Diagnosis of conditions such as Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, and even type 1 diabetes (1) have flown off the charts in recent years, causing many experts to scramble for answers. As the medical community attempts to address this rise in numbers, research demonstrates a link between the gut and immune system health. Furthermore, they recognize the body’s need for all types of probiotics (2) to combat these chronic conditions.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Its name doesn’t leave much to the imagination: Leaky gut syndrome is exactly what it says it is. Also called intestinal permeability, this disorder occurs when there is damage in the intestine which allows foreign particles such as bacteria and proteins to escape into the bloodstream.
The introduction of these unwanted bacteria and proteins into the bloodstream can result in your body’s immune system kicking into overdrive to attack the “intruders.” This hyperactivity of the immune system can grow into a full-blown autoimmune disorder.
Probiotics for the Win!
Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in our bodies, primarily in the gut. These helpful bacteria and yeast are critical for overall health. When there is not enough of this healthy bacteria, the digestive system falls out of balance, and troubles such as leaky gut syndrome may start.
Patients undergoing antibiotic treatment often struggle with intestinal problems because the medications kill the probiotics in the gut, disrupting the crucial balance. In addition, many foods in the modern diet have antibiotics (3) added to them, further aggravating this problem.
It is likely you have seen or even tried over-the-counter probiotics, as they are readily available everywhere from natural food stores to traditional pharmacies. But did you know that you can reap the benefit of all types of probiotics from your food? Adding fermented foods back into your diet may help heal the intestinal lining and subdue your body’s autoimmune response.
5 Types of Probiotics Found in Common Foods
If you are ready to give your gut a boost, then reach for one of these foods to get some natural probiotics back into your diet.
This low-alcohol fermented beverage hails from Russia and other Baltic states. Traditionally made from rye bread, kvass frequently is made with beets now and often has fruit and herbs added in for flavor.
The mixture of soybeans and other grains with the fungus Aspergillus oryzae creates this popular Asian seasoning. In addition to its high probiotic content, miso contains many other beneficial nutrients such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This pantry staple has recently become a darling in natural health circles, and for a good reason. Touted as being beneficial for everything from gut health to hair health, apple cider vinegar needs to be raw or unpasteurized to be a good source of probiotics.
4. Coconut Kefir
Kefir is becoming more and more familiar as even mainstream grocery stores are stocking it on their shelves. Usually made from fermented animal milk, this tangy drink can also be made from coconut milk as a non-dairy probiotic option.
5. Raw Cheese
Raw goat cheese and sheep’s milk cheese are fantastic, delicious sources of the many different types of probiotics. Be sure the cheese is raw and free of hormones and antibiotics to receive the health and nutritional benefits.
It is safe to say that the popularity of probiotics is not a fad. These powerhouses are here to stay and are a vital component to your overall health and wellness. With their characteristic tanginess, fermented foods are a flavorful way to get the probiotics you need naturally. And since many are gluten-free and dairy-free, they are appropriate for a large number of dietary plans and needs.
Be sure to note that the pickled foods you can buy at most supermarkets are not truly fermented. Instead, they are processed for shelf-stability and do not contain the live probiotics needed for a healthy gut. One of the best ways to obtain fermented foods is to make them yourself. There are many classes and tutorials available on this subject. Fermentation is a simple process that just needs a kick-start from you, and then nature will take its course.
At Third River Health, we desire to help you establish your best path to total wellness. Through nutrition support and natural medical care, we can help you discover the healthy lifestyle you were meant to enjoy.