beneficial for their probiotic rich content, vitamin, minerals and their low calories. Pickled vegetables are actually fermented in vinegar and could potentially be rich in probiotics. With the warning in mind that you have to look for vegetables that have not been pasteurized, you can buy your pickles from the supermarket or make your own.
Tempeh is a probiotic rich food that like miso is derived from fermented soy beans. This food is made by a unique slow fermenting process that involves adding a mix of live mold to the mixture to start the fermentation process.
After sitting for a few days the result is a cake like fermented food. The bacteria generate as a result of this process is the reason why tempeh is a great beneficial product.
This product is an alternative to meat. Unlike tofu, this high-protein soy product is not made from soybean milk. Instead, soybeans are fermented and then used to make tempeh. Tempeh is available at most health food stores.
Kimchi has been known as a traditional Korean food for years. Making it involves fermenting vegetables like cabbage, radish, onion, garlic and other spices. The fermentation process starts from lacid bacteria from all the vegetables.
Studies on kimchi have found over 900 lacid acid bacteria from the fermented mixture. Because of the highly beneficial bacteria content Kimchi Is a top probation food source.
Sauekraut is a probation mixture created from fermented cabbage. This form of probiotic is actually super easy to make at home as we simply combine cabbage and salt in a mason jar for multiple days or weeks.
The lactic acid produced by the cabbage will ferment the mixture creating a variety of good probiotic bacteria. This isa must ry mixture and a good place to start trying fermented foods, if you are a first timer.
When cabbage is allowed to sit for a few days, the amount of lactic acid bacteria in the vegetable increases. Again, if you buy this food from the market, be sure to buy from a brand that is trustworthy. Due to the way it is manufactured commercially, the sauerkraut may taste okay but have no bacteria since they would have been killed during processing.
If buying from the market, then strive to buy a brand that mentions that the product is uncooked. Alternatively, you can also make your own sauerkraut at home. The Korean version, Kimchi, is spicier and can contain more than 30 Lactobacilli strains!
Benefits Of Probiotic Bacteria In Health
Some of the ways that our gut microflora keep our gut healthy:
• They help break down, digest, and absorb food
• They maintain the pH level of the colon to the right acidic level so that bowel movements stay regular
• They make our digestive systems capable of digesting dairy products
• They eliminate gas problems and keep our breaths smelling good
Our small intestine is colonized by the Lactobacillus species. It not only happens to be the most significantly recognized type of bacteria but also the most important one when it comes to digestion. Its importance lies in the fact that it helps us digest indigestible carbs.
Lactobacillus bacteria ferments the sugars present in the carbohydrates and as a result, produces lactic acid.
The acid once released, in turn, stimulates the release of other digestive juices. It also has positive effects on our immune system and causes the different parts of the digestive system to release digestive enzymes.
Lactic acid is also beneficial for us because it will raise the rate of absorption for minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium.
By the production of lactic acid, which is actually a byproduct of the metabolism of the microflora, the pH in the colon becomes slightly acidic. Other acidifiers that are also released by the good gut bacteria include acetic and butyric acids.
There is a reason behind keeping the colon environment acidic – it makes things uncomfortable for the pathogenic bacteria. Of these, the most notorious happen to be the ones that are gas producing and these bacteria need the colon to be slightly alkaline, if they are to thrive. If these pathogens cannot survive, then they cannot multiply in our gut. The pH ideal for digestion falls somewhere between 6.7 – 6.9.
We are all used to hearing bacteria in our gut can make us fall ill or can be the reason behind diseases and significant digestive problems. Much newer, however, is the theory that the bacteria in your gut can also have a direct line to your brain!
The reach of the microbes seems to have prompted scientists into investigating the microbiome. This bacterial ecosystem can influence the way we think and even our moods, as the next section will discuss.
This recently discovered connection between the thousand different bacterial species may not be substantial when it comes to their weight in the human body. However, they could hold the key to unraveling the mysteries of the brain that result in autism, depression, and other significant psychological disorders.
So far, the developments that have been made regarding autism relate that a significant portion of people with autism are also afflicted with some kind of digestive issues, might have food allergies, or are sensitive to gluten.
