- Get Back To The Table
By Catherine Sebastian, MS, RD, CDN
You’re probably wondering, what is the hype around probiotics? Should I believe in them? Are there really benefits to them? Or am I just paying for fancy bacteria?
There are so many questions surrounding probiotics and want to explain the true health benefits of probiotics and how Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables can help. Because guess what, this 2019 trend of gut health is here to stay!
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that contain health benefits, to help our body function properly – these are your “good bacteria.” Probiotics bring balance to your digestive system by decreasing the amount of “bad bacteria” in your digestive system. The so called “bad bacteria” can come from the foods we eat, the environment, and disease causing bacteria.
What is your gut microbiome?
Our gastrointestinal tract or gut microbiome normally contain bacteria to digest food, destroy disease microorganism and produce vitamins. Your body naturally contains bacteria, most of the bacteria sits in your gut microbiome.
Your gut microbiome contains complex microorganism that support the bulk of your body’s immune system. The microbiome is sensitive to food intake and can become unbalanced, increasing risk for diseases. Probiotics are good bacteria that can remove bad bacteria and restore balance to the microbiome.
Does the hype = health?
Probiotics maintain a desirable gut microbiome for a healthy community of good bacteria to grow. They can help return the microbiome to a normal balance after being disrupted by food, an antibiotic or disease. It can stimulate the immune response.
Increased consumption of probiotics is associated with increased health benefits and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, improved weight management, and improved immune response. Probiotics can also improve the overall gastrointestinal tract function and has been seen for use in treatment/prevention of issues related to the GI tract including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.
Where can you get probiotics?
Probiotics naturally occur in fermented foods. Probiotics present in products are either the same or similar to the microorganisms that naturally live in the body.
Take a look at some recipes to incorporate some probiotic power in your diet with the help of Libby’s®!
Libby’s Bavarian Style Sauerkraut naturally contains probiotics! Sauerkraut, German for “sour cabbage” is shredded cabbage that had been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. This garnish is popular in many dishes especially in Europe. Many enjoy pairing sauerkraut with sausage or its salty and sour taste can make a great compliment for a side dish. Sauerkraut is rich in fiber and contains vitamins, C, B, and K.
Check out these two recipes that incorporates probiotic power in a unique way.
Chickpea and Kraut Pasta Toss
Yogurt is a great source of probiotics. You might have seen on your yogurt contain “contains live or active cultures,” that is referring to the probiotics make sure to choose a brand with live or active cultures to get the probiotic benefits. Yogurt is created through fermentation by lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacterial.
Choosing a yogurt option that is low-fat and low sugar is great, especially Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has an increased amount of protein, packing double health benefit punch of high protein and probiotics.
Check out this recipe Chia Spiced Yogurt Parfait with Apricots, this recipe pairs gut beneficial probiotics from the Greek yogurt and Libby’s® Apricot Halves (in Pear Juice) for a sweet treat!
Try adding some of these other great fermented food sources to incorporate probiotics into your diet! Perhaps challenge yourself by trying a new one each week!
For more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out Libby’s® Recipe Box and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
- Nutr Rev. 2018 Dec 1;76(Supplement_1):4-15. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy056.
- Probiotics: In Depth. (2018, July 31). Retrieved from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, August 22). Health benefits of taking probiotics. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics
- Car Reen Kok, Robert Hutkins; Yogurt and other fermented foods as sources of health-promoting bacteria, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 76, Issue Supplement_1, 1 December 2018, Pages 4–15, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuy056