Probiotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to be beneficial to health. They exist naturally in fermented and other foods, as well as in a supplement form.
According to this study, “probiotics may alter the permeability of the intestinal wall, keeping inflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream and helping prevent a chain reaction leading to glucose intolerance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.” There are many other similar studies, and that’s why probiotics are so popular and seem to be omnipotent.
However, because food regulations are cautious against introduction of the bacterial cultures to commercial foods, many producers process foods with natural or added probiotics (even after they added them), essentially killing them off. Many yogurt brands do have good bacteria added AFTER pasteurization, which makes them more available, but since pasteurized dairy offers very little in terms of nutrition and is possibly harmful because of a variety of factors, we’d be better off consuming probiotics in their more natural form.
A few examples of probiotic foods can help you add the healthy bacteria to your daily diet.
The kombucha above is mixed with raw spirulina for added nutritional effect, as well as with some natural juices for taste.
Here’s a pitcher of kombucha added to a healthy dinner:
2. Miso soup
Courtesy of maangchi.com
4. Pickled vegetables (e.g. sauerkraut)
Courtesy of thedabble.com
Regarding weight loss and probiotics, I would approach this subject cautiously. If your overall diet contains enough healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, then the probiotics in foods you consume would be able to thrive. That would assist digestion, speed up metabolism, and assist weight loss or maintenance. If your diet is mainly processed foods, it kills off healthy bacteria and taking probiotic supplements may help only marginally if at all. Also, chemicals contained in foods may have adverse effect on the healthy bacteria in the gut.
One probiotic supplement I have discovered lately utterly amazed me. It’s called Vita Biosa and it comes in a natural liquid form with added natural herbs for flavor. I started daily consumption and already see positive changes in my body. My dad spoke to the producer, and now it is available for purchase from the Pure Standard website too!
The general recommendation is to make sure the diet consists of mainly natural and unprocessed foods and includes foods with probiotics to assist the formation of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Can it hurt? Some people could be sensitive to certain foods containing probiotics, and so I would consult your doctor or dietitian if you are not used to the foods mentioned above.