Probiotics 101

This week is the final post in the Five Flu Fighting Food Series. If you have been following along, you learned about the other 4 in the series: pumpkin, breakfast, green tea and garlic and their amazing super food healing benefits they have on your immune system. 
This series is opened up to all of our readers who will be linking up their favorite recipes with these key flu-fighting ingredients, so that you can get lots of ideas for creative ways to serve them to your family! This series is co-hosted with these amazing ladies, consider subscribing to their blogs:
This week the focus is on Yogurt-Probiotics!

It seems as if the marketplace takes whatever trend is current to a HUGE extreme! Let’s take a look back on some of the trends: Fat Free, Sugar Free, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Whole Grains, Organic, etc. And although many of these trends are good for your health we all know that just because a product is labeled “Organic” or “Gluten Free” doesn’t mean you are free to eat the whole package, you still have to use common sense in eating.

Probiotics are another big trend right now. Can I ask, how is eating a probiotic yogurt with aspartame, artificial flavors and colors really helping your immune system?

Breyer's Probiotic Yogurt

I think many people feel more comfortable eating something that says “light” or even is labeled with “probiotics” because they think it is something healthy for them. Studies show added ingredients such as aspartame or artificial flavors can weaken you immune system. So be cautious when buying “natural” or even “probiotic” products and read what the actual ingredients are.

What are Probiotics?

The World Dictionary defines as a noun.
1. a harmless bacterium that helps to protect the body from harmful bacteria
2. a substance that encourages the growth of natural healthy bacteria in the gut

In the definition, we find that probiotics are good for you, they protect your body from bad bacteria and they encourage good bacteria growth. Probiotic have been around for a long time. Before there were means to keep our food cold, foods had to be fermented. What fermentation does is promotes the good bacteria to grow plus helping food to have a long shelf life.

Why do you need probiotics?
The Mayo Clinic states, “You don’t necessarily need probiotics- a type of “good” bacteria – to be healthy. However, these microorganisms may help with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria, just as the existing “good” bacteria in your body already do. It should be noted, that chlorinated water and regular doses of antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics help treat diarrhea, prevent and treat yeast and urinary tract infections, treat irritable bowel syndrome, speed treatment of certain intestinal infections, prevent and treat eczema in children, prevent and reduce severity of colds and the flu.” Probiotics are the number one way to boost your intestinal tract system, therefore helping your immune system get stronger. Probiotics help your body do what it was already made to do!

What are some good examples of Probiotics?

  • Kefir- Check out this article from Stacy Makes Sense, she gives a lot of information about kefir and how to make your own, and here is a recipe for a kefir smoothie. I’m so lucky because she just mailed me some grains so I can make some… I’ll post about it soon!
  • Yogurt– Helps fortify your immune system, you need to make sure the the package states that the yogurt contains live cultures to get all the benefits. I suggest buying raw or organic to reduce additives and to ensure you are getting a quality product.
  • Kombucha- Here is an awesome recipe to make your own. The probiotics in kombucha help to detoxify and rid your body of toxins. I am going to make this soon since it’s on my 30 before 30 list!
  • Dark Chocolate– Yummy! Who knew?
  • Fermented Food– A natural process to preserve food, promote good digestions and improve your health. 

Can I take probiotics in supplement form?
I think you can definitely can take probiotics in a supplement form. Dr. Mercola says its always best to get nutrition and health benefits in food first but we always can’t do that so supplementing in ok. When you buys these, you need to make sure you get quality ones. Here are some great probiotics: Garden of Life Primal Defense and New Chapter Probiotics or check out some reliable brands at your local health food store. You have to make sure that you store your probiotics in the refrigerator so that they stay fresh, when possible buy them cold.

Do you incorporate probiotics into your diet?

Be sure to check out the great recipes and tips shared by the other lovely ladies hosting this series with me. They have some great stuff you don’t want to miss!

5 Holiday uses for Yogurt
Yogurt Pudding 
Probiotic Apple Pie Smoothie
Yogurt a Flu Fighting Food

Now it’s your turn! Link up your probiotic-yogurt recipes by clicking on one of the participating bloggers above!

About Rachel

Rachel is a mother to three children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family, and health. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family.


  1. How cool is it that chocolate has probiotics!

  2. Ok…I was totally laughing here: “how is eating a probiotic yogurt with aspartame, artificial flavors and colors really helping your immune system?” No joke! Sometimes people ask me why “this, this or this” is or isn’t healthy. This is one of those times where I would say “Really? Do you not get it?” LOL

    Thanks for the link love!

  3. I take a supplement for my probiotics because I just can’t stand yogurt or other sour foods. I don’t mind sauerkraut but I can’t eat that often enough to rely on it, LOL. However, I didn’t know the tip about keeping it in the fridge. Perhaps its a bit too late for the already open bottle in my cupboard but I will put it in the fridge to get into the habit. 😀

  4. Anne- I know right!

    Nikki- Doy! don’t you know people, jk! (used to be one of my fav words growing up, lol)

    Shari- Thanks for your comment! Glad your getting probiotics some way or another… don’t think I could rely on sauerkraut only either! hehe!

  5. Great post! And I love Dark Chocolate! I can’t wait to try your apple pie smoothie….sounds wonderful! ~Angela


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