There’s an old natural health adage that says eating yogurt and drinking milk after a round of antibiotics helps you feel better faster. It’s so common and has been around for so long, that there must be something to that, right?
Well there is! It’s due to the fact that our digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. Antibiotics are made to kill bacteria, and they don’t distinguish between the good, the bad, or the ugly—they just kill everything.
And that yogurt and milk, well it helps replenish and feed the good bacteria in your gut. (Just make sure you get the right stuff.)
The Good Bacteria
The bacteria population that reside in our digestive tract are called "gut microflora" or you may have also heard, the "human microbiome," and they have a unique balance within your body.
Antibiotics aren’t the only things that disrupt gut microflora balance. Other factors like poor diet, stress and disease can play a part in the balance of bacteria residing within us.
There are several strains of good bacteria, each with a different main objective. For example, in the large intestine there are specific forms of beneficial bacteria which act as a barrier to bad bacteria to make both the functioning and overall health of the intestines more effective (1) and in our stomach, there are different bacteria that help us digest food more effectively.
An imbalance of these good bacteria allows for other foreign pathogens to grow. This imbalance makes us more susceptible to viruses and parasites (2), creating inflammatory responses (3).
These same beneficial bacteria also make up a large component of our immune system—which means an imbalance could send you back to the doctor for another round of antibiotics.
Maintaining balance in your microbiome could be a gamechanger for your health. Sometimes, our bodies need a boost, and that’s okay. You can replenish the good bacteria in your gut with foods like yogurt, raw milk, kombucha, and kimchi—if that sounds like a hodge-podge of flavors and textures, it is, but all these foods have one thing in common. Probiotics.
By now, most people have at least heard the word “probiotics” and some are even taking them. A lot of people aren’t aware of precisely why and what they're taking. (If this is you, don’t feel bad!) You can spend countless hours on research and still only be scratching the surface.
There is a lot left to be discovered and understood about the human microbiome and new research on probiotics is being conducted everyday.
What we do know is that studies show that probiotics provide immeasurable health benefits in the prevention or management of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type two diabetes, food allergies, constipation, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer (3).
Think of probiotics as your own Microbial Warriors… In a metaphorical way, they are similar to internal soldiers and healers as they constantly fend off infections, keep pathogens in check, support digestion and absorption of nutrients, help produce vitamins and absorb vital minerals (4), all while balancing our overall immune system.
So our list of foods we mentioned above? Have at ‘em! In fact, here’s a list of 12 awesome fermented foods you can add to your grocery list:
- Live cultured Yogurt
- fermented soy
- miso soup
- soft cheeses (i.e Gouda)
- Apple cider vinegar (with the mother in it)
- Raw Milk
- Cottage cheese
These foods contain an array of helpful bacteria, particularly specific strains of Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, and Bifidobacterium—or strains of bacteria that help to balance the gut microbiome so that your digestive system works more effectively.
With that said it becomes apparently difficult to eliminate all the harmful pathogens with just the good bacteria from fermented foods—an unfortunately reality brought on by modern living in polluted cities, chronic systematic stress, and very poor diets. These foods provide good bacteria, but often don’t make it through stomach acids and reach the colon (3). For that reason, taking a supplement can provide the extra support needed.
ThePureWay Superb Flora Supplement
When you’re choosing your probiotic supplement, it’s important to do the research on the brand and see if you can read reviews, make sure it’s reputable, and try it yourself. Probiotics are live cultures and can be killed by overheating and overprocessing, so that cheap $5 supplement over the counter may have had the strains in them at some point, but it’s likely that now they’re pretty useless from heavy processing or additives.
That’s why we made our Superb Flora Supplement. We had to make sure that the supplements we take were top notch, and the best way for us to do that is to formulate our own.
The Superb Flora has 5 strains of good bacteria (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus) and 25+ Billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units).
So even if kimchi isn’t your thing and yogurt doesn’t seem to be helping very much, adding the Superb Flora Supplement to your daily health routine could make a big impact on your digestive health.
Stay Pure My Friends | @ThePureWay
Do you take probiotics or eat fermented foods? Tell us what you do in the comments!
Gerritsen, J., Smidt, H., Rijkers, G. T., & de Vos, W. M. (2011). Intestinal microbiota in human health and disease: the impact of probiotics. Genes & Nutrition, 6(3), 209–240. doi:10.1007/s12263-011-0229-7
Sherman, P. M., Ossa, J. C., & Johnson-Henry, K. (2009). Unraveling mechanisms of action of probiotics.Nutrition in Clinical Practice: Official Publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 24(1), 10-14. doi:10.1177/0884533608329231 [doi]
Binns, N Probiotics, Prebiotics, and the Gut Microbiota (ILSI Europe Concise Monograph Series Ed Walker, R) 2013. Available at: http://www.ilsi.org/Europe/Publications/Prebiotics-Probiotics.pdf
Scholz-Ahrens KE , Schaafsma G, Heuvel E, Schrezenmeir J. Effects of probiotics on mineral metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011; 73(suppl):459S-464S.
Joint FAO/WHO Working Group Report on Drafting Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food, London, Ontario, Canada, April 30 and May 1, 2002. Available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/en/probiotic_guidelines.pdf