People are beginning to wake up to the importance of probiotics to overall health, but most are still trapped in the thinking of needing to get these beneficial bacteria through pill popping. Although there are some decent probiotic supplements on the market, none of them can touch the overall benefits of probiotic rich foods due to synergistic co-factors and the nutrients available in food based sources.
When you take a probiotic capsule you have many things to contend with including the potency of the product and it’s ability to pass through the stomach acid relatively unharmed (many lose up to 50% of the beneficial bacteria in the stomach acid). In addition to that these products only provide probiotics, whereas the following foods also provide enzymes, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals.
Seems like a good deal, right? Especially when you learn how to make them yourself for a fraction of the price!
Sauerkraut, or any fermented vegetable, is not only an excellent way to naturally preserve your produce, but is also arguably the most superior source of probiotics you can ingest. Although for some the sour taste can be difficult to become accustomed to, I have seen hundreds of clients not only get used to it, but love it after their taste profiles adapt (as well as their inner ecology).
While some probiotic capsules on the market can claim 50 billion or more bacteria in a single serving, a recently lab analyzed, raw homemade sauerkraut showed there was 10 TRILLION bacteria in a 4-6 ounce serving! To provide perspective, 2 ounces of raw sauerkraut made at home had more probiotics than a 100-count bottle of high quality probiotic capsules. This absolutely dwarfs even the higher end probiotic capsules on the market for sheer bacteria count, and sauerkraut also delivers a massive array of nutrients you can’t find in a probiotic capsule.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples and has pale to medium amber color. It can be substituted in many food preparations for white vinegar, with exponentially more health benefits.
Consuming apple cider vinegar will introduce beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and amino acids that will improve digestion, relieve heartburn, stimulate the lymphatic system, help get rid of Candida, and help strengthen the immune system.
Making apple cider vinegar is a double fermentation process. First, apples are fermented and reduced to cider, and then the cider is fermented to create apple cider vinegar. Many people have vouched for its health benefits, which could conceivably be linked to its probiotic, enzyme, and mineral content.
Coconut Water Kefir
Coconut water kefir is quite simply, fermented coconut water. While many kefir drinks recognized by people today are dairy based, it is often a better idea to consider non-dairy forms of probiotics to avoid the potential digestive distress that most people encounter with dairy.
In your digestive system, coconut kefir will enhance hydration and recolonize your gut and mucous membranes with healthy strains of beneficial microflora. Coconut kefir also promotes a wide variety of microflora and has been said to have a much more potent effect on the digestive system than any yogurt.
Coconut kefir also contains beneficial yeasts that are known to hunt out and destroy pathogenic yeasts in the body. These beneficial yeasts are considered the best defense against dangerous yeast organisms like Candida Albicans. They clean, purify and strengthen the intestinal walls and help the body become more efficient in resisting dangerous pathogens such as E. Coli, salmonella and intestinal parasites.
Combine that with the beneficial minerals extracted from coconut water in the process, and you have a powerful, highly digestible probiotic!
Kombucha is a relatively new craze, and it’s for a good reason. This “probiotic pop” has numerous health benefits, including beneficial probiotics (more than a dozen strains), enzymes, antioxidants, glucosamine, and B-vitamins.
The only drawback, and it is a big one for many, is that kombucha is typically made from black tea and a SCOBY (symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeast), both which can aggravate an existing fungal/yeast infection. If you have a systemic Candida problem, kombucha should be off your list of probiotic beverages to consume.
Although everyone requires good sources of high quality probiotics, some may need it more than others. But how do you know if you need to get into the probiotic craze and start making some of these probiotic rich foods?
If you “fail”, you will need probiotics badly, and a proven program to help you address all the other areas to overcome your intestinal imbalance, that is at the root of all your health concerns.
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About the author:
Derek Henry took a deadly health challenge that conventional medicine couldn’t solve and self-directed a one-in-a-million health journey that found him happier and healthier than he had been in his entire life. As a result of this rewarding journey, he created Healing the Body and became a well revered holistic health coach who now spends his time writing, coaching, and educating thousands of people each month who want to enjoy similar results.