Yogurt. And Probiotics. Oh My!
Remember Thursday when I said, “My Mom asked me when I was at home, “But why are Probiotics good for you? And what makes some yogurts better than others? Anything?” Well, Mom, as a matter of fact, yes!?”
First things first. Probiotics. Probiotics are so good for us because they provide the healthy streams of bacteria our digestive systems need. Many of us have abnormal gut flora due to 2 main reasons: Antibiotics and other drugs. Other reasons we may have abnormal gut flora include: Poor diet, disease, stress and “other” causes.
Many of you know that I follow a lot of the principles that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride “prescribes” via the GAPS Diet. The GAPS Diet talks a lot about antibiotics playing a large role in the abnormal gut flora formation. Dr. Natasha states,
“The damage is worse when antibiotics are administered orally and when the course of antibiotic is a lengthy one on a low dose, like the one prescribed for acne, chronic cystitis, chronic ear infection and other chronic infections.” She continues to say, “Even when the course of antibiotic is short and the dose is low, it takes different beneficial bacteria in the gut a long time to recover.”
Due to the multitude of factors, over time, the digestive system becomes flooded with this abnormal gut flora, making the Probiotic a near-necessity, especially for someone like me!
I currently take 2-3 Probiotic capsules per day. I use the New Chapter Organics from Whole Foods.
Probiotics. Get them in your diet! They have helped me immensely. But the “capsule” way is not the only way! If you don’t want that, have your yogurt and eat it, too!
Yes, yogurt is a natural probiotic! But not all yogurts are created “equal.” For heavily-concentrated “probiotic” yogurt, look no further than Greek Yogurt. Greek Yogurt will include yogurts such as: Fage, Chobani, Voskos, and Oikos. Even Trader Joe’s carries their own Greek Yogurt.
Greek Yogurt can carry up to 6 different strains of the healthy bacteria needed in a good probiotic, whereas the regular yogurt will not. Furthermore, the ingredients in Greek Yogurt are much less, typically made up of pure probiotic strains. And finally, there is more protein and less fat, sugar and calories than regular yogurt (as long as you get the plain, reduced-fat type).
Here is the proof:
- Dannon All Natural, Lowfat (6oz): 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 12g carbs, 0g fiber, 12g sugar, 8g protein. Ingredients: Cultured grade A reduced fat milk, pectin. Contains active yogurt cultures including L. acidophilus.
- Chobani Greek Yogurt, Nonfat (6oz): 100 calories, 0g fat, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 7g sugar, 18g protein. Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized nonfat milk. Contains five live active cultures including….(see website).
While those differences may not seem significant, the fact that there are five live active cultures and 18g of protein in just 6 ounces is amazing! And all for 100 calories!
Greek Yogurt definitely has a different consistency than your typical yogurt. It is much thicker, and some people cannot stand that. Others cannot handle the plain, almost bitter taste. There are many, many ways to get around both of these if you really want to! To combat thickness, you could put it into a smoothie as an ice cream replacement. To combat the taste, add some honey and/or fresh fruit. You will be amazed!
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