Health & Food

Probiotics; The Healthy Bacteria

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Today I have an blog post agenda. The agenda includes clearing up a few things about my last post, sharing with you my favorite part about the holidays, a little probiotic review session, a giveaway update, and my life update! Alright, here we go…..

Sodium and “Bloating”

It became clear to me, after reading all of your comments, that I did not make myself clear when I said that sodium causes me to be bloated. Here are two definitions of “bloat”:

  1. To cause to swell up or inflate, as with liquid or gas.
    1.A swelling of the rumen or intestinal tract of cattle and domestic animals that is caused by excessive gas formation following fermentation of ingested watery legumes or green forage.

The bloat that I get from consuming too much sodium is the first definition. It just causes me to retain water to the point that I am extremely uncomfortable. It does NOT give me gas and cause me gassy bloat, like many of you believed from my post. I apologize for that confusion. With IBS, many foods can cause gas and bloating, therefore the water retention caused by sodium just adds to the uncomfortable feeling.

Why I Love the Holidays

Although I’m a total Scrooge when it comes to starting to celebrate the holidays early, I became a fan of the early holiday celebration on Monday night when Nick and I walked to Kroger and found THIS:Probiotics; The Healthy Bacteria 1
Great Lake’s Christmas Ale has been a favorite of ours since we worked together at an Irish Pub that used to sell this on tap. It’s the best beer in the world, no joke. If you enjoy a good beer, you’ve got to try this stuff, and grab it while you can, it goes fast! We were tempted to buy an entire case, as we could remember last year when everyone had run out. But instead we only purchased two six packs. We walked home fast, and poured ourselves a cup of holiday cheer.Probiotics; The Healthy Bacteria 2

Beer is one of the worst things for my IBS (the gluten, the carbonation….) but sometimes you just gotta make an exception and live through that uncomfortable feeling.

Dietary Change #2; Probiotics

My diet already includes plenty of prebiotics (the food for the probitoics) so now I include probitics as well. They actually have a synbiotic relationship. The perfect product, which contains both pre- and probiotics, is kefir. I recently decided to start drinking Kefir again.

What is Kefir?
Wikepedia:
Kefir (alternately kefīrs, kefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep‘s milk with kefir grains.

How can kefir help?
(Source: Lifeway Kefir)

Dietary changes are often suggested as a first-line defense against IBS.
Many studies show that adding certain types of yogurt – specifically, those containing the bacteria (genera) lactobacilli and bifidobacteria – to your diet may alleviate the symptoms of IBS. These “good” bacteria, also known as probiotics, are normally found in the large intestine, but adding them to your diet can help with gas, pain and bloating, while reducing the time it takes for food to move through the intestine This, in turn, may be helpful in people with constipation; probiotics may also decrease the frequency of loose stools, improving IBS-related diarrhea.

My Extra Thoughts
** When you purchase a product that claims to provide helpful “probiotics”, make sure it lists the type of probiotic, which is usually written with the genus abbreviated, and the species written out (ex: L. Lactis). If you purchase a probiotic supplement it should also disclose the amount of probiotic in the product, as well as the species. The species will tell you more specifics about the health benefits of the product, and the amount will disclose whether the product is even worth taking, as 1 to 10 billion units is what is necessary for clinical effects. If the product does not say, be sure to call the company to confirm.**

I bought this kefir the other day. Check it out, not only does this provide probiotics, but also more PREbiotics (inulin in this case) to feed the probiotics. Do you notice another important component of this product??Probiotics; The Healthy Bacteria 3

VITAMIN D!! Now vitamin D is more important than ever. Have I mentioned that before ??

Both of my dietary changes have made me a happier girl. I rarely get that uncomfortable bloat, or feeling that my food is stuck half-way through its absorption process, and I rarely have bad gas (Nick likes that part). The reduction in gas may have to do with the fact that probiotics are said to produce some beneficial enzymes for digestion. It’s quite nice. Also, check out the post by Stephanie or “The Skinny Plate”. She reviewed LifeWays probiotic bars, which is another great way to get your daily dose of probiotics.

If you would like more specific information about probiotics and prebiotics, click on this link. It will hopefully answer all of your questions that I could not describe in this post (or it would have been a mile long!)

Giveaway Update
Jessica of How Sweet It Is is giving away a Cusinart Food Processor! Check it out.

Life Update

Well I’m still really busy with the new job. Our company is growing, very slowly, but surely. We’ve decided to create some webinars and maybe even write a book! I will also be including an option for some personal and group dietary consulting within the companies we are working for.
All together, I still love the job and I can tell it’s only going to get better!

Stay tuned for my next post, which will include my Biggest Loser review! Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

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