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Having an Upset Stomach? Here Are 10 Probiotic Foods That Can Make You Feel Better!

Having an Upset Stomach? Here Are 10 Probiotic Foods That Can Make You Feel Better!

Does your meal seem to hang around inside you longer than you’d like?

Does it feel like your food is killing you from the inside out?

Have you forgotten what it’s like to eat whatever you want without a stomach ache or a prolonged stay in the bathroom?

If this is you, it sounds like your digestive system might be in health limbo. And that’s not something you should overlook or consider normal.

If you get an upset stomach after eating, you might blame it on the food, how it was cooked, how it tastes, or the fact that you might just be under the weather. But if you start to notice that your stomach gets angry no matter what or when you eat, it might not be the food that’s giving you issues, but rather a lack of other foods.

Probiotics have been making headlines in recent years, claiming to offer a variety of health benefits ranging from immune system support to digestive system rebalancing. And it’s true -probiotics can do both of those things, and more.

However, it’s important to note that, just like vitamins and minerals, it’s essential that you get your probiotics naturally – not in supplement form. And you can get all the probiotics your body needs when you eat enough probiotic foods.

What are probiotic foods and how do they help digestive issues?

Probiotics are known as “good” bacteria that are naturally found in your digestive tract. They are essential in keeping bad bacteria in check, and help your body break down food and nutrients.

However, good bacteria can become damaged or wiped out from your digestion system. And when that happens, you end up suffering every time you eat until you can replenish your probiotic stockpile.

Taking antibiotics kills all bacteria, good and bad, within your body until the targeted infection is demolished. This means that after your round of antibiotics is finished, you have to rebuild your good bacteria colony.

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In addition, eating foods that don’t contain enough good bacteria can lead to an imbalance in your digestive tract, making it easy for bad bacteria to take over operations. Your intestines are lined with “adherence” sites, or places where bacteria can attach. The more good flora you have latched in your intestinal track, the fewer places bad bacteria will have to make themselves a home.

Probiotics have been known for helping with issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach aches, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive issues. And if you find yourself suffering from any of these issues, adding rich probiotic foods into your diet could provide a natural relief.

10 Probiotic Foods To Quell Digestive Issues

1. Yogurt

    Yogurt provide a hearty source of live bacteria cultures, including Lactobacillus and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Science suggests that the real benefits from eating yogurt come from organic varieties of grass-fed animals and forgoing the pasteurization process.

    In addition to digestive help, yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.

    Try this delicious recipe for a tasty yogurt breakfast parfait.

    2. Kimchi

      Popular in Korea, Kimchi is a fermented side dish made mostly from fermented vegetables, namely cabbage. Fermented foods are well known to contain live bacteria cultures that can help ease digestive issues.

      You can buy kimchi in some supermarkets, or make your own kimchi at home with this recipe.

      3. Kombucha

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        Sticking to the fermented foods list, kombucha is a specially brewed tea that undergoes a fermentation process. Once the tea is brewed, it is stored in containers with a SCOBY, or live bacteria-filled disc. You can infuse kombucha with a variety of flavors, like fruits or ginger, to offset the vinegar-like taste.

        People who drink kombucha have also seen an increase in other areas of their health, such as weight loss and more energy.

        Buying kombucha in the store usually costs upwards of $3 for a 16-oz bottle. It’s much cheaper to make your own, plus you can flavor it any way you wish.

        4. Tempeh

          Tempeh is a meat alternative made from soybeans and chock full of probiotics. You can add tempeh to salads, cook it on the grill, bake it, or sautee it.

          Try this recipe for a grilled tempeh burger – your taste buds might not know the difference.

          5. Miso

            If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, chances are you’ve tried Miso soup. Miso is a spice made from fermented soybeans, rice, barley or rye. The resulting product is teeming with lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

            In addition to helping with digestion, miso is thought to help alkalinize the body and prevent harmful effects from carcinogens.

            Try making your own miso soup at home with this recipe.

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            6. Kefir

              If yogurt were a drink, it would be kefir. This dairy product comes from combining goat’s milk with fermented kefir grains, resulting in a high concentration of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria. It’s also a good source of antioxidants.

              You can find organic kefir in most grocery stores. If you don’t like the taste of it by itself, here are 5 ways to use kefir as a milk substitute.

              7. Sauerkraut

                A common find in Europe, sauerkraut is the technical term for fermented cabbage. Its sour taste helps to activate your saliva glands, which wakes up your digestive juices. And because it’s fermented, it’s also covered with live bacteria cultures.

                Sauerkraut has been thought to relieve allergy symptoms. It’s also a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and K.

                When using sauerkraut in cooking, it’s best not to heat it, as the heat can damage or kill the good bacteria. Instead, try using it to top off your hot dog, eat it as a side dish, or get a double dose of probiotics with this recipe for mango-kimchi salad.

                8. Apple Cider Vinegar

                  Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar comes from fermented apple juice. As long as you are drinking it raw, you are essentially drinking “the mother,” that is, all the enzymes, proteins, and probiotics that enter the liquid during the fermentation period.

                  In addition to its probiotics, apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight by keeping your appetite in check. It could also help in lowering blood sugar.

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                  For many people, apple cider vinegar doesn’t go down too well on its own. Instead, try this recipe that mixes it with honey.

                  9. Sourdough Bread

                    Compared to other breads, sourdough contains a higher proportion of Lactobacillus to yeast. This leads to a higher production of lactic acid, which leads to less phytic acid, a potentially dangerous acid that can impact digestion. It also helps to “predigest” starches in the grains, which means less work for your body.

                    In addition, sourdough bread is a better option for people trying to lose weight or have high blood sugar, as the heat during baking reduces the availability of starch. It’s also chock full of good stuff like antioxidants, vitamins B1-B6, B12, zinc, potassium, and a host of other things your body needs.

                    Bake your own sourdough loaf with this recipe.

                    10. Pickles

                      Pickles have been long known to hold a treasure trove of probiotics, but it’s not just pickled cucumbers. Whatever vegetables you can pickle, such as beets or olives, you can score a quality source of good bacteria.

                      Pickling foods also help to retain important vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K.

                      Here’s how to pickle your own vegetables at home.

                      If you’re tired to heading straight to the bathroom after every meal, and want to feel more like your old self, a few simple adjustments to your diet could be all you need to conquer digestive problems. And it doesn’t mean giving up everything you love to eat.

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                      Alli Hill

                      Lifestyle Writer and Marketing Consultant

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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