Detox Day 5

Probiotics, Gut Health + Your Hormones

You may have noticed in your Detox Guide that I mention probiotics. In case you aren’t familiar, probiotics are friendly or ‘good’ bacteria that essentially reside in every inch of your body. There are actually more bacteria in and on your body than human cells! So we have to keep these guys happy.

Probiotics balance health in so many ways, including:

  • Promoting optimal digestion
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Regulating the immune system (stimulating secretion of IgA and regulatory T cells)
  • Preventing overgrowth of candida (yeast) + parasites
  • Reducing symptoms of environmental allergies and food sensitivities
  • Producing vitamins B12 + K2
  • Creating enzymes to destroy ‘bad’ bacteria
  • Reducing skin irritations like acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Assist weight loss
  • Metabolize and recycle hormones like estrogen and thyroid hormone

These are literally just a few of the many ways probiotics are beneficial to health. Probiotics are fantastic because you can take them as a supplement, or you can get them through various fermented foods. I encourage you to sample some of these foods and see which ones you like. Try to include some form of probiotic food in your diet every day, even if you take a supplement.

Food sources differ from supplements in that the strains of probiotics are wider and more varied, giving you beneficial organisms for many purposes within the body. Food sources of course are natural, and contain the vitamins, minerals and enzymes of the food they are contained within. I have bolded my personal favourites in the list below.

Food Sources:

  • Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s)
  • Raw, unpasateurized saurerkraut and pickles
  • Kombucha (fermented tea)
  • Water kefir
  • Coconut kefir
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Beet kvass

Choosing a Supplement

Be aware of the following information when choosing a probiotic supplement.

  1. Between 15 to 100 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units)
  2. Non-dairy probiotics (meaning the bacteria was NOT grown on a dairy medium)
  3. Multi-strain- preferably find one with between 8-30 strains
  4. Storage- for everyday, choose a probiotic that requires refrigeration. If you are travelling, choose a shelf stable variety (although these are often very low in CFUs and strain diversity)

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