These days, all you hear about is probiotics. Do you really need them? Do they really affect your health? What happens if you don’t have them and what the heck are they anyway?
Probiotics feed the good bacteria in your gut. Good bacteria in your gut breaks down food, synthesizes vitamins, stimulates immunity and kills bad germs. In short, they are crucial.
We are born with a set amount of good bacteria (thank your mom) but poor lifestyle choices, antibiotics and other issues such as weight gain and environment can wreak havoc on these life-sustaining belly buddies.
Poor gut flora has been linked to everything from C. difficile to the metabolic syndrome. Trust me, you care.
One of the best ways to build good bacteria is to eat yogurt. The shelves are full of boasting brands.
Here is your cheat sheet of what to look for:
• Gelatin free
• No colourings or flavourings
• Only real fruit added
• As low in sugar as is palatable to you
• As fortified in probiotic as high as possible (more than one billion if possible)
The most important key is to choose a flavour that will keep you interested and eating. It doesn’t matter how healthy a food is, it won’t do you any good sitting in the fridge.
Theresa Albert is an author and nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at myfriendinfood.com.