Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term probiotics being used a lot more lately in regards to nutrition ad ‘gut health.’ It is important to understand what probiotics do and what rold they play in our health, so today, we’re going to go over some important things to understand, and why we recommend probiotics to our practice members in Jacksonville.

What you need to know about Probiotics

  • Probiotics are live microorganisms that cause health benefits when consumed in appropriate amounts
  • you can get them from foods or supplements
  • Probiotics can positively impact your gut health and flora
  • Probiotics help to encourage the right kind of bacteria in your gut

Having the right bacteria is linked to several health benefits that include: weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced immune function, better skin, increased energy, less inflammation, and fewer allergies.

But to reap these benefits, we need to help our gut to colonize with these health-boosting organisms, which is where probiotics come in.

Historically, we had plenty of probiotics in our diet from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting our foods to keep them from spoiling.However, today because of refrigeration and dangerous agricultural practices like soaking our foods with chlorine, our food contains little to no probiotics and most foods today actually contain antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria in our bodies.

Probiotics are good bacteria that are similar to the bacteria that are already in your body. In fact, there are a greater number of bacteria in your intestines than there are cells in your body.

But not all bacteria are created equal. Some research suggests that having an imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria can wreak all sorts of havoc on your body’s systems. This can lead to weight gain, skin conditions, constipation or diarrhea, and various chronic health conditions.

By definition, they are:

“live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health of benefit on the host.”

 

These live microorganisms can come from food or supplements and can help to maintain the complex community of microorganisms in the gut, called gut flora.

Gut flora is responsible for:

  • Manufacture of K vitamins and some of the B vitamins
  • Turning fibers into short-chain fats which feed the gut wall and perform many metabolic functions
  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Regulating the integrity of the gut
  • Preventing ‘leaking’ into the body and provoking an immune response
  • Aiding in urinary function

Probiotics in foods:

Yogurt

Look for brands with ‘Live and Active Cultures’ on the label. This indicates that the yogurt has at least 100 million active cultures per gram of yogurt.

Tempeh

This fermented soybean product is created by adding a tempeh starter to soybeans. The product is then left to sit for a day or two. The result is a cake-like product.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a cousin to sauerkraut and is the Korean take on cultured veggies. Both of the fermented formulas are also high in enzymes, which can aid digestion.

Kombucha

Is an effervescent fermentation of black tea that is started by using a SCOBY, also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years, originating around Japan. Many claims have been made about kombucha, but its primary health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.

Raw Cheese

Raw Cheese – Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and A2 cow’s soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Always buy raw and unpasteurized cheeses if you want to receive any probiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Great for controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and even weight loss, apple cider vinegar is a great daily addition that will bring many benefits — including providing probiotics. Drink a small bit each day or use it as a salad dressing.

Probiotic Supplements

We swear by the products from Klaire Labs. They have supplement lines for different needs, including one that we can safely recommend for infants. We love them because:

  1. They’re hypoallergenic, dairy- and gluten-free products. They also have vegetarian products.
  2. They have a varied line of products to accommodate many needs and dosages
  3. Klaire Labs is known for high quality and standards

Because these are live microorganisms, there are special considerations to take when ordering probiotics online:

  • Are they packaged properly for refrigeration? Are they refrigerated at all?
  • Will they be delivered in time for you to bring them inside to cool?
  • Are they available from a reputable seller with a full refund policy? (This is important because you might receive a product that hasn’t been shipped/stored properly)

Klaire Labs are only available from authorized Healthcare partners. If you’re local to Jacksonville, please come by or contact our office to place your order and we will handle it for you!