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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

                      Freelance Writer and Marketing Consultant

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                      Last Updated on October 15, 2018

                      Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                      Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                      “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

                      While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

                      1. Dehydration

                      If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

                      If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

                      You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

                      2. Lack Of Exercise

                      A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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                      Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

                      3. A Poor Diet

                      The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

                      An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

                      Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

                      4. Skipping Breakfast

                      Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

                      Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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                      Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

                      Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                      5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

                      We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

                      TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

                      Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

                      Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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                      6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

                      Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

                      Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

                      If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

                      7. Depression

                      Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

                      Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

                      Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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                      8. Hypothyroidism

                      If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

                      Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

                      9. Anemia

                      People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

                      However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

                      While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

                      10. Cancer

                      While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

                      Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

                      Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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