Probiotics: Good for your Gut

What the heck are probiotics? In a nutshell, foods and beverages which contain live bacteria. When you put it like that, who in the world would ever want to consume any?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard people talking about "the gut" lately. There are brands of yogurt developed specifically for healing the gut: Activa is one example. If you look at the labels on yogurt containers, most will read: "Live, active cultures." This means bacteria. Or probiotics. And yogurt is just one of the products containing live bacteria.

Our intestines are filled with bacteria. These tiny creatures help us digest our food. In addition, they help us fight off bad bacteria that cause illness. Creating a healthy environment for the good bacteria to thrive in your gut is the goal. We can do this in several ways.

1) Reduce the amount of sugar in the diet. Eating loads of refined sugar is a recipe for causing yeast overgrowth.

2) Consume plenty of fiber. Unrefined foods like whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds all contain fiber that helps keep things moving along through the gut. Eating too many refined and processed foods (white bread, pasta, pizza, bagels, muffins, cookies, cakes, croissants, and the like) tends to clog up the system and slow things down.

3) Drink PLENTY of water. Water is great for the gut! Also helps keep everything moving along smoothly. Helps us avoid the dreaded constipation.

4) Consume a wide variety of foods containing probiotics. Yogurt is just one possibility. I also make kombucha (a fermented tea drink) and raw saurkraut, both of which contain live probiotics.

Kombucha is very easy to make, but you do need a live "mother" to begin the process. Here is a link to purchase your initial scoby. (SCOBY=symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)

Once you have your scoby, as long as you feed and care for it, it will grow continuously and make babies so you will never need to buy another. A great investment! You can find simple, easy-to-follow instructions for making kombucha online--you only need black tea and white sugar-- but feel free to leave your comments, questions, and feedback below. I've been brewing kombucha for years and have only killed mine once! (Due to complete neglect.)

Enjoy all your probiotic foods and drinks, and enjoy a healthy gut!