Well it may not be what’s trending on twitter right now, but it is certainly coming to the forefront of more people’s nutritional conversations, as it should. Truly, a missing link for many of our current ailments, such as bloating, fatigue, a weakened immune system, ridding the body of excess belly fat and one major symptom in particular: brain fog. With the number of cells in our gut outweighing the cells in our entire body by 10:1 it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the health of our body really does start in the intestinal tract. Minimizing processed foods and sugars are necessary for gut health as well but the best way to take care of that intestinal tract is to keep it populated with good bacteria, probiotics – a supplement that could just change your life.
Getting your probiotic dose goes much beyond yogurt. Unless making yogurt at home, you are likely consuming a pasteurized product from the grocery store that is infused with artificial preservatives and sweeteners – a recipe for gastrointestinal upset. So how to choose the best probiotic source for you?
According to Dr. Julie Chen an Integrative Medicine Physician, the type of probiotic you choose could relate to the symptom you are experiencing. For example, if you have a weakened immune system and are experiencing a lot of colds, lactobacillus rhamnosus would be the most effective strain of probiotics as it shows best results against viral and bacterial infections. If you are constantly in need of antacids after meals and feel you experience boating and gassiness, bifodobacterium intantis showed a 20% reduction in these symptoms in a double blind study, including symptoms for those with irritable bowel sydrome. Look for one around the 1 billion cfu mark and take as directed to decrease inflammation in the gut lining.
And for those who would like to reduce inflammation, speed up metabolism and reduce belly fat by inhibiting the gene that helps with fat production and retention, lactobacillus gasseri is the probiotic for you. Also shown to decrease overall body mass index when taken regularly. You want to look for a high potency probiotic, something around the 20-30 billion units per capsule. And don’t be too concerned whether or not it requires refrigeration or not. There are good sources of both. The key is to watch out for the best before date and high manufacturing standards. They do lose their potency with time so it’s important to go with fresh. Purchase from a reputable health food store.
Be sure to ease into your supplementation regiment. Take about half the recommended dose for a couple of weeks to ease your body into the full dose.
And remember an even better source of probiotics is fermented foods. Fermented vegetables like kimchi or beverages like kombucha are two excellent sources, as well as kefir. If these foods are unfamiliar to you and you would like to learn more email Kristin Fraser ([email protected]) and a recipe for fermented cashew cheese below:
Fermented Cashew Cheese
Yeilds: 2 ½ cups
3 cups cashews, soaked 1 hr or more
¾ cup Water
2 capsules of probiotic
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1. Place the cashews, and water in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
2. Break open capsule and stir the powder into the cashew cream.
3. Let sit overnight, covered in cheese cloth at room temperature. *If you desire more fermentation, continue for 24-48 hours.
4. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt to cashew mixture and serve.
Will store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Wellness Wednesday Wisdom written by chef/ holistic nutritionist Kristin Fraser from Inner Glow Nutrition