The importance of probiotics is something that I’ve only recently discovered. So many Paleo peeps across the web rave about them! I’ve always known yogurt and other fermented foods were good for you, but I didn’t really know how or why. This is how Wikipedia defined ‘probiotics’, in case you want a fast definition:
"Probiotics are live microorganisms that may confer a health benefit on the host."
Mmm, microorganisms! And host? That sounds very pleasant. I bet you’re really hungry now, right?! Anyway, these wonderful little “good bugs” can help you out a lot, despite their small size. If you’re taking antibiotics, have a poor diet, have poor digestion, etc., your natural, good tummy bugs can get pretty messed up. Signs of this can include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, and other fun symptoms.
Many believe that even if you don’t have symptoms, you should probably try to take care of your gut flora by consuming probiotics. Somewhat random, but I find it interesting that so many people across the globe have their own versions of fermented foods/beverages: Russians have kvass, Germans have sauerkraut, the Japanese have kombucha, and the Middle East has yogurt! I definitely think they were aware of the awesomeness of fermentation! If you’re eating Paleo, you may think that getting enough probiotics might be difficult since you can’t have regular yogurt…Well, here’s some good news: it isn’t very hard at all!
Kombucha (My love! Seriously. Kombucha is the best thing ever, though definitely an acquired taste. Sadly, it is rather expensive if store-bought!), raw sauerkraut (Also a tad expensive...), and coconut yogurt/kefir are excellent options. Thankfully, there are also some less expensive alternatives out there that can be made in your own home! For example, Nom Nom Paleo’s Coconut Milk Yogurt (http://nomnompaleo.com/post/45263391503/paleo-plans-simple-coconut-milk-yogurt). Looks like it would be freakin’ awesome if blended with some fruit. Super-duper-easy-peasy!
And there you have it! A simple explanation of the benefits of probiotics. I will be attempting to make my own kombucha within the next few months, so if that interests you, stay tuned!