What Is a Healthier Alternative to Probiotics? 11 Best Secrets Exposed
How often do you take probiotics?
What are some alternative probiotics secrets?
I know a lot of people who only think of taking them to restore balance after taking antibiotics.
Also, some might think that you only need probiotics if you have a gastrointestinal problem.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
But wait, there's more:
- Everyone needs to look after the bacteria in their bodies. It’s important to make sure that the bad don’t outweigh the good.
Are you looking into a supplement?
...but I also have some alternatives that will complement most any lifestyle.
I believe that you should strive to get some probiotics in every day.
...I’m going to share all of my alternative probiotics secrets and show you exactly how to do that.
We’ll begin by diving a little deeper into what they are and why you need them.
What Are Probiotics?
You are currently host to over 100 trillion bacteria, and that’s not all bad.
Most everyone knows that not all bacteria are harmful.
They can’t be...
...otherwise we wouldn’t survive childhood!
Actually, there are a few thousand different strains of bacteria in your belly button alone.
Want to know the best part?
Then stay with me...
The really interesting part is that science can't even identify a lot of them.
The difference between internal good and bad bacteria is easy to recognize.
For one, bad bacteria makes you feel awful. And it takes more than one little bad bacteria.
You experience symptoms after they begin to colonize.
Bacterial illnesses are wide-ranging, from Lyme’s disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, to acne and food poisoning.
So what makes good bacteria so great?
Rather than colonizing to attack healthy, functional cells, they colonize to support.
Good bacteria in your intestines aid you in digestion and extract proper nutrition from the food you eat. Moreover, they help synthesize essential vitamins, like vitamin K.
Probiotics are blends containing multiple strains of those beneficial bacteria.
They keep your gut healthy, which is of great importance to everyone. That’s right, not just those with an obvious imbalance.
But you're probably wondering:
The tissue in your gut makes up 70% of your immune system. That’s also where the majority of your bacteria live.
Maybe you don’t suffer from chronic digestive disorders. In fact, you don’t worry very much about bacterial illnesses at all.
Still, flus and colds can still result if your good and bad bacterial ratios are out of balance.
All of this makes it clear to me that you should be taking extra care of the microbiome of your gut.
The live active bacteria and yeasts that probiotic blends consist of is an excellent way to supplement your natural supply.
What Alternative Probiotics Secrets Can Do for You
What can you gain from intentionally exposing yourself to billions of (good) germs?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of taking probiotics.
The Probiotics Problem
You know I’m all about the best healthy alternatives.
The bad news is that buying a bottle of probiotics isn’t all there is to it.
The good news?
There are plenty of secrets that will make the process easier.
If you truly want these benefits...
...some careful shopping is in order.
Avoid wasting your money and placing all your hopes on sub-par supplements with these secret hacks!
When you’re browsing online or searching the shelves, choose a supplement that checks out based on these factors.
Secret 1: Identify those strains
When I say, “L. acidophilus”, that doesn’t even identify the exact strain of bacteria. The first and second names are just the genus and species.
More information is necessary.
For example, bottles that say “Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM” tell you that it’s a reliable and effective form.
Secret 2: Look for specific strains
Aside from doing your own research, it’s good idea to ask your doctor what strains they recommend.
Meanwhile, read up on Dr. David Williams. He recommends several specific strains.
Secret 3: Ensure that it has the right coating
I’ve come across a lot of secrets about supplements over time!
Out of all of them, I might be most upset by this one.
A lot of probiotics don’t survive long enough to make it to your digestive tract.
Your bottle should also state whether or not the capsules are delayed-release.
That way, the bacteria inside will be able to survive your stomach acid. Thus, they complete the journey to your intestines.
Secret 5: Seek independent certification
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate most supplements, third-party testing is always one sign of a great product.
If you have the time, you can also look for information from sites like ConsumerLab.
Secret 6: Look for information that will tell you whether the bacteria are alive
This is where manufacturers really get you.
If you see packaging that says something to the effect of, “viable at manufacture”, keep moving.
This means that they aren’t guaranteeing the survival of the bacteria when you purchase it.
They could be dead by the time you bring them home!
Make sure there’s an expiration date. Additionally, check the label to see if the bacteria will live through that date.
Secret 7: Prebiotics are a plus!
Do your capsules contain chicory or acacia gum?
Those sound like they might be fillers, but they’re not. In fact, they’re excellent prebiotic sources.
Prebiotics are your bacteria’s favorite foods. They help make probiotic strains even stronger and healthier.
The most reliable way to get an effective daily dose of probiotics is through fermented foods.
...what are these “fermented foods” I speak of?
These foods sit out and steep. As a result, they develop the probiotic microflora we’re looking for.
You already know about yogurt. It’s the most popular and easily available source of probiotics. Well, yogurt is “cultured”, or fermented.
