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Using Probiotics to Enhance Health

We know that what we eat affects our body in different ways. Excess sugars cause obesity, diabetes and cavities. Protein helps muscle growth. Calcium is good for our bones. But there’s another element to some foods, called probiotics that can can help us in ways we may not realize.

Probiotics are good bacteria and yeasts that live in some foods and in our bodies. These beneficial bacteria help everything from our digestion to our oral health. If you’re interested in boosting your health the natural way, here are some ways you can use probiotics to enhance your health.


A recent study found that the probiotics in pickling fluid contain helpful bacteria that are great for the teeth. Lab rats were given harmful cavity-causing bacteria directly in their mouth. Some were then fed pickles, while others were not. While all developed issues, the rats who consumed the pickles had 30 percent fewer cavities than those who did not consume pickles.


You may have seen commercials for specific brands of yogurt that contain probiotics that aid in digestion, but yogurt with probiotics can also be great for your teeth. In fact, even without probiotics the calcium in yogurt can be beneficial to your teeth!


Miso is a popular ingredient in Japanese cooking. This salty, fermented paste is packed with flavor – and probiotics. Made with soybeans, salt and koji, miso doesn’t just taste great, its great for you, too!


Similar to yogurt, Kefir is a drink that is made with a starter (much like sourdough bread). A mixture of milk proteins, good bacteria, and yeasts, kefir is a popular probiotic-packed drink with a rich, tart flavor that is as delicious as it is good for you.


A trendy beverage that has made headlines in recent years, kombucha is another probiotic packed drink. Made with yeast, sugar, and fermented tea, kombucha is fizzy like soda but actually good for you!


With summer here, it’s hot dog season, and many people like to add a little sauerkraut to their hot dog. It not only adds some crunch and flavor, it’s also packed in probiotics, so don’t feel guilty for piling it on the next time you indulge in your favorite frank.

Probiotics are a great way to get the most out of the food you consume anyway, so the next time you hit the supermarket, look for some probiotic packed foods to enhance your diet and your smile!

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mingus, please call the office at 541-382-6565.