Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Priobiotics- Stay Healthy During the Cold & Flu Season

Have you noticed that immune boosting foods seem to be the newest healthful food niche in the market? People want to boost their immune system during the cold and flue season and the food industry doesn’t mind capitalizing on that!

Everything that we ingest goes into the gut. It is part of the bodies’ protective network against bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. Did you know that there are over 400 different species of bacteria in your gut and 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines!

Probiotics- What are they??

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that may help improve your gut flora and restore balance in the intestinal microbial flora. An unbalanced diet, stress, fatigue, aging, bacteria- contaminating foods, and antibiotic therapy are all factors that may influence your intestinal flora.

Probiotics- Where are they found??
  • Fermented dairy products- yogurt and kefir
  • Oral supplements
  • Products such as cereal, juice, and even cookies claim to contain probiotics

It is important to know that not all probiotics are created equal. It is recommended to use probiotics that are “clinically proven.” This is typically printed on the label. The product label should also reveal the strain of bacteria, CFU’s (colony forming units), expiration date, serving, health benefits, storage conditions, and contact information.

Because probiotics are generally safe there is no reason not to try different products and see what works for you! You may also benefit from other nutrients in probiotic containing foods such as calcium, and protein in yogurt.

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