Probiotics are microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements. They are bacteria that line our digestive tract and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are numerous benefits from consuming probiotics. They include a stronger immune system, prevention of diarrhea, preventing or reducing severity of eczema in children and infants, reducing symptoms of certain digestive disorders like irritable bowel disease and reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections and yeast infections.
Historically, we had plenty of probiotics in our diet from eating fresh foods and by fermenting our foods. However, because of refrigeration and agricultural practices like soaking our foods with chlorine, our food contains little or no probiotics today. We can increase our probiotics intake by consuming fermented dairy products such as yoghurts and milk drinks and fermented foods like kimchi, miso, tempeh etc. Probiotics can also be obtained from supplements and most studies show benefits from dosages of 1 billion to 100 billion live organisms or colony-forming units per day.