5 Ways To Get More Probiotics Into Your Day
Probiotic supplements have been shown to help improve IBS symptoms in some people by adding healthy bacteria to the gut, so you may have been told to start consuming probiotics or perhaps you have been told to start out with fermented foods or you just want to give it a go but don’t know where to start.
Your health practitioner will be able to give you specific advice about what probiotic supplements to take as the bacteria strains can be different and the quality of the product can vary.
If you want to try and use food sources to get more helpful bacteria into your day, then try of these (or all of) 5 options. I have got into a routine of adding these foods to my diet and I have found that they have helped to reduce the severity of my IBS symptoms.
It is important to note that fermented foods can affect different people differently, so check in with your health practitioner to see if they are right for you and if you experience any reactions or your IBS symptoms get worse then seek further advice.
This traditional way to ferment cabbage has resurfaced as a hip, modern addition to a well-balanced diet. You can make your own a home for the cost of a cabbage and salt or buy it ready made from the refrigerated section of your local grocer or health food store. I love to add a spoonful to my plate of veggies and eggs for breakfast as it adds a little tangy flavor.
Kombucha or Kefir
Kombucha is fermented tea made using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), and kefir is usually made with milk (goats, sheep, cow, coconut) and kefir grains. Sounds appetizing right?! These drinks actually taste better than they sound and you can buy the readymade product or make your own. I always have a batch of kombucha fermenting in the pantry and a bottle or two of the finished drink in the fridge. A cup a day is all you need and the slightly fizzy, tangy flavor is a nice alternative to a glass of water!
Popular in vegan and vegetarian diets, this ‘cream cheese’ is made by fermenting cashew nuts that have been ground into a paste with a few other flavors added. I love it spread on a cracker or with some veggie sticks as a perfect afternoon snack.
Yogurt is a great, simple, easy option to have at breakfast, dessert or as a snack. You can also look out for yogurt made with coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative. I always try and check the ingredients on the pack as a lot of commercial yogurts can have a lot of added sugar, and if you can find a variety with no sugar and as natural as can be, then just serve it with fruit for some added sweetness.
Vegetables that have been fermented in a jar, can make a great addition to a platter of snacks or in a salad. You can also try your hand at making your own at home with those leftover veggies that were heading for the bin! It’s important to make sure you are buying brands that specify that they have live cultures as a lot of them are pasteurized which destroys all the bacteria, even the helpful bacteria.
So good luck adding a few more fermented foods into your day. Once you get started and become familiar with the different tastes, you might just find that they really are a great cost effective, and tasty way, to help reduce your IBS symptoms.
Did you make any New Year's goals or resolutions?