Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Probiotics

What Are Probiotics?
Putting it simply, probiotics are beneficial live microorganisms that are present in the human gut.  They are also known as friendly bacteria.  These probiotics have several important functions in our bodies, for example, aiding digestion, keeping the harmful, disease causing bacteria in check, and even supporting our immune systems.  In fact, some studies have shown that probiotics can be used to prevent and control  conditions such as food and skin allergies in children,  recurrent bladder infections, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, etc.  

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, D.O. the best way to maintain these friendly bacteria is to reduce the intake of sugars and grains that promote the "bad bacteria" in your gut.  Instead he supports including fermented foods, rich in probiotics in your diet.

Yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kefir are all fermented foods --my personal favorite is kefir, a cultured milk product.  Since it is readily available at most grocery stores, I would suggest you take your first step towards a healthy gut by including kefir in your diet.

Complete list of foods rich in probiotics is available at this webpage:  http://lymenaide.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/get-cultured-dietary-sources-of-good-bacteria/

Sources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/10/Dietitian-Says-Eating-Right-Is-Best-Way-to-Optimize-Good-Gut-Bacteria.aspx

http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm

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