When effort was put into finding more about this link, researchers could distinguish between the microbiome of autistic people and control groups. The common species, Bacteroides fragilis, is found in smaller quantities in some autistic children. The manuscript stating this discovery also involved an experiment where providing the bacteria altered the microbiome makeup of mice and resulted in less repetitive behavior.
Healthy brain development is often connected to the microflora populating your gut. The regions of the brain that decide how we respond to stress and how much of anxiety or depression we feel in such situations are the areas connected to the gut bacteria.
Studies on mice showed the animals became less anxious when raised in sterile (clean) conditions.
Another behavioral test showed that the germ-free mice preferred the well-lit area as opposed to the others who spent more time in the dark chamber. The light chamber was considered the aversive section in the experiment and the germ-free mice were showing less anxiety.
The exploratory behavior of the mice in the presence and absence of microbiota suggested the latter’s influence on the brain’s wiring early in development.
Similarly, when researchers manipulated gut bacteria with antibiotic treatment, they found surprising results. After being exposed to the antibiotics, the numbers of bacteria in the gut of the mice were reduced along with the bacterial population’s diversity.
In these mice, the absence of gut bacteria made them display behavior that was more exploratory. The other mice showed more anxiety-like traits and were less exploratory.
This suggests that the changes in the behavior of the mice and in the bacterial profile in their guts were linked to each other.
After the antibiotic treatment had ended and two weeks had passed, the researchers tested both groups of mice for both their gut bacterial profile and behavior. It was seen that both had returned to normal in the mice that had been exposed to antibiotics. This indicates that even temporary changes in the number and diversity of the gut microbiota can influence behavior!
The carbohydrates that form most dairy products take a long time to be digested. Throughout the process, they also require that they be supplied with digestive enzymes at every step and in sufficient quantities.
In order to digest the sugar lactose that is a common constituent of milk and milk products, our digestive system needs the enzyme lactase.
People who are lactose intolerant are this way because their bodies do not produce enough quantities of the enzyme lactase.
Goodbye Gas Problems & Bad Breath
Nobody likes to be on the receiving end, if the problem happens to be excessive gas and bloating. Under ideal conditions and in a healthy gut, this gas will be expelled. However, under less than ideal conditions, this gas is absorbed into the blood and reaches the lungs from where it is exhaled. That is the reason it manifests as bad breath or halitosis.
One of the causes of gas happens to be a digestive system that is not functioning as well as it should. Incomplete digestion of food may be one reason but there is another reason i.e. overgrowth of undesirable bacteria.
Ways of keeping our brain healthy used to be simple and well-known. If you ate healthy, slept the right amount of hours, and exercised regularly, chances are your brain would stay healthy, as would the rest of you. However, the relatively new discovery that the bacteria in our gut has something to do with our overall health has turned everything on its head!
Often known as the second brain, the digestive system, or more specifically its bacterial residents may have a hand in molding the structure of our brain.
Consequently, they could also be influencing our moods and thus our behavior.
So far, we are clear on the parts that say our brain and the digestive system are intricately linked to each other. This raises the question of how they might be linked.
Quite easily, in fact, since there is a nerve known as the vagus nerve that starts from the stem of the brain. It then goes down all the way to the abdomen.
On the way, it crosses other important organs, such as the lung, heart, and esophagus. Thus forming the gut-brain axis.
The fibers that make up the vagus nerve are predominantly used to carry what the gut's orders right to the brain!
The next part is the mode of the communication that passes through the gut-brain axis. It takes place via the message gut bacteria sends to the brain and it is inscribed on the molecules they produce. After they have been produced, these molecules are then shunted off towards the bloodstream.
Riding the blood train, they are strong enough to influence behavior by affecting the brain through release of various chemicals. Such chemicals can both be compounds that are neuroactive or hormones.
The origin of the psychiatric and neurological disorders has been indicated to be the gut bacteria. More specifically, it is an imbalance between the numbers of good bacteria populating your gut versus the bad ones or “dysbiosis,” that can result in autistic, anxious, or depressed behavior.
