Probiotics have been shown to be amazing for your body, especially your gut. Here are some tips to ensure that the probiotics you’re consuming aren’t going to waste.
How to Best Use Probiotics to Improve Your Overall Health and Well-Being
1. Seek Out the Fermented Foods
Fermentation concentrates the vitamins in plants, such as B and C vitamins. When you eat fermented products, your gut is then filled with good bacteria. Foods in this category include yogurt, miso, sourdough bread, tamari, and Kombucha. These foods all contain natural probiotics.
Sauerkraut is also a great option. It’s one of the cheapest probiotics that you can buy. The best sauerkraut with the most probiotics is the one that is fermented in saltwater. Don’t buy the foods submerged in vinegar because the vinegar disturbs the gut's natural acidic level.
2. Be Selective When Purchasing Probiotic-Enriched Foods
The only foods with probiotics are fermented foods. However, food manufacturers have recently started putting beneficial bugs into everything they make. Those foods include things like cereal, bread, and snack bars. When probiotic cultures are separated from their original source and then added to processed foods, the benefits of the probiotics do not transfer.
Extreme temperatures can kill any healthy bugs too, so the advantages of probiotics when added to things like ice cream, become debatable.
3. Buy and Store Any Probiotic-Rich Foods in Glass Jars
Don’t put your probiotics in a metal tin. The aluminum used in the tin can interfere with the lactic acid in fermented foods and create toxins. You also should never put your probiotics in soft plastics because loose chemicals could push their way into your food.
4. Chill the Probiotics
After you open the probiotic food, place it in the refrigerator. If you keep your probiotics chilled, you can help prolong the life of the probiotic. If you place the food in the refrigerator, useful bacteria can multiply on the food as long as the container is not contaminated in any way. Live supplements can survive weeks, even months, in the refrigerator. They’ll survive even longer if they’re freeze-dried.
5. Analyze Your Foods and Supplement Needs
If you are trying to tackle a digestive issue, you might want to go for the probiotic supplement. Don’t just buy random foods with probiotics, though. Each type of probiotic does a different thing. You should know that the strain which combats irritable bowel syndrome is different than the one that fights urinary tract infections, for example.
If you’re unsure, consult the supplement manufacturer. However, if you are simply just trying to improve your health, you might want to go with the high-quality, probiotic-rich foods rather than a supplement.
6. Eat Less Junk Food
Processed foods contain ingredients that irritate the gut, which makes it hard for the good stuff to flourish. An occasional cookie won’t do you any harm, but if you have junk food every day it can inflame the gut's lining. Eventually, the bad bacteria will rule the roost. This weakens the stomach acid, which will slow the nutrient absorption and concentrate bile. This can then prevent the necessary evacuation of toxins. The result is an increase in your risk of nutrient deficiencies and hormone-related cancers.
It is important to make sure that while taking probiotics you don’t do anything to prevent the probiotics from working correctly.