Where the heck did “probiotics” come from? All of a sudden, the term is showing up everywhere in natural health circles. And thank goodness – because probiotics are essential for our well-being. I mean really essential! But because we are just learning about probiotics, it can all be a bit puzzling.
Here’s the story…
Basically, our bodies are loaded with good and bad bacteria. Ideally, we have a ratio of 85% good bacteria to 15% bad, but that is not the case for most of us. Probiotics are the good bacteria naturally found in our body and also found in varying amounts in foods. These good bacteria drive our immune processes.
We need to take exceptional actions to keep balance. We can’t just ride this out and think everything will be okay. Daily diet practices that effectively replenish and build our immune system and keep the good bacteria stronger than the bad are essential.
Here’s the simple key: We need to strengthen our internal probiotic environment by eating high probiotic foods or taking supplements daily. Ayurveda offers natural approaches that will restore resiliency to our probiotic environment and thus build the immune system.
How Can I Increase My Probiotic Population?
- In general, eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods to increase intake of probiotic foods
- Take high quality probiotic supplements
- Eat a small amount of fermented foods daily
- Eat anti-oxidant green foods
- Avoid toxins in foods, cleaning products, and other areas when possible
Top Probiotic Foods:
- Yogurt – from raw cow or goat milk
- Kefir – from raw cow, coconut, almond or goat milk. The kefir available in grocery stores do not have enough good bacteria.
- Sauerkraut – made from scratch or non-pasteurized
- Dark Chocolate – raw organic dark cacao…add your own natural sweetener
- Microalgae – ocean based plants such as spirulina, chorella, blue-green algae
- Miso Soup – made from fermented rye, beans, rice, or barley
- Sour Pickles – and other pickled fruits/ vegetables
- Tempeh – fermented soybean product
- Kimchi – fermented vegetables
- Kombucha Tea – fermented, effervescent, lightly sweetened green or black tea
- Sourdough Bread- fermentation of dough using naturally-occurring lactobacilli and yeast
- Olives – in brine to retain probiotic cultures
All of these are best made the traditional way, which might mean rolling up your sleeves and making them in your kitchen. If you purchase pasteurized fermented foods, the probiotic count is much, much lower if available at all.
Live with radiant intention and be well. Rhonda.