Gut health is all the rage at the moment - and with good reason. It has been reported that healthy gut can speed up weight loss, reduce food cravings, AND improves your digestion. So we should all take a little more care of our tummies, right?
Good gut health starts with good bacteria, so heres a little more about that...and my favourite food to boost them!
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are "friendly bacteria" that are naturally present in the digestive system. Live strains of these "good bacteria" are found in food, such as yogurt. While more research needs to be done, there's some evidence that some strains of probiotics can help boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Probiotics kinda sound the same, but they are non-digestible food fibres that enable probiotics to stick to the bowel wall and helps stimulate their growth. Fibres found in foods that typically make us windy are probiotics (how lovely!). They travel to the large intestine intact where the “good” bacteria tries to break it down, facilitating “good” bacteria growth and…gas.
Why are Probiotics so important?
Bacteria are crucial to human health. In fact, the vast community of bacteria (also called the microbiome) outnumbers our cells by a factor of 10 to one. Having a balanced and healthy microbiome is crucial to maintain our body’s key functions and overall health.
Health Benefits of Probiotics:
Yogurt with active cultures may help certain gastrointestinal conditions (think diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, inflammatory bowel disease), including:
- Ease digestive symptoms such as constipation and bloating.
- Restore gut "healthy" flora after antibiotics.
- Rebalance the bacteria required for optimal nutrient absorption.
- Support the body's immune system, protecting against harmful bacteria.
Also, let's not forget that yogurt comes from milk. So yogurt eaters will get a dose of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
How do I get some?
To help good bacteria, you can load up on natural foods that contain good bacteria. Some of the most popular health trends for good gut health include sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir, but my favourite is yogurt. It's cheap, easily accessible, and super versatile in recipes.
Not sure which brand to choose? Vaalia yoghurt has a unique combination of three probiotics (L. Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus GG) and comes in a range of flavours. The plain and natural version is my favourite - it makes a great replacement for cream or creme fraiche in both sweet and savoury recipes. Try a dollop with some spicy bolognese, or on top of your favourite brownies! There's even a range of lactose-free yoghurts for those who suffer from intolerance. Winning!
Look after yourself and your gut Fitties, you only get on!
*Editor’s Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Vaalia. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Fit Foodie Blog possible. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.