TMJ Center of Los Angeles

Forget the Snake Oil (Six Foods That Will ACTUALLY Help Your Digestion)

There are a lot of bogus health suggestions out there. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, who was recently blasted by NASA experts when she claimed her expensive sticker packs were made with the same carbon material found in space suits uses and would “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies.”

We here at the Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health work only with the facts, and one fact that is undeniable is that a balanced diet will help you maintain optimal energy levels and keep your gut and immune system happy. And a major part of that diet is keeping up with your probiotics intake.

What are probiotics?

Your intestines contain 500 million bacteria. Some are good, and some are bad, but the more good ones you have, the stronger your immune system will be. Probiotics are one of those “good” bacterias. They help your body absorb important minerals and vitamins, and when worked into your diet, they increase intestinal — and overall — health.

Which probiotics should I be eating?

  • Natto: Most people haven’t heard of this fermented soybean dish because, until recently, it wasn’t very common in the United States. Popular in Japan, it’s often eaten with raw eggs, rice, and chives for breakfast, and is fermented with a powerful probiotic bacteria known as Bacillus subtilis.
  • Kimchi: A staple appetizer of Korean restaurants, this fermented vegetable mix gets its spiciness from a blend of salt, garlic, chili peppers, and vinegar. It can be eaten on its own or added to noodles, soups, stir-fry, or even sandwiches.
  • Miso: That traditional Japanese soup you have before meals are formed from a thick and tangy paste derived from fermenting soybeans with salt and a fungus called kojikin. Have the soup on its own or mix the paste into other soups or stews.
  • Kefir: Tangy, thick, and yogurt-like in its consistency, Kefir contains a wide variety of probiotic bacteria, along with a healthy amount of protein. When kefir grains are added to milk, the ensuing fermentation leads to Kefir, which is great as a drink on the go or as a substitute for milk with your cereal.
  • Kombucha: While Kombucha was made in China over 2,000 years ago, it’s only now becoming popular in the states, both in grocery stores and in home brew kits. It’s made by fermenting sweetened black tea and is available in many flavors.
  • Yogurt: A tried and true staple, yogurt is made from fermented milk of any kind. Just make sure that you see the words “live and active cultures” on the container. Then you know that it’s packed with probiotics.

Make sure you take your health and dietary advice from experts (not just celebrities), and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at the Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health.

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