What are probiotics?

What are probiotics?


What are probiotics?


Looking at commercials, reading labels and observing what is in the media, you would think probiotics only source is dairy or dietary supplement. Even checking the Internet on some sites, for example: “a usually dairy food or a dietary supplement containing live bacteria that replace or add to the beneficial bacteria normally present in the gastrointestinal tract.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/probiotic)

Let’s look at the definition in the medical dictionary. It states, “A dietary supplement containing live bacteria or yeast that supplements normal gastrointestinal flora.” (medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/probiotic). Again the use of the word supplement, as in pills.



Before I give you the food sources, let’s look at some other definitions:

“What are probiotics? Probiotics are small organisms that help maintain the natural
balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. ” (www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/probiotics-topic-overview). Notice the use of the word organism, not supplement.

It should be noted that because probiotics are small organisms, there are both positive and negative organisms depending on the source of the small organism. This is because organisms are living entities. They are somewhat like what we see on sci-fi movies, they do have a mind of their own separate from ours. However, for the purposes here, I am specifically addressing the organisms that have a positive effect on the digestive system.

Some generalized sources of probiotics are: lactic acid in dairy such as yogurt which is pushed most often, some yeasts and fermented foods. Ah ha, now we are getting some place. Do you see the word FOOD? If you choose to go with yogurt, make sure it does not have added sugar and go for the plain and add your own fresh fruit. I like Fage plain yogurt.

How Can Sourdough Bread Be Healthier Than Wheat?


Sourdough Bread



Some yeasts and fermented, do you know of a food source that has yeast and fermented? Try sourdough bread read


Dill Pickles are Probiotic



Now let us take a look at fermented foods. Some fermented foods are: sauerkraut, dill pickles, olives (in water and salt or its own brine, not oil), pickled ginger, kimchi (Korean food), Moraccan lemons, pickled jalapenos and any other vegetable that you have allowed to ferment. Make sure if you buy these products rather than making them yourself, they are Unpasteurized. Pasteurization kills the beneficial organisms (beneficial bacteria) Read Fermented Food Recipes.


Bananas and artichokes (cooked does not seem to affect their benefit), garlic, onions, leeks, unpasteurized miso (Japanese-fermented rice, barley or soy), Kombucha (made from mushroom), hummus (Middle eastern), Keifer (goat milk and keifer grains), temph (made from soy beans), spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae.


Probiotic Fruits and Vegetables



Some fruits are: pineapple (eat fresh and alone), coconut, grapes (can also be used to assist with sourdough bread fermentation), papaya,







Other sources of information on probiotics:

Probiotic Foods

Probiotic_Collague_01132013 Mama_Vega_Salsa_container

The Truth About Probiotics and the Gut (WebMD)


Zukay Live Foods




5 Responses to “What are probiotics?”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Fermentation and putrification is narute`s dance between life and death, health and illness, preserving and destroying. See YouTube video Fermentation, Simplified .

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  5. Ankush says:

    (Health and Beauty) Let me preface this by snaiyg that I am a firm believer in probiotics and regularly take kefir and enhanced yogurt as a part of my daily diet. So when I got my 30 day supply, I really didn’t notice a difference. All I can say is that I feel good, have not been sick (everyone in my office has had colds) and everything seems to be working fine down there. I will say that I’ve been slightly more gassy after starting with the Sustenex supplements, but I can’t say for sure they are the cause though I suspect they may be. So let me just focus on the pro’s here: 1. Convenience it is easier to take a capsule than eat a container of yogurt. No refrigeration needed. 2. Calories 0 vs. the 150 calories in 8oz of plain yogurt. 3. Sugar Free Even plain yogurt has sugar, this doesn’t. 4. Right kind of bacteria many yogurts don’t have the proper mix of bacteria to promote intestinal health. 5. Targeted the probiotics make it to the small intestine while those in food may be destroyed in the stomach. 6. Price at about 50a2 a serving, this is a good deal. Now you won’t get the other dietary benefits that you get with a good dairy product, but then again that is not why you are getting this, right? If you don’t mind investing a little time, this home Kefir making kit is another good way to go. To summarize, I’ve been happy with the results. But the only way to know for sure it to try it yourself. UPDATE: I just finished my 30 day supply and I have to say that right after writing this review, the gassy aspect passed. Perhaps because I started taking it with a fiber supplement, who knows. I do know this though. Almost everyone at my office and all of my family had colds this past month. I did not. Did the Sustenex boost my immunse system and help me ward off illness. Perhaps. I think next time I’ll get the 90 day supply.