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Make Your Tummy Happy with Good Bacteria

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Make Your Tummy Happy with Good Bacteria

We know that some bacteria can be bad for you, but bacteria are actually a normal part of your body. Probiotics can help you make sure you have all the good bacteria you need. They are found naturally in some fermented foods and are added to other foods or provided in a supplement for their health benefits. Probiotics help your gut crowd out bad bacteria by increasing good bacteria. This has been shown to reduce the duration of diarrhea and the symptoms of lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are often encouraged during antibiotic treatment. When you take antibiotics all of your bacteria is destroyed both good and bad. If you take probiotics you can replace the good bacteria while still eliminating the bug that is making you sick. This can help to prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking a probiotic supplement, especially if you have an impaired immune system.

Probiotic Sources:


Natural Sources

Sources with Added Live Cultures

Yogourt Yogourt (refrigerated and frozen)
Kefir Juice
Tempeh Cereal
Sauerkraut Nutritional Supplements
Miso Bread
Buttermilk Cheese

Probiotics and Prebiotics Prebiotics have also become common in supermarkets. Prebiotics act as food for probiotic bacteria, helping healthy bacteria grow. Two of the most common prebiotics are inulin and oligofructose. These carbohydrates are found naturally in plant products, but are also added to some foods. Often prebiotics and probiotics are added to the same products. When used together we call them symbiotics because they work better together than apart.  

Prebiotic Sources:

Natural Sources

Sources with Added Prebiotics

Chicory Root Cereals
Dandelion Greens Bread
Jerusalem Artichokes Table Spreads
Asparagus Beverages
Onions and Garlic (more if dried) Yogourts
Wheat, Barley, & Other Grains  

  Reference: Probiotics – The Good Bacteria, Eat Right Ontario, 2010