Probiotics ~ Nutrition News

5 Facts About This "Good" Bacteria

These are your intestine's good bacteria.

Here are some important facts about using them to maintain a healthy gut, and where to find them.

What are they?

The long and short of it: good bacteria.

Your digestive system is home to lots of bacteria, some good and some bad.

Healthy "gut flora," is this assemblage of microbes.

Which contributes to healthy immune and digestive systems.

When there's an imbalance between good and bad.

You can become vulnerable to infections.

Including yeast and urinary tract infections.

Diarrhea is also a common symptom.

When the delicate balance is lost between the two kinds of bacteria.

So, how do we maintain this delicate bacteria balance?

Protect yourself from possible pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella.

By practicing safe food handling habits.

Such as keeping raw foods separate from cooked foods when you're in the kitchen.

Always wash your hands well before handling food and after using the bathroom.

It's important to eat a variety of nutritious foods.

Until there's harder evidence about the effectiveness and safety of probiotic supplements.

It's best to keep your belly bacteria in balance by making probiotic food choices.

So, what foods contain this good bacteria?

More and more food manufacturers are offering consumers probiotic-fortified products.

A trip down the dairy aisle at your grocery store will reveal yogurts, soft cheeses, and cottage cheeses labeled as probiotic.

The probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are two of the more common ingredients.

Miso soup, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented foods may also be a source of some probiotic cultures.

Will eating foods containing this good bacteria really help?

Though every little bit helps the balance of good and bad intestinal bacteria.

Most food products do not provide a therapeutic dose of probiotics.

Think of eating these good bacteria as a preventive measure, rather than as a treatment.

These bacteria aren't necessary to stay healthy.

But they may protect against some harmful bacteria and help with digestion.

It's always wise to consult your doctor if you're considering taking probiotic supplements.

Some supplements can interfere with certain medications.

And, are not always safe for everyone.

What are some of the promising uses of probiotics?

* If you've been on a course of antibiotics.

These can help to replenish some of the good bacteria.

* Lactobacillus acidophilus shows promise.

As a way to control vaginal and urinary tract infections in women.

* Bifidobacterium may play a role in preventing the development of allergies.

* The healthy "flowering" of gut bacteria may provide protection.

From conditions including colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

* Probiotic supplements may help to reduce inflammation caused by Crohn's disease.

* Probiotic drops containing Lactobacillus reuteri were found to soothe colicky babies.

* Yogurt may help to relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance.

So, now that you're a little more educated on the subject, how do you get more probiotics into your diet.

Here's a recipe that's a hit in our family;

Greek Style ~ Chicken Salad

Replacing mayonnaise or bottled dressings with yogurt. makes a big difference in the battle of the bulge.

And we love using fresh herbs, such as oregano, to give our meals a big flavor boost.


* Dressing

* 3/4 c. plain low-fat yogurt

* 2 Tbs. lemon juice

* 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

* 2 tsp. oregano, finely chopped

* 2 small cloves garlic, minced

* sea salt

* fresh ground black pepper

* Salad

* 1 bag (5 oz.) salad greens

* 2 cooked rotisserie chicken breasts, skinned and cut into chunks

* 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

* 3 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced

* 1 c. Kalamata olives, sliced

* 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

* 1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled

* 4 whole wheat pitas (8" each)


1. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, and garlic.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside.

2.To make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, onion and feta.

Add the dressing and toss gently to combine.

3. Wrap the pitas in a paper towel, warm them in a microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and serve with the salad.


Per Serving

Calories 279.2.

Fat 8.9 g.

Saturated Fat 2.7 g.

Cholesterol 37.3 mg.

Sodium 669.9 mg.

Carbohydrates 32.9 g.

Total Sugars 5.6 g.

Dietary Fiber 4.8 g.

Protein 17.7 g.

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