Gardening

   GUT HEALTH CENTER

Probiotics

yogurt-1786329_1920.jpg

PROBIOTICS

The plants in your gut garden.

Probiotics are the plants of your gut garden. These little guys play a huge role in your health. 

kimchi-2390565_1920.jpg
bacteria-icon-2316230_1280.png

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.

Probiotics are the plants of your gut garden.

anatomy-160524_1280 (1).png

TRILLIONS OF LITTLE PLANTS

Your gut contains trillions of bacteria, the good, the bad and the ugly. 

The key is having a balance. Not too much of any particular one. You want things just right, like the porridge in Goldilocks and the three bears.

rebeca-g-sendroiu-Eyw5nn5c_yg-unsplash.jpg

PROBIOTIC FOODS

There are some amazing foods rich in probiotics. Including these beneficial foods in your diet will help your gut garden to flourish.

Even just a small amount of these foods each day will make a big improvement in your gut garden.

Probiotic foods have a great diversity of beneficial bacteria and other important compounds. This makes them the ideal way to get probiotics in your gut.

161459046_3805773569512782_5366028895969200233_n.jpg

GRASS-FED KEFIR

Kefir is a fermented beverage usually from milk, but there are also water and coconut kefirs.

It is rich in good probiotic bacteria as well as lactose, a sugar found in milk that acts as a great prebiotic.

The best kefir is grass-fed, unsweetened and full-fat.

It is much better to add some prebiotic foods, such as berries, than it is to buy the sweetened and flavored versions. They often have large amounts of sugar added.

28516656_1612426802180814_5675567851721389009_o.jpg

GRASS-FED YOGURT

Yogurt is probably the most well known probiotic food. It is made from fermented milk.

It is rich in good probiotic bacteria as well as lactose, a sugar found in milk that acts as a great prebiotic.

The best yogurt is grass-fed, unsweetened and full-fat.

It is much better to add some prebiotic foods, such as berries, than it is to buy the sweetened and flavored versions. They often have large amounts of sugar added.

a-bowl-3366480_1920.jpg

GRASS-FED CHEESES

While not all cheeses contain probiotics some are rich in these beneficial buddies.

Cottage, parmesan, feta, and most of all, gouda cheese, are rich in beneficial bacteria. 

sauerkraut-1675109_1920.jpg

LACTOFERMENTED VEGETABLES

Nearly every culture around the world has a version of these from sauerkraut in Germany, kimchi in Korea, Jewish pickles, and many more.​

These veggies offer a huge hit of beneficial probiotic bacteria in just a couple of tablespoons.

You can buy them premade, or make your own.

Check out this recipe to make your own homemade lactofermented veggies.

One of our favorite lactofermented foods are these amazing hot sauces.

88240691_2898979646811736_2054218514771738624_n.jpg

MISO

Miso is a fermented paste. It is most often made from a combination of beans, cultured grain, and sea salt by a unique, double fermentation process.

It is rich in beneficial bacteria and prebiotics. 

It adds a wonderful umani flavor to soups and other dishes. 

Always buy miso packaged in glass, not plastic, in order to avoid leeching from the plastic into the miso.

towfiqu-barbhuiya-qxApfY4fGG4-unsplash.jpg

VINEGAR WITH THE MOTHER

Vinegar with the mother contains a whole host of beneficial yeasts and bacteria. Switching out your typical vinegar for one of these, is an easy way to get a daily dose of probiotic food.

olive-2614000_1920.jpg

BRINED OLIVES

These types of olives are produced via fermentation, making them rich in beneficial bacteria and healthy fats.

161905709_3705354536186080_7348997942391769566_n.jpg

BEET KVASS

This Russian drink is made in a similar way to beer, but with Beets. This drink is has so many benefits beyond just the bacteria it contains.

Beets help to support healthy circulation, nitric oxide production, help with digestion and so much more.

You can buy it pre-made or make it yourself.

carrot-4497968_1920.jpg

VARIETY

While we could not go through all of the probiotic rich foods in the world, eating a variety of these incredible foods will help to ensure that your gut garden thrives!

Remember you do not need a lot, just a few tablespoons per day.

anxieties-257346_1920.jpg

PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS

Probiotic supplements should contain live beneficial bacteria to support your healthy gut garden.

probiotic-6163706_1920_edited.jpg

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Most people are not aware that probiotics have three parts to their name.

Genus, species, and strain.

Some examples would be:

Lactobacillus Acidophilus NAS

Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1

Lactobacillus Acidophilus A118

Lactobacillus is the genus, Acidophilus is the species, and NAS would be the strain.

fake-2355686_1920.jpg

FAKE NAMES AND MISLABELED BACTERIA.

Many probiotic supplements have bacteria listed on the label that do not exist, such as lactobacillus thermophilus. It is actually streptococcus thermophilus.

 

If a company cannot even properly label the bacteria how can we trust them to make a good probiotic?

In other cases, companies may list bacteria that are not in the product or that are mislabeled.

So when buying probiotics look for companies that actually culture and produce their own bacteria, not those that just put powders or pills into a bottle.

diagram-41638_1280.png

SMALL, LARGE, AND TRANSIENT

Some probiotics live in the small intestine, some in the large intestines, and others are transient (non-resident).

While it is not possible to go through all of them, here are a few basics.

Lactobacillus tend to reside in the small intestine and vaginal tract.

Bifidobacterium tend to reside in the large intestine.

Streptococcus tends to reside in the small intestine.

There are exceptions to this, but those are the basics.

One example is Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, which is a transient bacteria. 

yeast-4155507_1920.jpg

LACTIC ACID YEAST

Even though they aren't bacteria, some yeast are considered probiotics because they have many benefits.

One such yeast is Saccharomyces Boulardii, a subspecies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer's yeast. 

This beneficial yeast is especially useful when loose stools are a problem.

Check out our favorite S. Boulardii supplement.

centrifuge-1545285_1920.jpg

CENTRIFUGE

Bacteria grow in colonies. 

Supplement companies nearly always centrifuge these bacteria apart in order to separate the bacteria from the growth medium.

While this allows them to fit more bacteria in each serving, it significantly weakens them.

Look for probiotics that have not been centrifuged and that leave the bacterial colonies intact.

cancel-47588_1280.png

JUST SAY NO TO ENTERIC COATING

Enteric coated capsules are often used to protect probiotics from stomach acid. While it may succeed at that, it comes at a cost.

Often these coatings contain plasticizers, parabens, and other harmful compounds.

Many companies do not even list the full ingredients of their enteric coating, so you have no idea what actually may be in it.

So look for other systems to protect the bacteria, not those that could be harmful to your health.

stork-5648457_1920.png

DELIVERY SYSTEMS

Probiotics come in many forms such as gummies, tablets, liquids, chewables, powders, and capsules.

Look for products that provide ways to protect the bacteria from stomach acid such as DR caps or specialized food blends.

The worst delivery system is liquid. It is nearly impossible to keep a probiotic stable in liquid.

 

 If you need something in a liquid form buy a powder and mix it into a liquid right when you are ready to take it.

virus-5903227_1920.png

A NOTE ABOUT SIBO

SIBO, small intestinal bowel overgrowth, is a condition where there are too many bacteria in the gut, both good and bad. In this case many strains of probiotics, prebiotics, and probiotic foods should not be used.

If you think you may have SIBO it is best to go to your doctor and get tested. 

If you test positive, you should work with your practitioner to come up with a plan that addresses the whole gut, not just the SIBO, because if the underlying environment is not corrected, then the condition will likely return.