Gut Health Part 2: How to Select the Right Probiotic

Nourish Your Gut Health

Nourish Your Gut Health

Thank you for dropping by and welcome!

Today I’m expanding more on inflammation as it relates to your gut health. Part 1 can be found here.

What’s a probiotic and why is it important?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy also known as gut flora.

How Do They Work?

Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:

When you lose “good” bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them. They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working like it should.

Types of Probiotics

Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups. Ask your doctor about which might best help you.

Milk based probiotics such as:
Lactobacillus. This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.

Bifidobacterium. Can be found in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory issues and diseases.

Plant based probiotics to help as well. They include the following:
For those of us not keen to the milky way, fermentation is the name of the game. Believe or not, you are probably already eating plenty of fermented things, and the rest of the following list.

1. Sauerkraut

Is a probiotic power source. Be sure to get unpasteurized when possible as pasteurization kills some of the good stuff. this is a process that kills microbes (mainly bacteria) in food and drink, such as milk, juice, canned food, and others. It was invented by French scientist Louis Pasteur during the nineteenth century. I do recall covering that topic in grade 9 science.

2. Kimchi

Kimchi is a spicy, fermented cabbage with loads of health benefits, including probiotics, lots of vitamins, and antioxidants. Most kimchi is made with seafood added, but it’s easy enough to make your own.

3. Miso

Also full of antioxidants and B-vitamins, miso soup, the Japanese staple, is reported to have as many as 160 different bacteria strains, many of which will work wonders for the stomach. But, miso isn’t just for traditional dishes. There are loads of recipes that include miso and all of the health benefits it comes with.

4. Tempeh

Tofu is more widely used that tempeh, but that’s not to say it’s better, for your health or taste buds. Tempeh, an Indonesian dish of fermented soybeans, has a firmer texture than tofu as well as the probiotic benefits derived from the fermentation process. And, it’s getting easier and easier to find in stores and on restaurant menus. Start with these recipes and/or try making your own.

5. Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is probiotic-friendly. Apparently, all that effort to save the starter not only pays off with taste but also via usefully nutritious bacteria. For those worried about bread being bad, fear not, sourdough is different.

6. Sour Pickles

A great snack, a great addition to sandwiches and a great source of probiotics — dill and sour pickles are easy to find in a local store. In order to get the full bacterial benefit, seek out varieties that are naturally fermented in sea salt and water as opposed to all-out vinegar.

7. Olives

Continuing on in our briny waters, olives can also be a great fix for your innards. The key here, as with any pickled product really, is that the briny solution fosters the growth of good bacteria.

8. Nut Milks

Nut milk naturally has some probiotics, and new products are being made with active cultures added to them.

9. Kombucha

The superstar of fermented healthy stuff, kombucha has re-blasted onto the scene in the last decade. Kombucha knows detoxification. Kombucha knows active enzymes. Kombucha knows antioxidants, amino acids, and probiotics, too. Over 2000 years in the making, there’s not much this tea can’t do.

10. Supplements

Probiotics from food are probably the best option, but should these foods not appeal to you or none of them be readily found there are supplements available. Try to look to supplements as a last resort. Some can be expensive and inexpensive depending on the range of active cells starting from 5 billion to 100 billion active cells. I currently purchased the Natural Factors blend for women for about $19.99 here in Ottawa at Kardish Foods.

For more information feel free to contact me at

Have a great week,

Christie Flynn

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