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.”
Don’t Stick To One Type Of Probiotic Food
“Eating foods rich in probiotics is great, but eating a variety of probiotic-rich foods is even better,” Foster explains. “This is really the key to taking full advantage of gut health benefits. You see, different foods can contain different probiotic strains, with each one having a different effect on your body. Some limit the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut, while others can help your body better absorb nutrients, and some can give your immune system a boost.” And as a bonus, a lot of these foods have other nutritional benefits, such as calcium, potassium, protein, and magnesium.
Probiotics: How To Maximize Their Effectiveness
Probiotics are live microscopic organisms found naturally in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso and tempeh . These good bacteria adhere themselves to the digestive tract and perform various roles in the body. They help aid digestive function, facilitate the production of B vitamins and support the immune system.
A healthy gut is home to more than 500 bacteria species, so replenishing the body with dietary probiotics is important. Particular issues like chronic diarrhea or constipation benefit from daily probiotics. Fermented foods are a healthy addition to the diet, but taking a probiotic supplement will provide higher doses of friendly bacteria. It is always a good idea to consult your health care practitioner before taking supplements.
Once youve been given the go ahead, youll need to find the right probiotic supplement and dosage. Colony forming units tell you the bacterial count found in each capsule, usually measured by the billions. One billion is a low dose and 100 billion is used for serious digestive ailments. Consult your practitioner, but generally the average dose can be between 10-25 billion CFUs per day.
Also Check: What Time Of Day Should A Probiotic Be Taken
Is It True That All Fermented Meals Are Probiotic Foods
Though probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods, not all fermented foods are probiotics. This is because fermentation is a chemical process with a variety of participants and results. Probiotics and probiotic foods can only be made with the proper ingredients.
- For example, beer is an alcoholic beverage that undergoes a fermentation process where yeast ferments sugars to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide .
- Some bacteria may find their way into certain beers , but brewers make every effort to reduce bacterial contamination throughout the brewing process, and beer contains no probiotic bacteria.
Cut Out Sugar And Avoid Processed Foods
Youre sweet enough already! Fast digesting sugars, otherwise known as Monnosaccarides, are digested so quickly that your little microbes dont get a chance to take a bite out of them! If you eat too many simple sugars too regularly, you run the risk of literally starving your microbiome to death. Additionally, hungry microbes will resort to munching away at the lining in your intestine, which can lead to inflammation. Try to alter your diet to include more foods with complex sugars, to ensure a happy and healthy microbiome. Heres a list of some sweet foods that will keep both you and your gut happy!
- Sweet Potatoes
Also make sure you keep out an eye for dreaded hidden sources of monosaccharides. Sugar can sneak into foods you would never expect them to be. Keep an eye on sugar levels in things like smoothies, nut butters, protein bars, salad dressings and even in a gut-favourite yogurt!
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Boost Dopamine With Exercise
Physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain.
It boosts production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, and improves the flow of nutrients to the brain.
It can also increase your levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
John Ratey, MD, renowned psychiatrist and author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, has extensively studied the effects of physical exercise on the brain.
He found that exercise raises baseline levels of dopamine by promoting the growth of new receptors.
In combination with natural painkilling endorphins, dopamine is responsible for runners high.
But you dont need to exercise strenuously to boost your brain in this way.
In fact, doing so may be counterproductive.
If you can do your exercise outdoors, thats even better.
Ways To Strengthen Your Microbiome
The microbiome consists of TRILLIONS of living microbes inside your gut. These little mood elevators work around the clock producing happy-chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Making sure that you have a diverse and thriving microbiome can help not only with your mental health, but can prevent things like the urge to over-eat, and can help regulate your digestive system.
Below, we have compiled a list of ways you can ensure that you have a happy and healthy microbiome!
