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What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for your digestive health and overall health. They are helpful bacteria for your gut that can be found in both food and supplements. There has been a lot of talk about the many benefits of probiotic health in recent years. Learn more about why they should be added to your daily diet.

How do Probiotics Work?

Probiotics replace good bacteria in your body after they are lost. Good bacteria can be lost from a number of causes, including taking antibiotics or becoming ill. They can help treat digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-related diarrhea.

Good probiotic bacteria can also help with other non-digestive related conditions such as eczema, urinary and vaginal health, allergies and colds, and your oral health.

The Probiotic Shopping List

If you want to improve your digestive health by protecting against bad bacteria, better absorbing vitamins, producing more enzymes, and improving immunity, then start adding probiotics to your shopping list. The following items can be added to better your probiotic intake:

Probiotic Yogurt

This is the most popular probiotic food item. Live cultured yogurt and Greek yogurt both contribute to better gut health. Probiotic yogurt should be organic, grass-fed, and produced from goats, sheep, or A2 cows.

Goat's Milk Yogurt

Goat's milk is the highest quality and most probiotic-rich kind of yogurt you can buy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your meal or to a drink at least two times a day. This vinegar can help boost the good bacteria in your system.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are not probiotics nor do they contain probiotics. Chia seeds are high in fiber and having a high-fiber diet cause probiotics to multiply in your body.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are another fermentable fiber source that can be easily added to a morning smoothie or yogurt.

Sweet Potatoes

These potatoes are also a form of fermentable fiber that feed probiotics in your digestive system.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that is high in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. Sauerkraut doesn't contain probiotics but it does support the growth of good bacteria. It has been proven to guard against diarrhea and constipation.

Natto

This is a mixture of fermented soybeans that contains a very effective probiotic called bacillus subtilis. Natto is a well-known dish in Japan. It has been shown to boost immunity, support CV health, and enhance the digestion of vitamins.

Miso

Miso has been traditionally used in miso soup. Some Japanese and Chinese populations begin the day with miso soup in order to stimulate the digestive system. Miso is made from soybeans and is a probiotic-rich soup when used as such.

Raw Cheese

Goat's milk cheese contains the highest concentration of probiotic bacteria. Pasteurized cheese does not have the probiotic benefits that raw cheese does. Opt for raw cheese if your intention is to enhance probiotics in your system.

Ease Pain in Your Digestive System

If you experience unpleasant digestive symptoms, increasing your probiotic intake could help guard against your pain. In addition to positive digestive health, they can also help increase immunity to prevent the cold and flu. Add probiotic foods and fibrous foods to your shopping list to promote the growth of good bacteria and start feeling better.

 

Visit our Digestion page to learn more about digestive health.

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Sources:

  1. DiLonardo, M. What are Probiotics? WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics#1
  2. Probiotics Benefits, Foods, and Supplements. Dr. Axe. Food is Medicine. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/probiotics-benefits-foods-supplements/
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