What are Probiotics exactly?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health. Probiotics essentially balance the amount of good and bad bacteria in the body. They are especially good for the digestive system as they keep the gut healthy. For example, Lactobacilius acidophilus is a common probiotic that helps the body to break down food. When L. acidophilus breaks down food lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide are formed which create an environment that is difficult for bad bacteria to thrive. Probiotics do much of the same thing other types of bad bacteria such as candida. As we learned in the previous blog post, complications arise from an overgrowth of candida. So, candidiasis and vaginitis are essentially the result of an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. In order to rectify this naturally you can opt to add probiotics to the diet. According to the creator of the candida diet, adding probiotics can effectively restore the natural balance between good and bad bacteria.
So where can I get probiotics?
Here’s the great thing about probiotics, they are really easy to find. They are literally everywhere and very easy to make if you’re into DIYs.
Yogurt- Yogurt is a cultured and fermented dairy product. you probably already consume yogurt for breakfast with granola and fruit. If you don’t than maybe you should consider it. Your regular run of the mill dairy yogurt contains lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles.
Non-dairy yogurt- Okay so you’re not into dairy? It makes your stomache hurt? Or maybe it makes your nose run? Or maybe you just really really love animals? It’s okay you can have non-dairy yogurt made from soy milk or coconut milk.
Cultured Vegan Cheese- This is one of those easy DIYs that you can make at home. You essentially just mix your ingredients and let it sit at room temperature for a day or two. There are plenty of recipes out there. Here’s one that I like from Mary’s Test Kitchen:
Fermented anything . . . pretty much anything fermented has probiotics
So that means . . .
Kimchi- Kimchi is a Korean dish. It is spicy, pickled (which is just another word for fermented) cabbage.
Sauerkraut- Sauerkraut is very similar to kimchi. It is also pickled cabbage but its origins are in Germany.
Kombucha- Kombucha is a fermented tea. You can buy it in most grocery stores. My favorite brand is GT’s kombucha because it is raw, unaltered and organic.
You can also make it home. Here’s a really easy recipe:
Kevita- Kevita is another fermented drink that is very similar to kombucha. Kevita is great for those who can’t tolerate caffeine. It’s made from coconut water which makes it a great electrolyte as well.
Kompot- Kompot is a fermented drink that is made from fresh fruit and honey. Here’s a link to Laura Miller’s blog where she makes kompot:
Apple cider vinegar (with the mother)- Apple cider vinegar is good for everything. You can take a shot of it in the morning to jumpstart your digestion. You can add it to water, with orange juice and stevia like I do for a refreshing and healthy drink. You can also add it to your food.
The “Mother” and why it’s important
The mother is the most important part of apple cider vinegar. The mother looks like a cobweb in your vinegar. It makes the vinegar appear cloudy. It is only found in unpasteurized, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. So why is it important? It contains strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria otherwise known as probiotics. My favorite brand is Braggs.
Here’s Laura Miller’s recipe for what she calls “Poor Man’s Kombucha”:
and that’s just to name a few. You can also take shelf stable probiotics which are found in capsule form.
Ehrlich, S. D. (2015, August 6). L. acidophilus. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: Http//umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lactobacillus-acidophilus
How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home. (2012, July). Retrieved from The Kitchen: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-173858
Lin, M. (2015). Easy Cultured Almond Cheese. Retrieved from Mary’s Test Kitchen: http://www.marystestkitchen.com/easy-cultured-almond-cheese/
Miller, L. (2015, October 22). Premier of My New Show Finally . Retrieved from ImLauraMiller: http://www.imlauramiller.com/home/my-new-web-series-premier-finally