Good bacteria is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps our bodies digest and protects the body from harmful bacteria. Also known as probiotics, these live bacteria are found in an array of foods that are easy to come by, and taste great. By eating these foods, you can help prevent irregularity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and even help prevent colon cancer. The foods listed below are a great way to fit the good bacteria you need into your everyday diet. For people who are on restricted diets that do not include the foods below, there are supplements made with probiotics.
Cheese is one of the most delicious ways to get good bacteria into your system, and is a snack time favorite. Any cheese that has not been pasteurized or heat treated after going through the cheese making process will have good bacteria. Cheeses that are labeled "raw" are sure to have not gone through a heating or pasteurizing process. Cheeses that are aged will give you even more good bacteria. Cheddar, Provolone, Gruyere and Gouda are all great examples of aged cheese loaded with probiotics, and also some of the most commonly found in supermarkets. Cottage cheese is another probiotic cheese that is easy to find. Throw some peaches (or the fruit of your choice) into a bowl of cottage cheese to get a great afternoon snack and a healthy dose of good bacteria.
Yogurt has become a famously known probiotic, and for good reason. An 8-ounce serving of yogurt a day can give you all the good bacteria you need. Almost all yogurt companies will tell you that their yogurt is the best healthy choice, but beware, not all yogurts contain good bacteria. Some yogurt companies use a heat process on the yogurt before packaging it, killing all the good bacteria. To make sure you're getting all the probiotics you need, look for yogurts that state on their packaging that they contain "live" or "active"cultures. Yoplait Light is a perfect example of yogurt with live and active cultures in a huge variety of flavors. Activa is also a yogurt that is full of good bacteria.
3. Acidophilus Milk
Acidophilus milk is milk that is slightly fermented to add good bacteria. People with digestive problems, lactose intolerance and women with vaginal health issues, can benefit from the specific probiotic (L. acidophilus) in this milk. Essentially a drinkable yogurt, acidophilus milk tends to be more expensive and sometimes harder to find than regular milk. Other probiotic milks are also available, and just like many yogurts, will state clearly on their packaging that they contain probiotics. Any probiotic milk is a great way to get good bacteria, since milk can be paired with a vast variety of other foods.
By making simple changes to your diet such as eating a serving of yogurt a day, or using acidophilus milk on your morning bowl of cereal, you can ensure getting enough good bacteria in your diet. Your digestive system will thank you.