Imagine if we could use this link to find out more about the neurodegenerative disorders that are debilitating and still without cure, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Well, now we can because they have also been linked to gut health. It is thought that due to a combination of stress causing factors, our gut reaches a pro-inflammatory state.
In simpler terms, it means by being stressed out, we can give rise to a bacterial imbalance.
According to the APA, we're mostly made of bacteria that collectively make up the microbiome. Using beneficial bacteria to treat the disorders of mind and mood might be possible in two ways. The first way is that the subjects be given the microbes themselves for mood and anxiety improvement.
The other way could be to design drugs that behave in the same way that these bacteria do, mimicking their metabolic functions once it has been administered. This new branch of research could also do wonders in coming up with ways to manage chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorders also found in people who face anxiety and depression.
Diverse Probiotics Strains
Now that we know some of the best probiotic foods and how we can add more healthy bacteria to the system, we want to start by breaking down each probiotic strain and the benefits each one has in our body. The bacteria in the gut are a community of thousands of different species and strains.
On this quick over view of probiotic strains we will go over the 18 most popular and beneficial:
S Thermophilus is a potent probiotic strain with multiple well researched benefits. This colony of probiotics is greatly found in the gut and colon and has many digestive and immune system benefits.
Additional benefits to this strain include, enhancing the probiotic gut flora for non-breast fed infants and reduce the symptoms of atomic dermatitis in the skin.
This probiotic strand is well known for its colon health digestive properties.
This is a key bacteria to healthy babies, as its often one of the primary and first probiotic a mother will pass on to her new born.
This bacteria lives in the body our whole life and it helps control acute diarrhea and IBS Symptoms. Other benefits to this strain include balancing the bacteria in the vaginal canal and improving immune defense.
This beneficial bacteria is one of the most widely found in the body specially in the Colon and lower intestines.
The main benefit of this bacteria is to help fight yeast overgrowth and kill any other bad bacteria overgrowth such as e. coli, candida and others.
The main benefit of this particular bacteria is to help break down foods and body waste to increase the absorption of multiple minerals and vitamins. B Lactis helps growth digestion and prevents intestinal permeability.
Important probiotic strain found predominantly in the digestive track. This unique strains helps balance gastrointestinal acids.
L acidophilus is one of the best well known most researched strain. The strain was first isolated by Nobel Price winner Llya Metchnikoff, since then this particular strain has proven to be essential for human vitality.
One of the main benefits to this strain is to help fight bacterial and fungal infections in the body as well as decreasing allergies.
This type of bacteria can help ease colon and oral tissue. Mainly found in the lower intestinal it provides a great aid for digestion.
This is an important bacteria for digestion, that can help prevent IBS syndrome and other digestive issues.
It’s a key bacteria to sooth the bowels and help ease the process of digestion and helps reduce milk intolerance as well as supporting colon health.
This key bacteria helps stabilized digestion and supports weight loss.
L Lactic is a potent transient probiotic bacteria that has been proven to help against tumor growth. Similar to other bacteria the main benefits of L. Lactic is to break down waste and food for proper disposal.
Some of the main benefits to this bacteria include –improved digestion, flight cancerous tumors, reduce allergies.
L Plantarum is a special probiotic because its actually capable of making its own antibiotic that helps with
This bacteria supports healthy skin as well as help in fighting urinary tract infections and stomach disconforts.
This bacteria its considered essential for oram health as it help balance the microbes in the mouth and small intestine.
This heart strain can help fight many unwanted bacteria in the arteries and harmful organism such as candida.
This bacteria strain can help process undigested food in the gut to prevent it from rooting and causing damage.
How To Ingest More Probiotics In Your Daily Life?
Try Cultured Foods
Experts recommended to embrace sour foods to add more probiotics to the diet.
Sour foods like apple cider vinegar for example contain certain acids that can help balance the body’s PH and acidity levels to support the creation of new healthy bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar can ease digestion after heavy meals. To start begin by adding a table spoon apple cider vinegar to 8oz of water before or after a meal to help digestion.