Maybe it sounds a little off-putting to say that it’s basically food that’s been left out.
Especially when it’s something we consider so perishable, like dairy!
But fermentation in food isn’t all that unusual. Foods like olives, bread, cheese, and wine go through the fermentation process.
Although tasty, those things are only mildly probiotic. I have some other delicious superfoods I’m about to introduce.
The fermentation process is actually a great way to preserve foods. It even makes them more nutritious, so don’t worry about age.
Think instead about all of the creative ways you can bring new probiotic foods into your diet. These go way beyond your average probiotic yogurt!
Secret 8: Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut, which is made from cabbage, is one of my very favorite probiotic foods. It makes a great side dish or condiment for an entree.
One of my best fall dishes features sauerkraut atop sautéed apples and sweet potatoes.
Like supplements, picking up a random can of sauerkraut at the market may not be the way to go.
Pickled variations are sometimes exposed to high heat during production. Usually, we like to cook or heat foods up because it kills bacteria.
However, we want our bacteria to be alive. “Live” is a key word you want to see on your labels.
Look for varieties that specifically state that they are raw and fermented.
This jar from the Greek Gourmet is kosher and vegan. Best of all, it gets extra flavor from garlic, onions, and oregano.
Oregon Brineworks serves up their probiotic sauerkraut with beets and apples.
It’s not all about cabbage.
One spoonful is great on salads and sandwiches.
Secret 9: Kimchi
Kimchi is sauerkraut’s Korean cousin from the East.
Love spicy Asian cuisine?
Then you know all about this marvelous fermented dish. Hopefully, your new knowledge about probiotics will inspire you to buy it regularly.
Like other fermented foods, kimchi may not be for everyone. Still, it’s definitely worth a try.
This variety from Pickled Planet (brand name only, contains no vinegar) is raw and organic. The spices are heavenly.
If you love kimchi, feel free to try this 1.75 pound bag. It’s the real deal, made to order.
In addition to probiotics, one serving contains half your RDV of vitamin C and a good amount of fiber.
Secret 10: Kefir
Kefir is similar to yogurt. However, it’s much more potent in the probiotics department.
It’s a fermented dairy product that has a thinner consistency, which makes it drinkable. It’s known for vitamins and minerals like folate, biotin, magnesium, and vitamin B12.
Especially exciting is the fact that many kinds of kefir are low fat and lactose-free. They still contain multiple strains of beneficial bacteria!
If you do try to avoid lactose due to sensitivities, consider the idea that kefir can help you increase your tolerance.
Kefir is pretty versatile.
My favorite way to have kefir is in a homemade salad dressing.
Its silky, creamy texture is perfect for homemade popsicles (just add blueberry puree and a little stevia), smoothies, and more.
Secret 11: Kombucha
If you do want to drink your probiotics on the go, you must try kombucha. Kombucha is a tea that has been a health tonic for more than a thousand years.
Over the last decade, it’s hit more stores stateside.
These teas become magical thanks to the presence of SCOBYs.
SCOBY stands for a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”. This is similar to the “mother” you find in a bottle of genuine apple cider vinegar.
This drink is fizzy and refreshing.
Kombucha with turmeric and ginger is one of my secrets for survival during cold and flu season.
You can also regularly find me with a bottle of Kevita’s tart cherry version.
Want to go DIY?
Brewing at home is easier than you think.
Your BONUS for today:
Secret 12. Eat your prebiotics, too!
Let the probiotics in your diet thrive. Add in foods that support them.
...bananas, asparagus, leeks, garlic, and artichokes are great sources.
You’ll notice that prebiotic foods pair well with many probiotic ones.
Garlic and onions are found in varieties of kimchi and sauerkraut.
Slices of banana are the perfect addition to Greek yogurt or smoothies made with kefir.
Are Probiotics Right for You?
Ready to take a probiotic?
There are a few side effects which can occur. The most common adverse effects are gas and bloating.
These should subside as you continue taking them. If they don’t, stop using them and speak to a healthcare professional.
Furthermore, be vigilant about possible allergic reactions. Rashes, itching, and swelling from taking supplements should be treated right away.
Finally, certain antibiotics and antifungals may interact with probiotic supplements. Check with your pharmacist to see if probiotics interact with any of your prescriptions.
The bottom line on...
Alternative Probiotics Secrets
So, do I prefer supplements or dietary sources?
I truly believe that getting both is the way to go.
Food sources are only a healthier alternative to bad supplements. A good supplement and some fermented foods are all you need to restore your gut to optimal health.
The good bacteria in probiotics give us:
Finally, they strengthen our immune systems and reduce chances of infection.
Sounds good to me!
Tell me, what do you think of probiotics?
Have you had trouble finding a good supplement?
Do you have one to recommend?
Do you swear by kimchi and kefir?
Please help the community by sharing your thoughts below. I answer all your questions or suggestions personally 🙂