The idea that bacteria can actually help our body fight diseases and infections seem counter-intuitive. However, with probiotics, this is indeed the case. Probiotics are a type of good or friendly bacteria that is available in supplements and various foods, and this bacteria can be used as a weapon to build your body’s immune system. You can find this kind of bacteria in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Here are the positive effects they can have on your body and on your life.
Cures and prevents yeast infections
Foods like yogurt are a perfect example of foods that contain friendly bacteria. Having yogurt every morning can go a long way to restoring your body’s yeast balance. Specifically, it is the Lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt that is responsible for attacking the harmful bacteria which cause yeast infection. If you’re looking to treat a yeast infection, remember to use plain yogurt, rather than sweetened yogurt. Yogurt with live active cultures will provide the best results.
Friendly bacteria can also help the body fight against bacterial infections like Salmonella and E.Coli. Where can you find a great antibacterial drink? Look to kefir to help your body fight infections. Like yogurt, kefir is a fermented drink that also contains friendly bacteria. Kefir is made by adding kefir grains to cow or goat’s milk. Over a period of 24 hours, the lactic acid in the grain turns the milk’s lactose into lactic acid, producing a sour taste much like yogurt.
Irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea
Foods and drinks with friendly bacteria can also help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut. This eases symptoms of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, if you suffer from digestive problems, consider adding kefir or yogurt to your daily diet.
By keeping your digestive tract healthy and breaking down the bile in your gut, fermented foods with friendly bacteria can help reduce cholesterol. How does this work? When the bile is broken down, it doesn’t reenter your blood stream as cholesterol. In fact, a study shows that eating yogurt with live active cultures for two to eight weeks lowered cholesterol by 4 – 5%.
When you have allergies, it can sometimes be attributed to an overactive immune system. Bacteria like Bifidobacterium longum and the Lactobacillus casei strain, Shirota, regulate specific cells or antibodies, reducing your body’s allergic reaction to harmless environmental substances like pollen. In both cases, your body’s immune response is strengthened. Foods like sauerkraut and kimchi offer a good amount of this helpful bacteria.
When you’re looking for a list of foods with friendly bacteria to incorporate into your daily diet, foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi should top your list. Other foods that provide a smaller amount of friendly bacteria includes foods like miso soup/seasoning and kombucha. Each of these foods offer different amounts of the friendly bacteria you need to stave off infections, so research the benefits of each to see what they offer.