Probiotics

As promised, probiotics. In Shape magazine this month there is a little article called Win the Cold War. The article gives 5 tips for beating the odds of getting a cold this winter season. The number one reason is “Pump up the Probiotics”

A recent review of 10 different studies showed that 42 percent fewer people caught a cold after consuming any amount of these healthy bacteria-whether in supplement form or in foods like yogurt-for more than seven days.

So what are probiotics? Essentially our gut (intestines and colon) harvest billions of cultures of bacterias. There are good ones and bad ones. Bad ones would be like candida, can you say yeast infection? bleh. Anyway, the point is to have a larger ratio of good bacterias to balance out the bad ones. Ideally we are talking an 80:20 ratio. Good bacterias help our digestion, can prevent diarrhea (sorry I am a dietitian I get real here) and support our immune systems.

Probiotics seem to change how your immune system reacts to an invading microorganism and whether your digestive tract becomes inflamed as a result,” says John DiBaise, M.D., a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology at Mayo Clinic.

When looking to supplement, it can be confusing. I still don’t totally understand it so I won’t lie to you and pretend I do. But I do know if you see the word lactobacillus that is a form of bacteria that grows best in your small intestine, and bifidobacterium are bacterias found in your large intestine. Saccharomyces boulardii supports gut healing, and I know a lot of nutritionists who will recommend this strain to people with Celiac disease, intolerances, or other issues that would cause damage to the digestive tract. Supplements can come in varieties with a million strains up to 50 billion. I don’t know why you would want one over the other. Definitely talk to a doctor if you want to try supplementing. Also I would recommend checking out my favorite website (the mayo clinic) and reading their opinion. Probiotics are a new research and may not live up to all their claims.

Now the fun part, it wouldn’t hurt to eat FOODS with natural probiotics and prebiotics. By the way, PREbiotics are not bacterias but foods that promote the growth of bacterias, the pre is like prelude. Foods would be fermented foods! Yummy. Yogurts are the famous fermented food group, but miso, tempeh (fermented tofu), kefir (fermented milk), sauerkraut, and kombucha are also great choices. I feel like kombuchas are becoming very nice and trendy.

 

Look familiar? However, I personally like High Country brand better. I haven’t found it here yet but I am sure it’s at Whole Foods or Sunflower. The Chai flavor, mmmm. Haven’t tried kombucha yet? I would recommend it. It takes some getting used (be prepared for the burps) , but you will just feel great and you will get regular real quick! 😉

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