Basic Water Kefir Recipe
4 c. spring water1/4 tsp. ConcenTrace minerals or unsulphured blackstrap molasses*
Place sugar in a mason jar. Warm the water gently in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel pot. Add to mason jar and stir to dissolve with a non-metallic object. Add in the kefir grains. Cover with a dish cloth or paper towel and secure with an elastic band. Let sit for 24-48 hours in a warm spot in your kitchen. Strain out the kefir grains using a non-metallic sieve. You can now reuse your kefir grains, and your kefir is now ready to be consumed, refrigerated, or fermented a second time with fruits to add flavor.
Note: Water kefir tends to ferment better when minerals are present. Blackstrap molasses yields a particularly strong taste that some dont mind, while others do.
Variation: Easily flavor this basic recipe by adding in 1/2 cup of your favorite juice. Keep remainders refrigerated.
Heres an interesting wild recipe that you can try on for size:
A Good Sport Lesson Video Transcript
Hi, Im Izy Isaksen, Team USA, Modern Pentathlon, Olympian, US Army Sergeant, and True Sport Ambassador. Today, I want to talk to you about being a good sport. There are three things Id like you to know. First, real winners act the same toward their opponent, whether they win or lose. Second, follow the rules and be a gracious winner and respectful loser. And third, sportsmanship reveals your true character.
I started competing in Modern Pentathlon eight years after my older sister and three-time Olympian, Margaux Isaksen, began competing. I soon realized that people often compared the two of us. I would overhear spectators and teammates asking, Whos the better athlete, and Whos going to beat the other. Instead of letting outside pressures create a negative experience for us, I chose to practice winning and losing with grace and respect. I know that it would have been easy to let our hyper competitive mindset affect our relationship, but instead we decided to support and cheer for each other, regardless of our own performance. My experience of competing against and being compared to my older sister, taught me to focus on how to perform at my best, rather than putting wasted energy into wishing for others to fail.
May Promote Heart Health
Sauerkraut may contribute to a healthier heart.
Thats because it contains a good amount of fiber and probiotics, both of which may help reduce cholesterol levels .
Probiotics such as those found in sauerkraut may also help lower blood pressure slightly in people with hypertension. People seem to achieve the best results when they take at least 10 million CFUs per day for longer than 8 weeks .
Moreover, sauerkraut is one of the rare plant sources of menaquinone, more commonly known as vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing calcium deposits from accumulating in the arteries .
In one study, regular intake of vitamin-K2-rich foods was linked to a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease over the 710 year study period .
In another, women reduced their risk of heart disease by 9% for every 10 mcg of vitamin K2 they consumed per day (
This is thought to contribute to stronger, healthier bones. In fact, several studies have shown that vitamin K2 may benefit bone health.
For instance, a 3-year study in postmenopausal women observed that those taking vitamin K2 supplements experienced slower rates of age-related loss in bone mineral density .
Similarly, several other studies have reported that taking vitamin K2 supplements reduced the risk of spine, hip, and non-spine fractures by 6081% .
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Love Grace Probiotic Smoothie
“Love Grace Probiotic Smoothie uses the same strain of probiotics as in the MELT organic butter spread, GanedenBC30,” says Koszyk. “The vegan smoothie contains a good dosage of the probiotic, but every 16-ounce bottle contains 245 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates from the fruit, so be aware of how much you drink.”
The Bottom Line: Drink this! But split it into two servings if you’re watching your carb intake.
May Improve Symptoms Of Certain Gastrointestinal Diseases
Some of the most well-studied uses of probiotic supplements relate to the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases like IBS and IBD.
In one review of 11 studies, 7 of the studies reported significant improvements in symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain in people with IBS who took probiotic supplements, compared with a placebo. The remaining four studies didnt find significant improvements.
The review also found that multi-strain probiotics used for at least 8 weeks were the most effective for improving IBS symptoms (
While some people, including those with IBS and certain types of IBD, may benefit from specific strains of probiotics, in general, most healthy people who follow a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle do not need to take probiotic supplements.
Whats more, some researchers are concerned that the widespread use of probiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance and warn that many studies investigating the safety and efficacy of probiotics are of poor quality .
For these reasons, its not a good idea to take probiotics before consulting a healthcare professional. They can help you decide whether a probiotic supplement is appropriate and give brand and dosage recommendations.
