Whole Foods Market sells a wide variety of probiotic products, including live cultured pickles, sauerkraut, veggies, kimchee and salsa. Also available are cultured milk products such as yogurt and kefir or probiotic supplements and assorted beverages such as Synergy drinks.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that contribute to the body's overall health. Although it may be thought that bacteria cause disease, the body is full of all kinds of bacteria, both good and bad. Since most of the immune system is located in the digestive system, digestive problems mean the immune system is also compromised. The key to a healthy digestive system is having plenty of healthy bacteria, such as lactobacillus acidophilus (found in yogurt).
Probiotics are needed keep the gut healthy. They synthesize vitamins, eliminate toxins and help the digestion of food. Unfortunately, with so much of food being pasteurized, probiotics have virtually been eliminated from foods that are eaten on a regular basis.
When adding probiotics to the diet, start slowly with about a teaspoon with each meal. Then, gradually work up to 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily. If a person is having digestive problems, it’s best to check with a health-care practitioner before starting on probiotics.