Eat Fermented Probiotic Rich Foods –
The process of fermentation is key for creating beneficial bacteria. Years ago, fermentation used to be very popular since the refrigerator wasn’t around and we needed a way to preserved food.
Now days fermented food are not as popular but they are key to getting more probiotics in your system. If you are not familiar with eating fermented vegetables, it can be a good idea to start with sauerkraut and begin to add more of this group of foods to your diet.
Feed the Probiotics in your Body – Trillions of tiny microorganism live in your system and stay in the digestive track. These organisms are often known as intestinal flora or microbes.
These microbes are empirical for having a thriving alive intestinal habitat. To feed this organism and make sure there is no chance for pathogens, or disease causing bacteria, is recommended to eat prebiotic soluble fibers such as fruits, chia seeds, flex seeds and other foods high in fibers.
Soluble fibers serve as the perfect food for the tiny microbes organism that need to be feed on the daily for optimal vitality.
Avoid large consumption of sugar and carbs – Sugars specially throws gut flora out of balance causing potential indigestion and other symptoms.
Choosing A Quality Probiotic Supplement – the Best Probiotic Supplement for You
This is the unit of measurement for probiotics and should be displayed on the label of the supplement openly. Choose a supplement that falls in the range of 3-50 billion CFUs. At the lower end of the spectrum is a supplement that can potentially be taken daily.
Higher potencies will require the inclusion of other factors, such as the age of the person taking them, how much stress they are exposed to, what kind of diet they are on, and whether or not, they have a digestive or immune system that is compromised.
Read the rest of the label for the following pieces of information:
• The strains of the microorganisms that the supplement contains
• Not all probiotics will survive the heat or cold. Therefore, read the storage instructions carefully
• Stay away from brands that get away with potentially dead probiotic bacteria by mentioning “viable at time of manufacture”. More on that below.
Packaging and Product Delivery
Probiotic supplement manufacturers can package them in different ways. Choosing the right packaging method could be the most important factor when considering a probiotic supplement. This is because it does not matter if the supplement boasts the most varied and highest quality ingredients.
If the bacteria do not remain alive and healthy while the bottle languishes on the shelves in a store, then they will be of no use. Similarly, the bacteria that you are paying for and depending upon should also reach your gut in that condition for them to be effective. Look for the words caplet or beadlet technology and you will come off better than not. An encapsulated supplement is more likely to survive the stomach acid treatment than others will be.
One useful thing to check when looking for the perfect probiotic supplement is to look for something else! Check to see if the brand that you are interested in also has prebiotics in it. As explained before, the food that our hardworking probiotics need. Some of the ingredients that could clue you in include Inulin, gum arabic, and chicory root. These are some examples of prebiotics but by no means a comprehensive list.
An example is probiotic supplements that are vegan or vegetarian friendly. If you are following either lifestyle, then you will prefer supplements that use vegetarian capsules. Thus, when in the market, check to see if the brand that you are buying does not have gelatin capsules. You might have other preferences that are only important to you. Therefore, think carefully before reaching for the first probiotic supplement that you see!
When choosing the right supplement for yourself and your family, a good rule of thumb is to check the brand you are buying. If it is a company that has been around for years, then that is preferable over other brands. This is because they have been making probiotics for a while and would most likely have studied them more than a new company would have. If you are not familiar with any of the brands, then the smart thing to do would be to use a trusted third-party certifier to see if they are any good or not.
Choosing The Right Probiotic-Rich Foods
What does it mean for a food to be probiotic-rich? These are foods that will have live, beneficial bacteria in them. When you start including them in your life, they bring with them the benefits of those good bacteria to your daily diet.
If you think this is something that the modern age has invented, it isn’t! The story of fermentation is as old as time itself. Humans have been fermenting everything from milk to meat. In the olden days, it was done to prolong the shelf life of foods since there were no refrigerators. Today, we know that the good bacteria did a lot more than good for our ancestors than keep the milk from turning sour!
Planning a Pro-biotic Meal
Start Your Day with Greek Yogurt or fruits to wake up the beneficial live bacteria.
