As someone who sees gut health as the root balance of our entire body systems, I get asked about probiotics a lot.
Often-times, for reasons of intolerance, those who’re looking to boost gut health choose to remove dairy from the diet, while many other people I speak with would like to continue to include high quality sources of dairy in their diet from probiotic rich food, such as yoghurt.
They either love the taste and versatility of yoghurt, it helps them to feel full, they see it as a key component of their balanced diet, or a mix of all of these.
However, if we’re going to be receiving probiotic benefits from dairy, then there is a couple of important things that we need to know before purchasing.
Three years ago, almost every yoghurt found on supermarket shelves contained probiotics, many with enough to make health claims. However, now less than 50% of the market contains probiotics and virtually none contain enough to make a health claim through eating one serve.
Because of this, it is so important that we, as consumers look for probiotics in yoghurt, the more the better.
Probiotic Benefits Begin in the GUT
They support immune health, help to reduce gas and bloating, and create a foundation for a healthy digestive system.
To restore or improve our digestive health we need to balance out the good and bad bacteria in our gut. So if we are going to be as healthy as we can, and thrive in health and life, we need to be consuming probiotic rich foods regularly.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to keep you regular, absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are actually 10 times more bacteria in your gut than cells in our bodies, so really we are ‘more bug than human’.
How Probiotics Work
Your gut contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria.
If this ratio gets out of balance, the condition is known as dysbiosis, which means there is an imbalance of too much of a certain type of fungus, yeast or bacteria that is affecting the body in a negative way. By consuming certain types of probiotics foods such as probiotic-rich yoghurt we can help bring these ratios back into balance.
Probiotics in yoghurt.
The probiotics in yoghurt are different to the cultures that make milk into yoghurt – these are called fermentation or starter cultures and change the texture and flavour of the milk. Probiotics are added over and above these cultures and actually have a beneficial health impact when consumed at the right levels.
However, probiotics are not in all yoghurts. We need to look for those that include probiotics strains as they will be backed up by documented health benefits.
Check your yoghurt packs to see if they contain probiotics (look for documented health strains such: Bifidobacterium BB-12®, LGG®, Bifidus Actiregularis® and ABC)
We should aim to get 1 billion probiotic bacteria per day to increase the chance of health benefits.
Use these bonus recipes to inspire you to create delicious dishes using these incredible healthful, immune boosting probiotics.
I’m sharing four delicious and simple recipes using yoghurt for you today, so you can get all dosed up on the incredible probiotic qualities within them, however… I want to know YOUR favourite yoghurt recipes!
Now it’s over to YOU. I get asked by a lot of peeps for diverse ways of adding probiotics to our meals, I want you to share with me what your favourite meal you eat to add probiotics to your diet.
Leave your answer in the comments section below and together we can support more people to include these mighty bugs in our diets!
CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD
- 2 large continental cucumbers
- ⅓ cup natural yoghurt (I used Vaalia Natural)
- ½ bunch of fresh dill
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbs black sesame seeds
- ½ minced garlic clove (optional)
- Peel the cucumber and slice in half lengthways.
- Scrape the seeds out with a teaspoon and slice into 5mm slices
- Chop the dill finely and stir the lemon juice, yoghurt, sesame seeds (and garlic) in.
CINNAMON SCROLL SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup natural Greek yogurt (I used Jalna Greek Yoghurt for this)
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp honey or rice malt syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ( or 2-3 drops of Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil)
- 1 frozen banana (or fresh banana, but add in 3-4 ice cubes with fresh)
- Blend in your high powered blender
- Sprinkle with cinnamon
BLUEBERRY YOGHURT PANNACOTTA
- light olive oil or macadamia nut oil, to grease
- 250ml (1 cup) milk (or almond milk)
- 80ml (1/3 cup) honey
- 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
- 3 teaspoons gelatine powder
- 500g Greek natural yoghurt (I used Jalna)
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease four 200ml moulds with oil. Place on a baking tray.
- Place the cream and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the honey dissolves.
- Place boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatine and whisk with a fork until the gelatine dissolves. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir the gelatine mixture into the cream mixture until combined. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Add the yoghurt and whisk until combined.
- Divide the cream mixture among the prepared moulds. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours or until set.
- Turn the panna cottas onto serving plates. Serve with a drizzle of honey and some fresh berries.
VERY BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup natural yoghurt (I used Vaalia yoghurt for this!)
- 1 cup mixed berries
- Sliced fruit to top the bowl with
- Seeds or nuts chopped up, and a dollop of yoghurt to top the bowl with
- Blend all the smoothie ingredients (bar the toppings) until smooth in your high-powered blender.
- Top with fruit, nuts, seeds and a dollop of yoghurt