There are various types of tasty and healthy probiotic drinks available and you can get them from sources other than yogurt.
There are many benefits of probiotics, in helping to balance your overall digestive health and gut flora, therefore, it is a good idea to make them a regular part of your routine.
But, it is not always possible to eat yogurt or take a supplement. In these cases, you can drink your way to gut health.
What are the Types of Probiotic Drinks:
There are 3 basic types of probiotic drinks: kefir, kombucha, and drinks supplemented with probiotics. In kefir and kombucha, the probiotics are brewed naturally as part of the drink. Supplemented probiotic drinks will have a probiotic culture added to it.
Kombucha is brewed by placing a scoby (which is the mother culture, which is kind of like a sourdough starter) in brewed tea along with sugar. The sugar acts as food for the probiotics, therefore, as the kombucha is brewed the sugar is converted into probiotics.
Kefir is made in the same way, but with kefir grains. These are specific to each type of medium that is being cultured, therefore, there are different strains of kefir for water or milk. Also, kefir needs sugar as a food source, and converts it into probiotics.
3. Drinks Supplemented with Probiotics
What are the Benefits of Probiotic Drinks?
1. Probiotics are Good for Your Belly
Adding probiotic drinks into your diet is a great way to bring in good bacteria that supports bacterial diversity (which you want) and healthy gut function, according to Marci Evans, MS, RD.
“But supporting a healthy gut microbiome includes more than drinking probiotic drinks,” she says. If you want to really take care of your tummy, you should get quality sleep, manage your stress (chronic stress kills healthy bacteria), exercise moderately, and eat lots of different foods, she said. “Like anything, you have to look at it from a holistic perspective.”
2. Probiotics are Alive!
When a product states, “contains active and live cultures” or “living food,” that’s referring to the bacteria inside, which are, in fact, living cultures, according to Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN. (And no need to worry, vegans — we’re talking about microscopic bacteria here.)
Look for bacteria such as lactobacilli or bifidobacteria on the ingredient labels of fermented dairy foods, as per Amanda Kruse, RD, CD. Your drink should have at least one billion live cultures and some different strains of bacteria, as per Evans.
And if you’re trying to treat a specific health problem, such as constipation, it might make more sense to take a probiotic supplement that contains a specific strain that treats the issue, she says.
3. Probiotics Can..
Probiotics are a great complement to your fitness routine. If you are regularly following a strenuous training routine, then, you could be suppressing your immune system and thereby, making your body more susceptible to infection. And because probiotics can help to strengthen your immune system, regularly consuming them can benefit avid exercisers and athletes, as per Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., C.D.E., and author of The 2-Day Diabetes Diet.
Always remember that too much of a good thing is not always better. While probiotics can be beneficial to your health, if you are consuming multiple beverages and foods that contain probiotics along with supplements, you can potentially throw off the balance of bacteria in your intestines, as per Palinski-Wade.
If you choose to supplement your diet using probiotics, it is better to reach for food first and know how much you are consuming. If you want to consider using probiotic supplements, consult with your physician or dietitian about what dosage is appropriate for you.
“Do not be obsessed about probiotics or think that these can turn an unhealthy diet into a healthful one,” as per Jackie Newgent, R.D.N., C.D.N., author of The With or Without Meat Cookbook. “Often if you are focusing on consuming a nutrient-rich, plant-focused, whole food-based diet, you will probably be getting everything you need for good gut health.”
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