• Whole Milk Yogurt – 16 oz. serving
• Paper towels
• Glass bowl
• Towel to cover the bowl
1. Take the bowl and put the strainer in it. Line the insides of the strainer with the paper towels or cheesecloth.
2. Add the yogurt to the strainer that you just lined and cover the bowl with a towel.
3. Move the whole apparatus into your refrigerator and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
4. When you check the yogurt the next time, the whey should have strained into the bowl.
5. Separate the liquid by pouring into a mason jar.
6. The solid that you have left behind is deliciously thick Greek yogurt.
7. Enjoy with a spoonful of honey!
Enjoy a Glass of Sweet Potato Fly
• Mace ½ tsp
• Sweet potato 1 large
• Sugar ½ -1 cup
• Whey ¼ cup
• A Lemon
• Crushed and Cleaned Eggshell
1. Grate the potato and rinse with water to remove as much starch as you can.
2. Add and mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit in a warm spot for about 1 ½ days
4. After the required time has passed, strain the liquid and save it in a jug.
5. Let the liquid ferment for another day or more, if you want more fizz.
6. Refrigerate and use Have Pickled Eggs for Lunch
• Eggs ½ a dozen, hard boiled and peeled
• Starter ¼ cup
• Salt ½ tbsp
• Water (filtered)
1. Pack a 1-quart jar with the eggs.
2. Add flavorings, such as beetroot, of your choice
3. Put the salt in a small amount of water, dissolve it completely, and then add to the starter.
4. Pour over eggs.
5. If more water is needed to cover the eggs completely, add more.
6. Let the eggs sit in a cool place for 12 – 36 hours.
7. Store in the fridge and use it within 2 weeks.
Dip a Chip in Probiotic Salsa
• Chopped Tomatoes 6
• Seeded and chopped chilies 1 cup
• Dried Oregano 4 tbsp
• Cumin 1 tbsp
• Chopped Garlic 4 cloves
• Chopped Onion
• Sea Salt 4 tbsp
1. Combine everything except for the salt in a bowl.
2. Start pouring the mixture into a mason jar but keep pounding it so that you can fit all of it in.
3. Keep adding some salt as you do.
4. Fill the jar so that there is an inch of space at the top, which is needed for the vegetables to expand.
5. If there is more space, then fill in with more water to cover it.
6. Let the jar sit in a warm spot and ferment for 1 ½ – 3 days.
7. Keep checking up on it and if you find mold on the surface, remove it. You can also add more brine if the level has fallen.
8. Keep tasting the salsa and move to the fridge when you find the taste and tartness you prefer.
Snack on a Pickle or Three
• Pickling cucumbers 8 cups
• Dill a bunch
• Garlic 8 peeled cloves
• Pickling spices 1 ½ tbsp (you can use cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and mustard seeds)
• Sea Salt 2-6 tbsp
1. Before using the cucumbers, soak them in cold water for a few hours.
2. Transfer to the Mason jar and add the herbs and spices to the cucumbers.
3. Keep sprinkling sea salt as you go.
4. To some water, add the salt and make a brine solution.
5. Pour it over the cucumbers and fill the rest of the jar with more water until it they are completely covered.
6. Place the lid on the jar and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 to 5 days.
7. Taste the cucumbers throughout the fermentation period and remove them when you find the taste to your liking.
• Ground Turkey ½ pound
• Egg ½
• Chopped Carrot
• Chopped Onion ½
• Diced Red Pepper ½
• Chopped Celery Stalks ½-1
• Worcestershire Sauce ½ tsp
• Sea Salt
• Mustard ½ tbsp
• Garlic Pepper Powder
• Parsley 1 tbsp
1. Combine everything in a loaf pan
2. Bake at 350 F for ½ hour
Nurse a Cup of Kombucha Tea
• Water 1.75 quarts
• Sugar ½ cup
• Black or green tea or a mixture 4 tea bags
• Starter tea 1 cup or Store-bought kombucha
• 1 scoby
1. To make the tea base, boil water and remove from heat when done. Then add the sugar and stir it until it has dissolved completely. Throw in the tea bags and let them steep in the hot water until it has cooled down.
