Natural Probiotics – Is There Such a Thing?
The term natural probiotics can be a bit misleading. Probiotics can only exist after a food has been fermented and since fermentation is a man made process there technically is no such thing as a natural probiotic.
But we can take probiotics naturally in these fermented foods rather than taking a supplement in the form of a pill or powder.
Probiotics are only found in foods that have been fermented
Fermentation was a big deal and very beneficial way back when it was discovered by our ancestors. Foods that are normally fermented are dairy and give us yogurt products and kefir. Vegetables are fermented and give us things like kimchi, the traditional Korean dish, and soy and all it’s related products.
Probiotics are sold as supplements as well. Be careful when buying these because there are many very bad products on the market. Please read our article here for tips on how to tell the good from the bad:
How To Compare Probiotics
The important thing to know is that any probiotics, from a food or supplement must be a live bacterial culture and therefor it’s manufacturing process is very important because if the company doing this is not “standardized” you will get something that is not only an inferior product, but possibly one that can be harmful to your health.
Most popular natural ways to take probiotics
Getting back to natural probiotics (technically correct or not), the most popular ones are found in yogurt and yogurt drinks. What is ironic about most of these products is the amount of sugar manufacturers put in them, especially since the people buying them are usually health-conscious.
As healthy as yogurt can be, consuming all that sugar negates most of the potential health benefits you would get from it. If you go with yogurt for your probiotics, look for one that does not have any sugar added. These are fewer and far between the ones that do but it is possible to search them out.
Yogurt was my favorite until I discovered kefir. Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk and it can supply even more probiotics than yogurt, besides it makes your tummy feel great! It has a bit of a carbonated taste to it, and is starting to pop up in more store shelfs. Kefir is an ancient drink but is relatively new to our North American society.
Don’t forget about your prebiotics though!
Getting probiotics is all good and everything, but they won’t do you much good without taking prebiotics to make them go.