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Inside Probiotics

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Introduction

We all have probably consumed probiotics at some point in our lives either with or without our knowledge. Probiotics can best be described as “good bacteria.” Your gut houses both bad and good bacteria. This therefore means that you ought to ensure that there is a balance of the two. Through research studies over time, probiotics have been found to have benefits such as re-establishing and maintaining gut integrity thus resulting in healthy digestion and also they provide mental health support and promote an immune system boost. Therefore to maintain your body at optimal health, it is recommended that you stick to daily probiotic consumption.

Why Should You Take Probiotics?

There are multiple benefits of probiotics since your body requires a healthy dose of good bacteria so as to maintain wellness. Some of the many daily functions performed by probiotics include:
  • Production of vitamins.
  • Break down and digestion of food.
  • Management of diarrhea and urinary tract infections.
  • Replenishment of the good bacteria destroyed by environmental insults and antibiotics.
  • Suppression of other less altruistic microbes that threaten to take over or cause infections for example yeast.
  • Potential alleviation of medical conditions like Colitis, ulcers, Autoimmune Illnesses, Diarrhea (especially due to antibiotic use), Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic yeast infections among others.
Moreover, probiotics tend to display minimal side effects. Initially, gas is mainly observed as gut integrity is being re-established.

Deeper Into Probiotics

Probiotics are usually mostly attributed to yogurt. A common “good bacteria” is lactobacillus. Contrary to popular belief, lactobacillus (a strain of bacteria) is not associated with lactose (a milk sugar). In actual sense, lactobacillus is present everywhere. Therefore, it is not surprising that a lot of “vegan” probiotics DO contain lactobacillus. This has however no settled the vegan debate in relation to presence of lactobacillus in probiotics. If you want a vegan option and you fail to find one that does not contain lactobacillus, you can opt for fermented plant foods. These tend to be cheaper, more effective and tastier as compared to supplements. You can therefore add these to your daily intake but you should also ensure you have all the necessary education and information on how to plan the incorporation of these new foods to your meals. Some of these fermented foods are kimchi, coconut or water kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, cultured vegetables and kombucha.

Vegan Probiotic Sources

Since veganism cuts out all animal products, getting proper nutrition and particularly getting probiotics from a vegan diet may prove difficult, especially for the new vegan. Popular options like dairy-based yogurt, soft cheeses, milk and milk-kefir may no longer be viable for you. In such cases you can go for coconut milk yogurt or soy-based yogurts. Here is a list of some vegan foods that you can go for which are still high in naturally-occurring probiotics.
  1. Kombucha
This is one of the most popular options among fermented healthy stuff. This tea is great as an antioxidant and detoxing agent. It also has amino acids, active enzymes and probiotics. The tea is now available in most good coffee shops and you can also make it at home.
  1. Soy/Nut Milks
These milks act as a great substitute for dairy milk. They contain natural probiotics and today, new products are even being produced with active cultures added to them.
  1. Olives
Olives act as a great fix for your innards. Its briny solutions promotes the growth of good bacteria. Best of all, olive scan be added to snacks, pizzas, salads or taken in full-on tart form.
  1. Sour Pickles
These are usually very easily accessible. Moreover, you can just add them to your sandwich ad many other meals. The best options here are pickles that have been naturally fermented in water and sea salt and not just in vinegar.
  1. Sourdough Bread
This bread is very probiotic friendly. Moreover, it is very easy to incorporate into your meal through sandwiches, as a stuffing, a pretzel or as an accompaniment for your soup and so on. Its nutritious bacteria make it a great option as a vegan option!
  1. Tempeh
Tempeh is an Indonesian dish made from fermented soybeans. Even though tofu is more popular in comparison, tempeh has a firmer texture and added probiotic benefits due to the fermentation process.
  1. Miso
Miso soup is a Japanese staple meal which is full of antioxidants and vitamin B. reported to contain over 160 different bacteria strains, miso is a great probiotic option. These bacteria have been known to work wonders on the stomach. Despite being a traditional dish, there are multiple modern recipes to help you incorporate this into your diet.
  1. Kimchi
This Korean delicacy consists of a spicy, fermented cabbage. Being fermented, it has high probiotic content, multiple vitamins and antioxidants. It is mostly made with seafood and therefore, it is a common side dish for each meal in Korea.
  1. Sauerkraut
In addition to being a condiment for bratwurst, sauerkraut is also a great side dish and a nice addition to sandwiches like Reuben. Best of all, it has a high probiotic content. This is especially so for unpasteurized sauerkraut since pasteurization kills some of the good bacteria.
  1. Supplements
In the case where probiotics from fermented foods are not the perfect option, you can then opt for supplements. Especially when it comes to vegan diets, poor planning or lack of availability of some items may result in nutritional deficiency. Therefore, supplements can come in as reliable probiotic sources. It is usually recommended that you take a daily probiotic supplement for consistent probiotic support. A good recommendation is Belisan Probiotic Direct. This potent probiotic formula contains 50 servings per container. By using clinically validated bacterial strains best known to naturally colonize the human GI tract, this formula is the perfect supplement for your probiotic needs. You can get more information on www.belisan.com/shop/probiotic-direct.
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