Probiotics are not “new”. They are, however, a newer trend in a world that is beginning to focus more and more on foods impact on health vs. medication. But what are they?
Probiotics are living bacteria. Our GI systems need bacteria (gut flora) to function properly- we actually have over 500 species of bacteria in our bodies. The bacteria help in the breakdown of food, keep our GI tract healthy, and also ensure that we have adequate levels of Vitamin K. Certain medications and infections can decrease the amount of gut flora and lower the amount of “good” bacteria we have, causing different GI complaints. Adding probiotics to one’s diet can help alleviate these issues.
A review and meta-analysis of the benefits of probiotic supplementation was published in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The review found that probiotics can be helpful to those suffering from antibiotic associated diarrhea. This is good news to those taking multiple medications, as diarrhea can cause dehydration as well as malnutrition.
Some good sources of probiotics are yogurt, uncooked cheeses (heat kills the live organism), and kefir, which is a drink similar to yogurt. Include these products on your menu using Menus OnDemand™ Menu Management Software to ensure the health and happiness of your customers.