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Feeding the Good Bacteria

Perhaps you’ve heard of probiotics through yogurt commercials showing a joyfully dancing belly, arrows pointing downward, and hands forming heart shapes over the abdomen, all  inferring some of the benefits of these good bacteria.

Yogurt and other fermented foods like kefir, raw sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kombucha are all sources of probiotics. Probiotic supplements offer stronger treatment options with specific selection of particular bacteria. Each kind of friendly bacteria offers a different health benefit, from treating bowel trouble to boosting the immune system to managing skin disease to supporting healthy brain cells and more.

Like all living creatures, these healthy bacteria need to be fed. This is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are non-digestible components of some foods that promote growth and activity of probiotics. It is possible to buy prebiotic supplements, either on their own or in combination with probiotics.

You might also choose to eat more artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus, and gluten-free oats, as all are good sources of prebiotics.

Of course, avoiding killing your good bacteria by limiting your use of antibiotics  is also key to a healthy colony of friendly bacteria; and since these good bacteria can help keep your immune system strong, consuming probiotics and prebiotics regularly is a foundation to good health.

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