With my beach bag in tow, I left town this past weekend to escape the grind of Gotham. I was heading south to meet up with some friends for a fun weekend. Little did I know I would find myself craving something I never thought was possible - bacteria!
I can sense the quizzical looks forming.
No, but really, I was craving my probiotic supplement - the beneficial bacteria that help ward off infection, promote digestion, stave off yeast, and a whole slew of other health benefits. We are all born with a healthy amount of this beneficial bacteria in our gut, which serves as a natural defense system from the 'bad' bacteria we know and fear.
These little guys have saved me out in countless situations - they've kept me regular, gotten me over traveler's diarrhea, and enabled me to better digest dairy products.
Now they were again trying to restore balance in my body. Turns out the from the 'party foods' I was consuming are exactly the ones harmful bacteria feed on (i.e. sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol). My digestion was off and I was starting to feel as if I was catching a cold.
There are several foods that contain naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, however in far smaller doses than a probiotic. These foods include yogurt, miso, aged cheese, kefir, and fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles). Kombucha, a fermented beverage, rich in probiotics is all the rage at my local co-op. It was no coincidence that one of the first foods I ate when I returned home was yogurt with live acidophilus cultures. I instantly felt better.
I recommend probiotic supplements to most of my clients (Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra is my favorite). With the prevalence of antibiotics in our culture, many of us are lacking these crucial microorganisms. However, we consume more than we even realize - antibiotics show up in commercially raised meat, even our drinking water!
I take one probiotic supplement every evening before I go to bed. And, oh yes, I am regular again!