Probiotics and gut health seem to be the new buzzwords these days. We know now that our gut health does more than just regulate digestion. 'Good' bacteria in the microbiome can also stimulate the immune system, break down potentially harmful food compounds and chemicals, synthesize more vitamins and amino acids and keep us mentally healthy and happy. Probiotics consist of various strains of healthy bacteria. By including them in your diet, you'll be slowly repopulating your gut with the right bacteria that helps to keep colonies of bad bacteria in check.
Probiotic-rich foods are also often nutritious. In combination with the probiotics, they can have positive improvements on not only your microbiome, but also other areas of your body. It may also reduce cardiometabolic risk factors - for example, studies show that probiotic yogurt has a positive effect on lipid profiles and insulin sensitivity.
The best time to take probiotics is just before a meal or as you begin your meal, and ideally in the morning. This is when your body is rearing to go, and when your stomach is the least acidic because it hasn't started to digest any food yet. Taking probiotics in the morning gives it a better opportunity to pass through your gut with ease. It ensures that you get the most out of them.
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Yogurt is, by far, one of the most popular probiotics to add to any diet. It's great for breakfast, as it's simple and easy. Eating plain yogurt day in and day out can get tiring pretty quickly, but you can really dress it up and turn it into a more delicious experience with various add-ins, like:
- Berries and fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, banana and mango are great toppings for yogurt. They add a hint of natural sweetness that can really perk your mornings up.
- Nuts and seeds. If you want to add a little bit of a crunch and get some extra protein, you can't go wrong with almonds, walnuts and even chia seeds.
- Lenny and Larry's Complete Kickstart Breakfast Morning Bar. Crumble up the bar and add it as a chewy topping. You can choose from two different flavors: apple cinnamon and blueberry lemon. These bars contain a lot of protein and flavor. They also contain supplements that support a healthy immune system!
The good news is that many of these add-ins will give you an extra boost of vitamins, amino acids and nutrients. You can switch up the add-ins every day, so you never grow tired of having yogurt for breakfast. You can also add multiple different types of add-ins to change up the entire meal. The combinations that you can choose from are endless!
There's burgeoning demand for vegan probiotics that are similar in taste, texture and nutritional value. Much like with dairy-free alternatives, the key is to look at the nutritional panel first to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the types of saturated fats, added sugars, protein and probiotics that the product contains.
Vegans and plant-forward lovers don't have to give up probiotics. They can enjoy non-dairy and non-animal derived foods and beverage like:
- Dairy-free yogurt
Supercharge your life and day by adding probiotics into your diet. There are so many yummy and easy options you can choose from. More importantly, incorporating these foods into your diet can have a positive effect on many aspects of your life, from your physical to mental health.