WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are a healthy bacteria that balances our gut flora. Our gut contains trillions of good bacteria and also some bad… ya know, for balance or whatever. Sometimes the bad bacteria is like, “I love it in here let’s make more of us!” The lonely good bacteria is like “Guys…. Guys?… Where’d you go?!”… Then you feel gross and toilet troubles may occur. Probiotics prevent that harmful bacteria from reproducing. It also promotes the beneficial kind of bacteria that keeps our gut working smoothly. Healthy balance of gut flora is needed to properly digest food, produce vitamins, detox bad intruders, and boost immunity. After all, over 70% of our immune system lives in our digestive tract. If you’ve got Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis you know all too well that shitty (pun intended) feeling when your disease is flaring and your whole body feels sick – not just your gut! The struggle is real, my friends. Basically what I’m saying is that when we care for our gut we are also caring for our entire bodies via the immune system.
So here’s the scoop.
Probiotics can be taking in two forms; in food or a pill supplement. We’ve all seen those cute Activia commecials with women giggling over their probiotic yogurt. Sure, some yogurts are made to contain probiotics but dairy is not part of the paleo diet. And if you’re sensitive to dairy all that lactose might have opposite effects. So what other foods contain probiotics?
(click each item to be linked to a recipe or product)
or any fermented vegetable!
KEFIR (if you do low-lactose dairy try goat or sheep kefir)
SUPPLEMENTS: Million vs Billion Culture Count
Even though millions of probiotic cultures sounds like a lot, it’s not. So a recommended medium dose is considered 1-2 billion. It sounds like a lot, but anything less than that might not be enough to impact your health. Everybody’s bodies (woo fun words) are different. So you can start off with a lower dose and see how you feel. Remember not to take these supplements with a drink, like sugary soda, which will throw your gut bacteria out of whack. The supplements are not a band aid to your poor diet. They enhance it.
There is also a probiotic supplement specifically designed for ulcerative colitis patients. VSL #3 targets the GI tract and contains over 100 billion live bacteria. 8 different lactic acid bacteria strains. Some other supplements only contain 2. Personally I have yet to try it but I am posting this hear in hopes to receive feedback. You’re encouraged to share your personal experience in the comments!
TIP! Refrigerators are probiotic’s best friends. Heat kills most of the bacteria. So buying fermented foods or probiotic supplements from shelves at room temperature isn’t the best idea. Try to find ones that have always been refrigerated.
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