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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 November 9, 2020

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                      Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                      Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                      If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                      Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                      1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                      Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                      Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                      Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                      2. No Motivation

                      Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                      This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                      If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                      3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                      Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                      A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                      A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                      The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                      4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                      One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                      We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                      Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                      You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                      5. Upward Comparisons

                      Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                      The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                      These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                      Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                      6. No Alternative

                      This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                      Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                      Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                      Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                      7. Stress

                      As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                      When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                      We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                      If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                      8. Sense of Failure

                      People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                      Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                      Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                      If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                      9. The Need to Be All-New

                      People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                      These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                      10. Force of Habit

                      Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                      Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                      These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                      There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                      More on Breaking Bad Habits

                      Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                      [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                      [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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