Exercise junkies, trend seekers, and the just plain thirsty are happily sipping a whole slew of new beverages that boast a myriad of health benefits. The big question: Do they deliver? By: Maureen Callahan, MS, RD
Photo courtesy of Good Belly
From fermented dairy products like Lifeway Low-Fat Birthday Cake Kefir to GoodBelly’s Tropical Orange juice drink, flavor choices on the probiotic aisle are mind-boggling. Probiotics function by adding healthy bacteria to your digestive system. Which live cultures are best? Harvard researchers say there’s still a lot of work to be done piecing together which “good-for-you” bacterial strains best treat what conditions. Prefer kefir? Opt for low-fat plain varieties to keep saturated fat and calories low and sidestep the extra 2 or more teaspoons of sugar in flavored varieties. Can’t drink dairy? Go for juice drinks. But go easy; it’s still sugar.
Bottom Line: Probiotics do help to regulate your digestive system and restore imbalance. Not convinced you need probiotics? You could be right. Most of us already have a lot of “good” bacteria in the gut—an estimated 100 trillion of them.