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Ways To Help Reboot Your Gut
Eat Probiotics: Yes, you can eat these good bacteria, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium which have been linked to various health benefits. These types of living bacteria are found naturally in food, especially in fermented dairy products such as yogurts, aged cheeses and kefir. They also are found in non-dairy foods such as miso and tempeh . A great way to start adding probiotics to your diet is to begin your day with a breakfast smoothie made with yogurt or kefir, snack on a chunk of parmesan cheese paired with an apple, or switch your chicken stir fry night to tempeh stir fry.
Eat Fermented Foods: The fermentation process of vegetables enables the growth of the probiotics. Adding fermented vegetables to your diet will increase your probiotics as well as your vegetable intake. This is also a great way for vegans or people with lactose intolerance to get probiotics. Pickled vegetable products such as sauerkraut and kimchi are sources of fermented probiotics.
California Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber, with 11% dietary fiber per 1/3 serving or 50 grams 30-40% of which are prebiotic fiber. Avocados also are a healthy superfood with good fats and contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. To have a healthy gut, you need to have a good balance of bacteria. To do that, you need to add both prebiotic and probiotic foods. Try my latest recipe Creole Jambalaya with California Avocado Yogurt Sauce, using both probiotics and prebiotic foods.
What Probiotics Do For You
Probiotics do a number of helpful things for your mind and body.
Studies show that regulation of mood and symptoms of depression can be improved through improving gut health via regulation of the microbiome with a diet high in natural probiotics.
- Reduce Autoimmune Symptoms: Autoimmunity is a condition in which the immune system attack the bodys own healthy cells and tissues. This leads to various forms of chronic pain and inflammation affecting an estimated 23.5 million Americans with disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimotos disease, celiac disease, and lupus. Research shows that if the gut microbiome is well-nourished and balanced, it can improve some of the common symptoms associated with autoimmune disease. Eating a diet that is rich in probiotics has proven to be a therapeutic approach to treating autoimmune disease.
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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.
How Are Fermented Foods Made And Are They All Probiotic
Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms. Many foods you might eat every day go through the fermentation process: yogurt, sauerkraut, cheese, bread. Good bacteria love fermentation, so in turn, fermented foods with live cultures in them can contain probiotics.
But not all fermented foods are probiotic. In fact, the vast majority of fermented foods are not. For example, beer or vegetables that ferment in vinegar have no proven probiotic benefits.
Most foods with live cultures have no scientific evidence that shows they help with anything. True probiotic foods contain a strain of live bacteria thatâs been studied and shown to give health benefits.
In short: All fermented foods have live cultures. But not all live cultures have proven health benefits, so not all fermented foods are also probiotic foods.
How do you know if a food has probiotic benefits? Check the label to see if the food reports the specific probiotic strains it contains. Then search to see if those strains have any science to back up their health benefit claims.
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Making Up For Lost Time
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends getting to a therapeutic dose of probiotics and then holding there for about 6 months. With this in mind, I slowly started adding a probiotic supplement after a first round of the Intro diet. I started with 1/4 capsule and increased up to 2 capsules per day without too much of an issue.
After that, I forgot about continuing to increase the amount I was taking. A few months later, it dawned on me that I should have been increasing this whole time. I realized I needed to make up for lost time, and I was determined to do it quickly!
Within a few weeks I was up to 3-1/2 capsules per day. This wouldnt have been so bad if my body wasnt sensitive to increases, and I hadnt been increasing my probiotic foods at the same time.
Take A Kombucha Break
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich fermented drink made with tea, sugar , bacteria, and yeast making it a great vegan alternative to other probiotic-rich dairy products, such as kefir or yogurt, Sassos says. You can swap the refreshing probiotic drink for your afternoon coffee or happy hour cocktail, she adds.
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Natural Sources Of Probiotics
Taking a supplement can give you quick access to certain probiotics, but there are other options, too. “One of the easiest ways to is to increase the number of probiotic-rich foods in your diet,” says Sophia Tolliver, M.D., MPH, a family medicine physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to natural sources of probiotics, but these are considered the best:
Eat Foods Rich In Polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds that have many health benefits, including reductions in blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress .
Human cells cant always digest polyphenols. Because they arent absorbed efficiently, most polyphenols make their way to the colon, where they are digested by gut bacteria (
Polyphenols from cocoa can increase the amount of Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in humans and reduce the quantity of Clostridia .
Furthermore, these changes in the microbiome are associated with lower levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation .
The polyphenols in red wine have similar effects and have even been shown to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in people with metabolic syndrome .
Polyphenols cant be digested efficiently by human cells, but they are efficiently broken down by the gut microbiota. They may improve several health outcomes related to heart disease and inflammation.
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Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
Misconceptions About Probiotic Foods
There are several misconceptions about probiotic foods.
Just because some food types can contain probiotics, it does not mean they all do. For example, not all yogurts contain live and active cultures. The ones that do are usually clearly marked.
Also, not all fermented foods contain live cultures. Examples of fermented foods that do not have probiotics include:
- soya sauce
These and other foods like them go through additional processing that inactivates the live cultures. Examples of these processes include baking, filtering, or pasteurization.
Also Check: What Is A Good Probiotic For Digestive Health
Should I Try Probiotics
If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, its worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally dont cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.
Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.
Ways To Get More Probiotics Without Popping Another Pill
ByDeborah Enospublished 28 March 14
When I was younger, I remember thinking that bacteria was a bad word. It represented something that should be avoided at all costs. Now, I know better. In recent years, we’ve all heard a lot about probiotics, from health reports on the news to marketing blurbs on our favorite yogurts.
In fact, our intestines have more than 500 types of bacteria. Some are beneficial, and some are not. Our diet and lifestyle can help to keep the balance of good and bad bacteria in check. One way to do this is to consume beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”
Many studies have evaluated the potential health benefits of probiotic use, and the results have been quite promising. For example, some research shows that two common types of beneficial bacteria, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, may regulate cancer growth and even promote cancer cell death, according to a 2008 study in the journal Cellular Microbiology. Other work revealed that probiotics may enhance the effects of the vaccine against rotavirus vaccine the most common cause of severely dehydrating diarrhea in infants and children, according to a 2008 study in the journal Vaccine.
1. Eat more yogurt. Choose a yogurt that contains fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Greek yogurt is typically low in sugar, so this is a good choice.
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What Increase Dopamine Really Means
When we say that a food, supplement, or activity increases dopamine, it sounds like more dopamine is being made.
This is often the case, but not always.
Sometimes the amount of dopamine hasnt changed, but rather it is being better utilized.
Increased dopamine is the result of one or more of the following:
- more dopamine is being made
- dopamine breakdown is slowing down
- more dopamine is being recirculated
- more dopamine receptors are being created
- existing dopamine receptors are working better
We use the phrase increase dopamine throughout this article as a convenient shortcut for this entire group of neurochemical changes.
Can Probiotics Hurt Me
For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
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Harness Your Brains Reward System
Dopamine functions as a survival mechanism by releasing energy when a great opportunity presents itself to you.
Dopamine rewards us when our needs are met.
We love dopamine surges because of the way they make us feel.
But the constant hunt for your next dopamine boost can turn you into a wolf on Wall Street, driven by addictions, greed, and lust.
Here are two healthy ways to regulate your dopamine level that work with your brains built-in reward system to improve, rather than ruin, your life.
Enjoy the Quest
Our distant ancestors were engaged in a constant quest just to survive.
They got a dopamine surge every time they spotted a new patch of berries or a better fishing spot because this meant survival.
While you can still pick berries and fish, there are endless other healthy ways you can enjoy the quest of living a modern life.
You can forage for new music to download, specialty ingredients to cook with, a bargain travel package, a hard-to-find collectors item, or that perfect gift for a loved one.
You can engage in quest-oriented hobbies like geocaching, genealogy, bird watching, and collecting of all kinds.
These kinds of hobbies are ideal for keeping up dopamine levels since there is always something new to be discovered.
Each new discovery provides a dopamine boost.
Do the Victory Dance Every Day
Youve watched football players slam the ball and do a victory dance after scoring a touchdown.
The thrill of victory feels sensational!