These days, many of us go to the doctor at the first sign of sickness and then rush to the pharmacy to fill our prescription for antibiotics. Although their value is indisputable, they have been used so often that two or more bacteria have become completely resistant to these medications. Plus, one must remember that while they are fighting and killing off the bad bacteria, they are also destroying the good bacteria in the body. The positive thing is, we can take probiotic supplements to help get the levels of the good guys back where they need to be to make certain our body, especially the digestive system, is working as efficaciously as possible.
For all of you health gurus out there, you know the importance of probiotics defined by the Joint FAO/WHO Working Group as, live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit in the host. For those of you a little less familiar with the terminology and a little more familiar with digestive ailments, that means that these good bacteria, located in the gastrointestinal tract, can help maintain and improve your overall health and well being. Edward Group, D.C., N.D., is a firm believer that probiotics, especially organic supplements, can work wonders when the right amount is taken every day. Dr. Group listed some of the health benefits of probiotics including a stronger immune system, better digestion of food, increased ability to assimilate nutrients, and relief from common digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and constipation.
In an online article on Global Healing Center's website, Dr. Group suggests the top 10 foods you should add to your diet in order to naturally support probiotic intake to help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly.?
1. Live-cultured yogurt is one of the best probiotic foods, but make sure you avoid those that are artificially sweetened or flavored, and filled with high fructose corn syrup.
2. Many of you may not have heard of kefir, which is a combination of fermented grains and goat milk similar to yogurt. It is rich in antioxidants, in addition to being high in lactobacilli and bifidobacterium. An organic version is recommended.
3. Hot dogs may have just earned a health point, but only if topped with sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is rich in vitamins B, A, E, and C, as well as healthy live cultures. It can also help to reduce allergy symptoms. The only trouble for some may be the taste.
4. Dark chocolate is a strong contender, containing four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. No, you didn't misread, we said chocolate, but remember to buy a good, high-quality dark chocolate and to eat it in moderation.
5. Although this next one sounds like something in a fish tank, don't be deterred. Microalgae like chorella, spirulina, and blue-green algae are super food plants found in the ocean. Increase the amount of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in your digestive tract with these probiotic foods.
6. Move Happy Hour at your favorite sushi place up on your priority list. Miso soup is made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, and water. It is extremely nutrient-dense and is believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system. In traditional Japanese medicine, miso is used as a digestive regulator, because it is rich in probiotics.
7. Surprisingly, pickles are a great source of probiotics as well. However, we don't think fried pickles really count.
8. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, this one may especially interest you. Tempeh, a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans, is a wonderful meat or tofu alternative. When properly prepared, whether baked, sauted, or crumbled up and eaten as a topping on your salad, tempeh is a great source of vitamin B12 and can also be very low in sodium.
9. When we said sauerkraut, we meant sauerkraut. Kimchi is an Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage. Dr. Group feels that kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, since it ?is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 & B2.
10. Last but not least, you can sit back and relax with a nice cup of tea. Kombucha tea is believed to enhance your well being, increase your energy level and possibly assist in weight loss. After being used for centuries though, it is said that it may not be for everyone. Those who already have a problem with candidiasis (an overgrowth of the bacteria Candida albicans), should probably stay away from this one.
Dr. Group says that taking a probiotic supplement is also a way to obtain the beneficial bacteria your body needs, and suggests that Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra is a great option. When adding these foods or supplements to your diet, Dr. Group suggests that you go organic. Add these to the grocery list and improved digestive help will follow, and then we?d love to hear about your experience after you try some of the food items on the above list.