Probiotics – What To Look For

Probiotics are becoming a valuable nutritional  tool that helps restore a balanced gut microbiome which in turn has powerful implications for controlling inflammation and related auto immune diseases. But it’s very important to select the right one.

Probiotic rich foods and drinks have become very popular and are intended to support gut health, but many store bought or products available online may also contain added sugars to improve taste or serve as preservatives, which in reality counteract their micobial benefits. Food and supplement companies  often add sugar to mask the sour flavour that the fermentation procees naturally creates. The added sugar changes the diversity of gut bacteria and produces an overgrowth of certain yeast species.

Probiotics are intended to help maintain the right symbiotic relationship between friendly bacteria and yeast in your gut. This ideally prevents overgrowth, minimizes pathogenic bacteria and promotes a non – inflammatory environment.

Sugar laden probiotics can over stimulate yeast production. Excess yeast in the gut can lead to candida fungal overgrowth which can lead to chronic fatigue, digestive issues, leaky gut, brain fog and autoimmune disease.

How To Shop for a Probiotic:

1. Check the nutrition  label for added sugars. Flavored kefirs can often contain up to 38g of sugar.

2. Look for the amount of “live bacteria”. Pasturization naturally destroys many naturally occuring probiotics. Optimal amounts are between 10 – 50 billion CFU  (colony-forming units) of live bacteria.

3. Be mindful of processed probiotic foods. They may also contain artificial sweeteners and coloring. Avoid dry bars and cereals that are advertised as probiotic that aren’t live or raw.

4. The best probiotics will also cover a broad spectrum of lactobacillus and bifida bacterium.

Healthy Probiotc Rich Foods:

– Sauerkraut

– Pickles

– Kimchi

– Tempeh

– Miso

– Kefir ( preferably goat or coconut )