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What Do You Think
Whats your favorite way to make and eat probiotic-rich foods? Let us know in the comments below!
This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on December 18, 2015. The author may not currently be available to respond to comments, however we encourage our Community members to chime in to share their experiences and answer questions!
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Foods With Natural Probiotics
Youll find natural probiotics in fermented, or traditionally prepared foods. The process of fermentation is what populates these foods with probiotic bacteria. Fermentation has been around for millennia as a way to naturally preserve food.
During the fermentation process, the carbohydrates in the food begin to break down and interact with bacteria. The result is a tangy, often sour food that doesnt expire easily. Its also now filled with probiotics, which help the foods nutrient bioavailability.
Lets review 10 of the best foods to find natural probiotics.
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Probiotics Are Found In Fermented Foods
Fermented foods have undergone controlled fermentation with bacteria and other microbes, and so they naturally contain beneficial bacteria. Controlled fermentation is definitely the key, and foods in this category include yogurt and kefir , as well as fermented vegetables, such as kimchi and sauerkraut. Pickled vegetables are also in this category, but many shelf-stable pickles and products wont actually lead to those good bacteria since they dont undergo the fermentation process. Probiotics are also found in fermented soy products like tempeh, natto, and miso paste. For picky eaters, kombuchasweetened tea thats been fermentedmay be a good way to get probiotics.
Unfortunately, fermented foods in general have a distinct acidic taste that some people love, but picky eaters who grew up without it may struggle to adjust. Thats why its good to introduce kids to probiotic-rich foods when theyre young, so they are used to the taste.
Diy Probiotic #: Rejuvelac
Image by Enotovyj from Pixabay
Here we go again?! Nope, not cabbage or veggies this time around, but grains. Usually, wheat is first sprouted and then water is added to the grains and left to ferment. The liquid is strained out and used as a drink or in recipes, as in #3. Since gluten intolerance is rather rampant nowadays, rejuvelac has seemingly fallen out of vogue. Yet rejuvelac can easily be made with gluten-free grains like quinoa and millet.
Hulled millet is fairly inexpensive and doesnt sprout as other grains do. All the better and quicker for making a simple and easy gluten-free rejuvelac teeming with probiotics.
Dare I mention that this ferment also goes by other names, such as Sprouted Grain Kefir? Nah, lets get to the recipe:
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Conditions Related To Allergy
- A review of 23 studies in which probiotics were tested for treating allergic rhinitis found some evidence that they may be helpful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, because the studies tested different probiotics and measured different effects, no recommendations about the use of probiotics could be made. Few side effects of probiotics were reported in these studies.
- A review of 11 studies of probiotics for asthma in children had inconclusive results.
- Atopic dermatitis is an itchy chronic skin disorder thatâs associated with allergies but not caused by them. Itâs most common in infants and may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema.
- A 2017 review of 13 studies of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and children did not find consistent evidence of a beneficial effect. A review of 9 studies in adults provided preliminary evidence that some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Prevention of Allergies
Read Also: How To Tell If You Need A Probiotic
Probiotic Foods That Are Super Healthy
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed .
Probiotics, which are usually called beneficial bacteria, provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. They may (
Consuming probiotics in supplement form is one popular way to get them, but you can also get them from fermented foods.
Here is a list of 11 probiotic foods that are super healthy.
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Whats Up With Supplements
Supplements are sold over-the-counter, but Mendell advises getting probiotics through food when you can. However, taking a probiotic supplement when youre on antibiotics for an illness is fine, though its important to consult your doctor first, she says. Thats because antibiotics not only help kill the unhealthy bacteria in your system, they also wipe out all the good bacteria in the process. Supplements help to replenish it.
Melt Organic Probiotic Buttery Spread
Melt Organic‘s blend of coconut, sunflower, and flaxseed oils is spiked with a patented probiotic called GanedenBC30. The makers of the product claim that the bacteria survives 10 times better in the gut than yogurt cultures, and, in turn, can bolster immunity and digestive health more effectively. “GanedenBC30 contains the probiotic strain, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086. This strain is different than the standard probiotic strain, Lactobacillus, which is more commonly found in probiotic products,” explains Koszyk. “Some research has suggested GanedenBC30 might increase immune system functions and decrease harmful gut bacteria. However, there is currently not enough research to guarantee specific benefits claims.”
