Probiotic Benefits: More than Just a Gut Feeling

probiotic culture time lapse

Uhhhh…what’s that yellow glob floating on the surface of my milk? 

Now, before you get all grossed out—it’s just probiotics growing overnight, so you can enjoy digestive regularity for breakfast the next morning!

These bacteria cultures promote gastrointestinal health, immune support, allergy or inflammatory relief, weight management and cholesterol reduction, among other wellness benefits. And they’re safe to consume on a daily basis—add one scoopful in powdered form to non-dairy milk then leave in room temperature for several hours until the liquid becomes a yogurt consistency. Probiotics at work, people!

Inside your body live trillions of bacterial inhabitants who play a vital role in organ function. Therefore, recent evidence suggests hacking this microbiome through probiotic supplements can take your overall health from mediocre to all-systems-go!

Not all probiotics are created equal though. So, the kicker is determining which supplements back up their marketing claims with long-term results. Here are some factors to consider before joining the probiotic party:

  • Opt for multi-strain. These little guys prefer the “buddy system,” so choose a supplement that combines two or more probiotic types for maximum efficacy.
  • Keep it live & active. If the cultures die before you even ingest them, consider their benefits null and void, so choose a supplement that guarantees shelf-life.
  • Steer clear of artificial. Refined sweeteners or processed ingredients don’t have your best interests in mind, so choose a supplement that’s both natural and plant-based.
  • Avoid the “pre” suffix. Prebiotics are sugary carb clusters which your GI tract cannot regulate, so choose a supplement that doesn’t hype the “prebiotic ploy.” 

Wanna learn more about which probiotic brands deliver optimal wellness? Check out the complete bacterial breakdown here.

Now, go forth…and keep that gut of yours gleeful!

Embed from Getty Images

 


Thanks to reviews.com for supplying the research featured in this post.

Behold: the Not-so-Average Avocado

I’m an avocado aficionado. And not just because of Chipotle guacamole (Although, real talk: what’s more delectable than a creamy, gloppy mound of Chipotle guac? Uhhh…what is “NOTHING for 200,” Alex!)

But — I digress — there’s more to this superfood than a slathering of lusciousness on top of your burrito bowl.

The avocado is truly a nutritional powerhouse, which may just be the best news you’ve heard all day. Why? Because you can enjoy all that rich texture and flavor without  questioning your life choices afterward.

YAAAAAAAS!!!

avocado good fat

image courtesy of Theresa Garnero — defeatdiabetes.org

This wondrous fruit runs the full spectrum of health benefits, thanks to 15 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and a veritable pantheon of essential nutrients.

For example, in just a single serving, here’s what you’re ingesting:

  • Vitamin C (17% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B5 (14% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B6 (13% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin E (10% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K (26% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Potassium (14% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Folate (20% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A (Trace Amounts)
  • Vitamin B1 (Trace Amounts)
  • Vitamin B2 (Trace Amounts)
  • Magnesium (Trace Amounts)
  • Manganese (Trace Amounts)
  • Copper (Trace Amounts)
  • Iron (Trace Amounts)
  • Zinc (Trace Amounts)

Sorry, butter. You should be so lucky to have these star ingredients on your nutrition label.

So, seeking weight management without compromising taste? Grab an avocado! Dying for a Loreal spokesmodel-worthy mane? Yup. There’s an avocado for that! Or, how about a clear complexion? Yet again…avocado for the win!

Now that’s one all-inclusive superfood, which is why I can’t resist sneaking avocados into practically everything I cook — from Asian to Mexican and even some Italian dishes. Versatility at its finest, folks!

And speaking of versatility, here are 5 reasons to make this oval-shaped stud muffin your body’s new BFF:

1. Antioxidant carotenoid properties reduce fine lines, wrinkles, UV damage and other visible signs of aging, while improving skin’s overall firmness and elasticity.

2. Monounsaturated fatty acid properties improve cardiovascular health by lowering harmful cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which cause heart disease.

3. Slow-burning energy properties promote weight loss due to a high density of healthy fats, which satisfies hunger and provides the body with expendable fuel.

4. Numerous protein and vitamin properties stimulate hair growth, while adding noticeable shine to otherwise lackluster locks when used as a deep conditioner. 

5. Anti-inflammatory properties decrease the risk of arthritis-related pain by alleviating joint irritation, while strengthening bone density with potassium. 

So, on the off-chance that sheer delight of shoveling down guacamole isn’t enough incentive to make avocados a regular fixture in your diet…

Oh, who are we kidding?! Of course, it is!

In fact, I might just bite into one right now. Skin and all.

avocados

Who’s judging? We’ve all been there.

*information compiled by authoritynutrition.com and healthiestfoods.co.uk

P.S. Got a favorite avocado recipe in your repertoire? Feel free to share in the comments below!