Yogurt, Greek yogurt, Kefir are just some delish ways to get probiotics into your system. I LOVE LOVE probiotics and incorporated them into my daily routine a decade back and believe they have done so much for my gut and health. Probiotics are nothing but ‘Good Bacteria’. You can get them in a pill, but getting a healthy dose through foods is far more effective, not to mention satisfying. Yogurt and kefir made with active, live bacterial cultures are good sources of calcium for many people with lactose intolerance. When yogurt enters the intestine, the bacterial cultures convert lactose to lactic acid, so the yogurt may be well-tolerated due to a lower lactose content than milk. Our body is filled with bacteria, both good and bad ! When the bad overpowers the good you may have symptoms of occasional bloating, poor digestion, irregularity, occasional diarrhea. This is where the power of probiotics comes in to heal and replace conditions existing due to bad bacteria overload. Probiotics have other uses as well.
Yogurt- is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”. It is a great source of calcium, Vitamin D and probiotics. You can make your own yogurt using a yogurt maker or the good old-fashioned way. Heat milk to about 80 °C (176 °F) to kill any undesirable bacteria. Cool to about 45 °C (112 °F). Add bacteria culture and try to maintain temperature for 4 to 7 hours to allow fermentation. Works well in the summer, but winter time you may want to try the yogurt maker. Plain yogurt has more active cultures than flavored yogurt. Read labels for terms like live active cultures, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus etc.
Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a blend of cream and milk, so it has a much higher percentage of milk fat (butterfat)anywhere from 4% to 10%, compared to regular whole milk yogurts that generally don’t exceed 3.5% milk fat. Greek yogurt is also strained, so less water than yogurt, making it more dense, firm and creamy. For health benefits get 2% or fat-free as regular Greek style yogurt has more calories and more fat than regular yogurt; I love Greek yogurt and find the 2% does not taste very different from the whole variety. Creamy delicious, whats not to love about it ! I eat it plain with fruit , nuts and honey. You can substitute it for cream in most desserts.
Kefir- is your best bet for probiotics. It is a fermented milk drink made with Kefir Grains that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a drinkable carbonated milk beverage . It is made by injecting cow, goat, or sheep‘s milk with kefir grains. I used to make my own kefir untill my DH ( Dear Husband ) threw it away thinking it was leftover rice :)It is easy to make since you have no heat requirements like yogurt. I havent gotten around to ordering some yet, so buying store-bought until then. The kefir grains multiply over time so you can pass some on to friends when yours multiply. I love kefir but can only drink it plain or incorporate it into a smoothie. My breakfast for years has been a kefir based smoothie with flax oil and frozen fruit and I sometimes think it is my healthiest meal of the day. Will be sharing my smoothie recipe in my next post.
Reasons to tap into Probiotic Power
They restore the disrupted balance of the intestinal tract.
They stimulate the growth of antibodies and lymphocytes thus improving your immune system.
They produce huge pools of extra anti-bodies, ready to protect and defend against infection.
Fungal and yeast infections can be prevented. They also help decrease the symptoms of yeast infection and improve healing.
Cleansing the colon, which means that bad breath and body odor are also reduced.
Produce many important enzymes and increase absorption of vitamins and nutrients, especially Vitamin B, Vitamin K, lactase, fatty acids and calcium.
People taking probiotics have experienced lowered cholesterol.
Studies have demonstrated that probiotics can prevent the onset of eczema in children and provide relief to adults suffering from eczema !
Minimizes Lactose Intolerance : Probiotics are made up of lactic acid bacteria which help in the conversion of lactose into lactic acid. That means that less lactose gets into your system, meaning that people with lactose intolerance can ingest more lactose if they are taking probiotics.
Go Probiotic !! Whether you blend the versatile kefir into a delicious mango smoothie or eat greek yogurt with a spoonful of honey and some berries , add some probiotics to your diet and feel the power !
If you like this post and would like some probiotic friendly smoothies and desserts , stay tuned: will be posting some in two days time !