2. Once the steeping is done, you will have to add in the starter tea. Before you do that, let the tea cool down completely. Pick the tea bags and throw them away and only then, stir in the starter tea.
3. After that, transfer the mixture into a glass jar and gently slide in the scoby. Cover the jar with a cloth.
4. Let the jar sit for 3-5 days at room temperature and make sure that you pick a spot that is not in direct sunlight or where the jar won’t get jostled.
5. As you keep checking on the jar, you will see that a new cream-colored scoby layer starts to form on the surface. Do not worry about any small brown bits that you can see floating inside the jar.
6. Once the allotted time has passed take a bit of the tea out in a cup and start tasting it every day. It will be up to you to decide that the right amount of sweetness and tartness have been reached.
7. Now that the tea is done, you can lift the scoby out of the kombucha. You can use it to make the next batch of tea.
8. Remove a cup of starter tea from the kombucha in the jar and store it for the next batch of tea you will be making. Once that is out of the way, pour the fermented kombucha into bottles. You can also strain it to remove any solids that are floating around in your tea.
9. This is also the time to add any flavorings of your choice to the tea. You can also infuse the kombucha with the flavorings and let it sit more for a day or two.
10. Store your tea at room temperature and ensure that it is out of direct sunlight. Let it stay that way for a day or two so that it gets carbonated. Use within one month.
Probiotics Myths Debunked
Any Ol’ Strain Will Do
No, it won’t! Strain specificity matters when it comes to selecting effective probiotics. How do you find out which strain a certain bacterium belongs to? You read its name – the strain is the last part of its name.
For example, if you are holding a supplement that contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, then Lactobacillus is the genus that the bacterium belongs to, rhamnosus is its species while GG happens to be the strain.
If you want to know how important strain specificity can be, the following examples should clue you in:
• Less than 5% of the strains of Lactobacillus fermentum tested can withstand being immersed in the mixture of digestive fluids within our body and thus be able to do their intended tasks.
• Only 1 strain of Bifidobacterium bifidum of the ones that were tested could stick to the wall of the GI tract and defend it against Salmonella
I Can Rely on Food Labels
That’d be a no again! You will find many brands that do not accurately inform their consumers about how many bacteria they might be consuming when they ingest that particular food. You do not get any useful information by reading a label that simply states it contains “live bacteria”/ “live cultures.”
Additionally, the labels on many probiotic products often don’t give accurate microbe counts either. Then there are supplements that will tell you the microbe count that was alive when their product was packaged. That does not tell you if the count remained the same when you consumed it. The faulty information act has become such an epidemic that you will find brands delivering half the amount of microbes than they claim to be producing.
Keeping Probiotics Outside the Fridge Makes Them Useless
While it is true that some probiotics will require refrigeration, this need will vary from one product to another. Read the label and only refrigerate if it is directed. Technology that allows today’s probiotics stay stable in a state of suspended animation is available now. Keeping probiotic in the fridge if it does not require it will not boost its activity in any way.
All Probiotics Should Have Enteric Coating
A lot of research has been done to disprove this myth and it shows the reverse is true. A special coating, such as a capsule that could withstand stomach acid may not be the best solution. Breaking through the enteric coating takes a lot of heat. It does not seem worth the trouble to enclose the probiotic inside a capsule with such care when the heat required to break the capsule open might destroy some of the probiotics! That means, taking two servings of probiotics where one has an enteric coating and the other does not, both will not be equally effective. The encapsulated or enteric-coated probiotic supplement will likely lose some of its usefulness when the heat breaks it open. On the other hand, the one without the coating will fare better in the intestinal tract.
Probiotics: A Final Word
In the 21st century, an increased understanding of the way the human body works requires health-conscious consumers to recognize the benefits probiotics can offer. A healthy dose of probiotic-heavy food can turn to aid in the alleviation of a myriad of significant and daunting health issues. From stomach issues to issues with the intestinal track, the place of probiotics has never been more pronounced.
There are good and bad bacteria which help to fill the intestines and bodies of humans everywhere. By maximizing on these good bacteria through the use of probiotics, Americans and health-aware individuals all over the world can improve their health. In a world full of both pros and cons, stick with probiotics.