Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Probiotics

Mikey, the kid who never gets sick, has a sinus infection and is taking antibiotics. To him, it's the best dessert that he has ever had...and he gets it for breakfast and dinner. I am, on the other hand, less than excited about it. I am trying to counter the side effects of my son's 10 days on antibiotics with food high in probiotics.

Probiotics
Probiotics are the "good" bacteria in our intestinal tract. Antibiotics tend to kill off the good bacteria that help you digest food, and so I am trying to feed Mikey foods that reestablish their population. I can't help but compare taking antibiotics to poisoning an entire lake to kill off one species of bad fish. In the process, hundreds of desirable fish our also sacrificed in the hope of a healthier lake in the future.

There are two ways to get probiotics back into our stomachs: supplements and food.

I haven't had a chance to talk to Mikey's pediatrician about probiotic supplements, but for what it's worth, my aunt likes the Natren probiotic supplements.

In the meantime, I'll focus on probiotic foods.

Here's a list that I got from the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center:

yogurt fermented milk product
buttermilk fermented cow's milk
kefir fermented milk product similar to yogurt
tempeh similar to tofu, fermented soybeans
miso Japanese style fermented rice, barley, or soybeans
Kim chi Korean style fermented cabbage
sauerkraut fermented cabbage

My neighbor and nutritional mentor, Lydia, recommends Kombucha. Kombucha is a carbonated beverage created by a fermentation process that uses a culture of beneficial bacteria.

What do all these foods have in common? They are all fermented!

From Delicious Organics: Fermentation allows the bacteria, yeasts and molds to predigest and therefore break down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to create probiotics which offer friendly bacteria into our digestive tract. This helps keep our immune system strong and supports our overall digestive health.

So, pink, bubble gum flavored antibiotics may be for dessert, but fermented cabbage is for dinner!

P.S. As I am pushing this post live, Mikey's cough has cleared. I am relieved that the antibiotics did the trick and they weren't all for nothing.

4 Comments:

dragonflywisdom said...

Hi Thais....nice blog issue....I have been brewing Kombucha now for about a month, love it...It is similar to sparkling apple cider....I bottle it up in nice glass bottles with wire stoppers, I love drinking it everyday....You can go to www.getkombucha.com and read all about it...

Lydia said...

Taylor enjoys kombucha and actually asks for it too, which is surprising since it can be so tart. I'd much rather give her a couple of ounces of bucha, teeming with good bugs, than a swig of carbonated, high fructose corn syrup any day.

Thais said...

That's awesome that Taylor asks for it! I've been mixing the store bought kind with apple juice because the flavor isn't to my liking. Mikey won't drink it without the apple juice either. I think that I'll have to learn how to make it so I can adjust the taste.

Anonymous said...

You can try kefir

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