The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
When it comes to gut health, your daily food choices can mean the difference between a microbiome full of friendly or not-so-friendly bacteria.
Microbiome is just a fancy way of describing the collection of 100 trillion bacteria and fungi living within your intestines, mouth and nose. When the good bacteria outnumber the bad, this positively affects many key areas of well-being, including immune strength and digestive health.
A prescription for good gut health is a diet based on Fx™-approved foods like fibrous fruits, vegetables and greens and plenty of fresh water. Add to that a serving or two of fermented foods like sauerkraut and unsweetened yogurt for a dose of live beneficial bacteria called probiotics. Interestingly, the word “probiotic” is derived from the Greek/Latin word “pro” and the Greek word “bios,” meaning “of life”.
If sauerkraut and yogurt aren’t regular additions to your menu, you can still benefit from the health-promoting effects of probiotics in beverage form. My go-to probiotic drinks are GT’s Kombucha and Suja Organic Digestion Shots.
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made from sweetened tea that has been cultured with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). Over time, the SCOBY transforms the tea into a tangy and effervescent drink. I prefer GT’s kombucha because it’s made without refined sugar, a common ingredient in many brands. Instead, their kombucha is brewed with kiwi juice to cultivate 9 billion living probiotics per bottle.
Look for GT’s kombucha in the Wellness cooler at your local Heinen’s. You’ll be delighted to discover a wide variety of flavors, from basic Gingerade to the more exotic Guava Goddess. A word to the wise: The sediment at the bottom of the bottle is naturally occurring bacteria, and although you’ll be tempted to give it a good shake to mix it up, doing so will cause spill over when opened, just like a can of shaken soda.
Suja Organic Digestion Shots
Full of plant-based ingredients like ginger, apple cider vinegar, ginseng, cayenne pepper and live probiotics, this shot will help you get your digestive system back on track. Like GT’s kombucha, Suja Organic Digestion Shots contain no added sugar and are naturally sweetened with pineapple juice. You can take it straight up or add it to your favorite smoothies.
Getting a daily dose of probiotics has never been easier thanks to probiotic beverages. Replace soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages with a bottle of kombucha, or stir a Suja shot into a glass of club soda and reap the benefits of a happy, healthy gut!