Probiotics Explained

Probiotics Explained

So what are probiotics you say? How can they help me? Why exactly should I integrate them into my day to day?

By definition probiotics are Òliving microorganisms that, when ingested, provide numerous health benefits.ÓÊ(1)

I am not sure about you, but when I first think of bacteria I think of nasty germs. Nasty germs that will make me sick or make my kids sick. That notion that bacteria is bad can make it difficult sometimes to imagine that bacteria can be beneficial to us. In a world fairly obsessed with germs and killing germs, bacteria is always top of mind. You canÕt walk too far in Canada without seeing a bottle of hand sanitizer – it is everywhere. We live in a world of Lysol wipes, antibacterial soap, antibacterial gels and antibiotics. Anti, anti, anti.

While it is true that the wrong type of bacteria acquired from someone or something can undoubtably cause harm to us, at the same time there is also a right place for bacteria. The good kind. The kind that benefits us and our body. That is where probiotics come into play. (2)

Probiotics are tiny microorganisms that for the most part live in our gut and digestive system.

ÒPromoting a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system are their most widely studied benefits at this time. These are also commonly known as friendly, good, or healthy bacteria. Probiotics can be supplied through foods,Êbeverages, andÊdietary supplements.Ó (2)

I personally take a probiotic supplement every day and try to incorporate probiotic rich foods into my diet.

Here isÊ a great link with some advice to choose a safe and effective probiotic.

I personally love to purchase my probiotics from a health store. Health stores have staff who are most often well educated in their products, some even being holistic pharmacists and can help you choose the best kind of probiotic for you.

In addition to supplements, some great sources of food-derived probiotics are:

Kimchi Ð I love serving this beside eggs or a veggie scramble (My husband actually makes his own and it is delicious (to me anyway.) Look for unpasteurized.Ê
Sauerkraut Ð Great on a salad or beside roast pork or chicken! Same as kimchi, look for unpasteurized.
Kefir Ð Great in smoothies! You can find flavoured (which is usually high in sugar) or unsweetened plain.
Kombucha Ð So many great options out there today! Look for brands that are lower in sugar. Also if you can see the mother (kind of like a little ball of goop) in the bottom, that is where to good stuff is! Drink it up!
Yogurt Ð 0 percent Greek is my fav! Stir with a table spoon of sugar free jam to sweeten it up! I have even used it in place of sour cream. High in protein too!
Miso Ð not as familiar with miso but it is great in the traditional miso soup!
Tempeh Ð fermented soy beans. Can be treated like tofu. High in vegetable based protein!
Fermented Pickles Ð not your average dill, but always a tasty treat! Eat in moderation since these are generally very high in sodium.

You want to look for fermented foods that are stored in the fridge. That means they are still live, active ferments and are more likely to be high in probiotics.

Have a great day! Happy Eating.

Coach Shannon


Healthline. (2020.) Probiotics 101: A simple beginners guide. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
MedicineNet. (2019.) Probiotics. Retrieved February 27, 2020.



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