The Bottom Line: Fermented foods like sauerkraut and green olives are likely more potent sources of probiotics than a man-made buttery spread spiked with gut bugs. However, if you’re interested in getting extra probiotics in, Koszyk gives you the green light. “I wouldn’t depend on it as your sole source since there’s no way to know how many of the probiotics are actually making it into your system. That said, it is a source of a less common probiotic, and consuming various strains can only benefit gut health,” she explains.
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Start At The Farmers Market
You can find these foods in many grocery and health-food stores, but Foster loves heading to the farmers market. “Farmers markets are such a fun place to find local small-batch fermented foods and drinksâeverything from yogurt and milk kefir to different fermented krauts and vegetables,” she says. “In addition to supporting a local business and knowing where my food comes from, I can also be sure that these items are usually organic, minimally treated, and super fresh.”
Add Kefir To Your Smoothies
Kefir, a tart and tangy cultured milk drink, is packed with various strains of beneficial probiotics and live cultures, says Sassos, who drinks four ounces of it each morning with her breakfast. Choose plain kefir whenever possible, as the flavored varieties often contain added sugar. If you find that kefir tastes too tart alone, she recommends adding it to a smoothie for a nutritious boost.
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Why Tempeh Is Incredibly Healthy And Nutritious
Tempeh is a fermented soy product thats a popular vegetarian meat replacement. Whether youre a vegetarian or not, it can be a nutritious addition to your diet.
Tempeh is a versatile ingredient that comes with a variety of health benefits. Its high in protein, prebiotics, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals.
This article will take a deeper look at the many advantages of tempeh.
Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks
KeVita blends their proprietary probiotic culture blend with flavor enhancers like fruit extracts and coconut water to create their flavorful and refreshing beverages. Chugging an entire bottle will cost you anywhere from 10 to 90 calories and 1 to 5 grams of sugar. Yeah, its better than something like a can of soda, but were not sure its worth it unless you genuinely enjoy the taste.
The Bottom Line: If you want to give KeVita a try, it certainly wont hurt you, but it may not really help to improve your intestinal flora, either. Unlike other foods and drinks that contain both probiotics and prebiotics , theres no way to tell how much of the bacteria will still be viable by the time it makes it to your kitchen and into your tummy.
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Other Tips For Good Gut Health
In this guide, the NHS recommends the following for good gut health:
- Eat plenty of fibre, aiming for 30g each day
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Cut back on fatty foods
- Avoid spicy foods if they upset your tummy
- Keep track of your trigger foods and drinks
Lastly, if youre having symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, and cramps, its a good idea to speak to your GP.
The Top 10 Probiotic Brands In 2020
The number of probiotic brands on grocery store shelves is getting out of hand. As you can see in the above image there are too many products. Thankfully you have probiotics.org to help you cut through the clutter and only get the highest quality probiotic products!
Below, I list and discuss the 10 most popular probiotic brands. But, if you want to watch a video on the top 3 probiotic brands in 2020, you can watch it here:
3 best probiotic brands in 2020:
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It May Aid In Weight Loss
Cucumbers could potentially help you lose weight in a few different ways.
First of all, they are low in calories.
Each one-cup serving contains just 16 calories, while an entire 11-ounce cucumber contains only 45 calories .
This means that you can eat plenty of cucumbers without packing on the extra calories that lead to weight gain.
Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches and side dishes and may also be used as a replacement for higher calorie alternatives.
Furthermore, the high water content of cucumbers could aid in weight loss as well.
One analysis looked at 13 studies including 3,628 people and found that eating foods with high water and low calorie contents was associated with a significant decrease in body weight .
Cucumbers are low in calories, high in water and can be used as a low-calorie topping for many dishes. All of these may aid in weight loss.
How Can You Consume Probiotics
You can get probiotics in pill or capsule form, but those are generally less effective than taking probiotic-rich food.
The most common sources of probiotics are yogurt and fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and pickles.
The best source for probiotics being yogurt more specifically organic Greek which I cant stand the taste of.
And, since I work from home as a freelance content creator, I have a nasty habit of forgetting to eat the foods that are good for me.
Can you relate? Im betting the answer is yes!
After all, we get really busy in our daily lives and sometimes its just easier to pop a supplement. The truth is, getting the good stuff in my system is more important to me than how I go about doing so.
And sorry kombucha lovers I cant stand the taste so please spare me the push to just drink my probiotics, thank you.
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What You Can Do
Dont start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctors okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. Youll want a product that explicitly states a sell-by date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.