From modern food to daily medications, what we ingest can wreak havoc on our digestion. You may have heard the word “probiotic” before, but do you know what it means? Well probiotics are what we call “good” bacteria and they do wonders keeping our digestive system happy and healthy. In addition to the benefit probiotics have in keeping our digestive tract balanced, new research is showing possible benefits to our mental health as well. CBS news reported on a recent study that suggests probiotics could play a role in the way we process emotional information such as depression and anxiety. While more research is underway, start your journey to better holistic health by adding these five foods to your diet:
Kefir: Kefir is a fermented dairy product, much like yogurt, that you drink. It contains carbohydrates called prebiotics that feed the probiotics, allowing the good bacteria to flourish. Avoid ones with too much sugar, which may cause inflammation.
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt that contains only milk and cultures possesses between 15 to 20 grams of protein. It is a probiotic that does wonders for your gut.
Artichokes: Another prebiotic, artichokes provide nutrients that help good bacteria grow. Other prebiotics include bananas, lentils and asparagus.
Kombucha: Something different, Kombucha is a fermented that offers a healthy fizz to replace sugary soda drinks. Kombucha’s slightly tart flavor is full of good bacteria and energy-boosting B vitamins.
Dark Chocolate: The sweetest treat on the list is dark chocolate. Thanks to recent research from Louisiana State University we now have proof that chocolate is good for us. Certain bacteria in the stomach actually break down dark chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds, benefiting our heart, stomach and boosting our mood. Be sure to look for chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to get these rewards.