Intro to Probiotics: Foods to Improve Your Digestion and Overall Health- Part 1
History of Probiotics
Probiotics is nothing new. We have always eaten Probiotics in our diets throughout history. We just didn’t hear the term “Probiotics” being thrown around before. More health issues are popping up surrounding gut flora/ fauna imbalance as the root cause (some stem from excessive antibiotics used). Therefore, more and more people find the need to seek out probiotics in order to obtain healthy digestion.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are alive and in the form of live yeasts or bacteria- or both live yeast and live bacteria, as Kombucha is.
Learn the Difference between Probiotics and Prebiotics Here
Traditions of Fermented Foods
All traditions used fermented foods out of need (no refrigeration or pasteurization was available) which served as natural probiotics. No pills were necessary. Some of these Food processing types (no packaged food type processing here) include pickling with lactic acid (German sauerkraut or Korean kimchi), baking yeast (sourdough), bacterial fermentation of milks (yogurt or kefir), and other fermented drinks (kombucha).
The “Good Stuff” in Enzyme-rich Probiotic Foods/ Drinks:
(a.k.a., What’s In it for Me?):
- Anti-inflammatory effect
- Improve Energy
- Improve Mood
- Vitamin B-12
- Fights Allergies
- Healthier Skin
- Absorb more nutrients from food
- Improve Diarrhea or Constipation
- Stimulates Immunity*
*Increases T-cells which stimulates immune system
How Fermentation Works
Fermentation in food helps break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates in order for our digestive system to be able to better handle the food to turn it into energy. We can let enzymes in foods do some of the work- Instead of using up too much of our precious energy on digestion when our reserves run low- due to immune issues, stress or being just plain run-down (many of us are over-working while under-sleeping).
An example of a fermented food containing enzymes is a Japanese soup made from fermented soy, (which is the only type of soy you should be eating) and it is called “Miso.”
Examples of Fermented Food & Drinks:
- Miso soup
Why worry about the health of your digestion?
Isn’t that just for old people and people with debilitating disease? No, a balanced digestion can help you avoid aging your body and ending up with disease and dis-ease. If having more energy and looking and feeling better are important to you, then getting your digestion into balance is for you! Feel better, Move forward.
What You Can Do?
You can help your gut by eating probiotic foods rich in enzymes. This can serve to improve your energy, mood and overall well-being.
Learn to make:
- Your own probiotic drinks like Kombucha or Kefir
- Your own pickled foods like Sauerkraut or Kimchi
- Your own sourdough bread (try gluten-free version)
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
Stress, too much refined sugar and overly-processed, packaged foods can impair your body’s ability to create enzymes that destroy the bad bacteria in the gut.
Some people opt to take Digestive enzymes in a pill form (instead of enzyme-rich fermented foods) to help break down all three macros; fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Thanks for Reading!
Written by Aleesha Ackerman, LAc
Aleesha Ackerman is a certified and state licensed acupuncturist with a Master’s degree in acupuncture. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University. Aleesha owns and operates Aleesha D Acupuncture clinic for Pain and Women’s Health in Anoka, MN.
She became interested in acupuncture and holistic medicine when acupuncture cured her of debilitating migraine pain after an auto collision with a semi-truck. Aleesha specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and Women’s Health. Women come to her everyday with issues such as hot flashes, mood imbalance and low energy. Read more about Aleesha and what she specializes in Here.
Patients at Aleesha D Acupuncture report feeling cared for, listened to and are happy to get the much-needed pain and stress relief from their treatments!
Aleesha treats digestion issues successfully by treating the root cause and by treating the whole individual.
Why wait? Start Your Relief Today- contact Aleesha D Acupuncture in Anoka today to schedule your acupuncture appointment!
Feel Better, Move Forward
Aleesha D Acupuncture is located in historic downtown Anoka at 207 East Main Street close to Andover, MN with free parking.
This article is not intended to replace any health care. No information on this site should be relied on to determine medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. As with any health concerns, always be sure to consult your health care provider with any health concerns.
Licensed Acupuncturist in Anoka Serving Andover, Anoka, Big Lake, Champlin, Circle Pines, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Dayton, East Bethel, Elk River, Forest Lake, Fridley, Ham Lake, Isanti, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Now Then, Oak Grove, Osseo, Ostego, Ramsey, Saint Francis, Saint Paul, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake.
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