We are going to have a little change of pace today and talk about some probiotics instead of sharing a new recipe.
So What Are Probiotics and Why Should I Incorporate Them Into My Families Diet?
Probiotics are living bacteria microorganisms that confer a health benefit to the host when administered in the right amounts.
So microorganisms like bacteria are considered “probiotics” when they have been demonstrated to confer health benefits and healthy bowel function in humans and/or animals. Historically, they have been used to assist in the treatment of a myriad of health problems including IBS, IBD, Crohns, Diarrhea, Ulcerative Colitis. They are also used for general digestive health, and some people even use them for skin conditions and allergies.
There are also probiotics designed specifically for females that help to maintain healthy vaginal flora. If you are on antibiotics, probiotics can go a long way in ensuring no nasty yeast infections develop from the use of such drugs, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria which is usually down there. You can be sure if I am prescribed antibiotics I will be taking probiotics right alongside them!!
How Can I Incorporate Probiotics Into Our Diet?
Probiotics come in many ingestible forms: supplements, foods and drinks.
Personally I prefer to take my probiotics in food and drink form, through the use of the following products:
- sauerkraut and other fermented foods like kimchi,
- soy sauce,
- and even dark chocolate (yay)
However, ingesting enough of these foods may not always be convenient, especially when you are traveling or when there is a big shift in life such as a big move or a new baby which makes it hard to eat all the right foods all the time. For those times in life I like to have some probiotics in pill form on hand.
Jarrow Formulas Probiotics?
There are many different probiotics on the market, and it is worth doing your research before committing to any brand. They have different formulas, different strains, some are shelf stable and others are not. Decide on what is important to you and your family (and your lifestyle) and then make a decision from there.
For the past month I have been trying out Jarrow Formula Probiotics for myself and my kids (they also have a pet friendly line if that's something you are interested in).
Personally, I LOVE the ingredients used and how they are sourced. They are easy on the body, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, non GMO and affordable. All the buzz words I like to hear when choosing supplements for my family.
I was especially impressed with their kids version, their Yum Yum Dophilus. It has the added bonus of being sugar-free and chewable, and they use natural colors to make them a cool pinky red color which my kids just loved. This stuff is so important when you are trying to avoid refined sugars and food coloring, as a lot of the medications on the shelves these days are loaded with colors and flavors to make them appealing to kids and I just can't...
The difference in my 4yo daughter since taking the probiotics daily for the past 4 weeks has been noticeable. We usually had daily complaints of a sore belly and (sorry TMI coming up) bowel movements that could make the bathroom unusable for a considerable amount of time. Those complaints are gone save for the occasional 'sore belly' when she doesn't want to go to preschool 🙂
The Jarrow products also don't require refrigeration which is great, especially if you are using the probiotics as back ups while traveling, which we tend to do. At home, I still refrigerate mine as this extends the shelf life considerably, but knowing it's not a necessity is good for peace of mind.
You can find out more about probiotics in general and Jarrow Probiotic Formulas by visiting their website here.