“Pickles?” you might ask. No, most pickles have no probiotic benefit. Fermented foods are have actually live bacterial cultures that are so beneficial to our health. When I stop eating them, my digestion suffers and I feel more bloated.
Our intestinal passage holds about 2 to 3 pounds of bacteria. We cannot live without them and many things affect their well-being, such as antibiotic intake, stress, and processed foods. Here are some ways that we know these little bacteria benefit our bodies:
- enhance immune function
- decrease inflammation
- prevent allergies
- provide energy by producing B12
- decrease bloating and constipation
- help with depression and weight loss
My recommendation is to have a serving of fermented foods daily: kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut (the fermented kind, not the one with vinegar), kimchi, kombucha, miso, natto. If you don’t like any of these, not to worry! You can take a daily probiotic capsule to make up for it.
I recommend 10-20 billion daily of a probiotic with at least 10 different kinds of beneficial bacteria, and make sure they are from the refrigerated section. I personally use Klaire Labs Therbiotic Complete, but there are other great brands out there. A great new drinkable probiotic is BioK, with 50 billion in each dose.
Cheers to the little friendly probiotics who are protecting us against the bad bugs!