You may have noticed an addition to my diet last week: A daily bottle of Yakult. Yakult is a probiotic drink meant to help improve the population of bacteria in your gut. I felt the earlier bouts of diarrhoea likely decimated the microbes that live in my gut so decided to give them a helping hand.
You may have heard the term probiotics before. These are foods or supplements that contain live bacteria meant to take up residence in our gut. Populations of microbes (bacteria and yeasts) live in and on various parts of the body, including the intestines and colon. Most are benign or beneficial, part of a normal, healthy body. For example, microbes in our gut break down foods we can’t digest on our own. Certain bacteria produce enzymes that help us digest carbohydrates, with some research indicating we get as much as 10% of our calories from foods digested by microbes. As well, different microbes in the large intestine make vitamins which we then absorb, including vitamin K and many B vitamins.
This is why, if you’re having digestive issues, it might be worth giving probiotics a try. Some naturally fermented foods contain large amounts of beneficial bacteria, such as yoghurt, kefir (a fermented milk drink), sauerkraut (German style fermented cabbage), kimchi (Korean style fermented cabbage), tempeh (fermented tofu made from soybeans), and Japanese natto. You can also get supplements like my Yakult drink from supermarkets or pills from health food shops.
As well as adding new bacteria using probiotics, you can also feed your current population of beneficial bacteria with prebiotics. Prebiotics all contain a non-digestible fibre compound found in some fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Like any other fibre, these compounds pass through the stomach and intestines undigested until they reach the colon, where they are fermented by the gut bacteria. So while prebiotics contain very few bacteria themselves, they help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. The best prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, asparagus, leeks, chicory root, dandelion greens and under-ripe bananas. Ideally all should be eaten raw or very, very lightly steamed, to keep the fibre intact.
So as part of my recovery from stomach flu, you’ll find probiotics like Yakult, kefir and yoghurt to introduce good bacteria, and plenty of fibre to keep them growing.
The Score for 28 March:
|Calories burned through exercise:||528|
What I ate:
|08:00||Centrum Multivitamin, Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg|
|Soft boiled eggs, 2 large||120g||157||15.12||0.00||0.00||0.00||10.80||3.00||0.00|
|Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices toasted||61g||159||1.58||28.35||1.51||6.30||4.16||0.32||0.00|
|SunPat crunchy peanut butter||29g||183||7.40||4.40||2.00||2.20||14.60||2.80||0.00|
|10:00||Twinnings cherry and cinnamon tea||250mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|12:30||Spice Tailor rustic Rogan Josh curry sauce made with diced chicken breast and peppers||240g||316||31.22||11.11||7.67||2.87||15.80||2.64||0.00|
|Brown basmati rice||130g||150||3.75||30.83||0.51||1.44||1.23||0.29||0.00|
|Tesco ready to eat dried apricots||40g||83||0.96||18.68||15.08||2.48||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|15:30||Activia natural yoghurt||150g||96||7.50||9.90||9.90||0.00||2.90||2.00||0.00|
|Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal||50g||195||5.00||40.00||6.50||5.00||1.65||0.25||0.00|
|Sliced plums, 2 medium||163g||68||0.98||14.34||14.34||2.61||0.16||0.00||0.00|
|16:30||Medicine ball session|
|18:45||Baked chicken breast,||98g||135||31.90||0.00||0.00||0.00||1.90||0.60||0.00|
|Merchant Gourmet red and white quinoa,||125g||231||7.63||35.75||1.88||5.00||5.25||0.63||0.00|
|and Cucina Glaze with Balsamic vinegar of Modena||15g||39||0.08||9.60||7.20||0.08||0.08||0.00||0.00|
|Starbucks steamed skimmed milk with vanilla shot||Tall||146||10.50||25.40||25.10||0.00||0.30||0.20||0.00|
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