Probiotics 101

Probiotics have been getting a decent amount of press over the years. Yogurt sales are driving the U.S. dairy market and more people are learning about the health benefits of probiotics every day. There is a growing interest in the capabilities of probiotics in both the scientific filed and as a subject in online culinary courses.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are essentially helpful bacteria that assist the 400-plus microorganisms living in your digestive tract. Probiotics can work in two ways: They can fortify the existing micro-flora and increase the chances of neutralizing any harmful bacteria that may enter your system, or limit the growth of the damaging micro-flora.

By managing the organisms that line your intestines and stomach, probiotics help intestinal functions and maintain the integrity of the body’s intestinal wall. With this in mind, physicians and therapists have suggested that probiotics be used to treat types of irritable bowl syndrome and forms of indigestion.

Since each strain treats a specific kind of ailment, it’s important to identify the types of probiotics that best address your health issue.

Types of probiotics: 

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus GG
  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Lactobacillus case
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactococcus lactis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Vegetarian sources of probiotics

Sauerkraut – This finely cut cabbage is fermented by different kinds of lactic acid bacteria. In addition to being a great source of probiotics, sauerkraut also provides plenty of vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, B, K and magnesium.

Miso – This Japanese seasoning is produced by the fermenting of grains and beans. Miso is often used in traditional soups, stews and sauces.

Tempeh – Tempeh is a fermented soy bean product used in many Indonesian dishes. The fermentation produces beneficial molds that bind the soy and give it a loaf-like characteristic. It is also an abundant source of vitamin B12 and a low-calorie source of protein.

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