April 6, 2018

Probiotics: The Good Bacteria That You Should Be Paying More Attention To

Remember when you were a kid and you could eat literally anything? Dino-egg oatmeal was considered a healthy breakfast, and when you got sent to school with a Lunchables you felt like you could conquer the world. (tbh kind of still feel that way).

Unfortunately as we got older, our immune systems and dietary needs changed. Too much sugar makes our bodies rebel, but on the bright side there is hope, and it comes in the form of probiotics.

Did you know that at least 70% of our immune system is located in our gut? That’s a pretty big percentage, and our immune system is a pretty big deal. So by keeping our gut healthy, we are keeping our immune system healthy. IT ALL MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.

For reference– this is our GUT (Gastrointestinal Tract) and everything that’s part of it:

Gastrointestinal Tract (Gut)

So how can we keep our gut healthy? Let us introduce you to probiotics.  Probiotics are like supercharged heroes of gut health found in certain foods and drinks.  But what exactly are they and why should we be paying more attention to them? We spoke with Holistic nutritionist Ciara Foy about the benefits of a probiotic-rich diet and what it can do for your health.

Ciara Foy

MTV FORA: What exactly are probiotics and what effect do they have on our bodies?

CIARA FOY: Probiotics are an army of friendly bacteria that help support your overall health by fighting off bad bacteria, thereby keeping the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut optimal. [This] support[s] healthy digestion, immune function, mental health and also helps prevent disease. They also have a positive impact on your skin and can prevent acne breakouts, [since] your skin is your body’s largest detoxification organ, when your digestion is optimal, your skin will reflect that.

FORA: Why should people care about probiotics in relation to their gut health?

CF: Your gut health is largely responsible for your overall well-being.  It is responsible for the majority of your immune system as well as your mood, memory and can help fight off diseases. Also known as your “second brain” your gut health even influences how you think!

FORA: So, what amount of probiotics should we be taking a day, and what’s the best way to take them?

CF: The best way to take probiotics is always with food.  Look for live probiotics that need to be kept refrigerated. I recommend getting between 1-4 billion live units a day through food and supplementation. Probiotics should be taken daily; however, that doesn’t mean you need to take a supplement daily.  To support a healthy gut, ensure your diet regularly consists of prebiotic and probiotic cultures that you can get from bananas, onions, garlic, dandelion greens, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and apple cider vinegar.


There are lots of products out there now that focus on gut health—  we sat down with one such probiotic-focused company, Welo. to chat with Founders Stef Prodea and Jack Baker. 

Stef Prodea and Jack Baker

MTV FORA: Why should we want to include probiotics in our diet?

STEF: It’s so important to include probiotics in our diet because most of us are currently getting little to no good bacteria from our daily foods. These days, the conventional food industry feeds our growing populations with shelf stable, pasteurized foods.

FORA: What can people expect once they start taking probiotics regularly?

STEF: We hear from people all the time that after consuming our products their stomach feels better and their energy level increases. I used to get horrible stomach pains (to the point where I couldn’t sleep at night), had really bad eczema, suffered from inflammation, and also had chronic fatigue. Following the change, I literally look and feel like a different person – my skin cleared, my energy levels are higher, I’m no longer bloated, and overall I feel so much happier.

JACK: In the past I focused on consuming a high protein diet, which can actually be harmful to your digestive system. This is where probiotics work their magic, as they help our bodies digest and absorb protein more effectively. This means I can consume less protein, but still reach my daily requirements since my body is actually absorbing more of it!

FORA: We have to ask- what’s your personal favourite product from Welo? What is the most popular?

JACK: If I had to pick only one, I’d have to go with the Living Ginger Ferment!

STEF: I’m torn between the bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate, which I eat religiously every single day) and Apple Cider Vinegars (Ginger is my go-to).

If you’re interested in testing out the power of probiotics, we’ve got a list of probiotic-packed foods and drinks you’ve gotta try:



A staple in Korean cuisine,  Kimchi consists of different salted and fermented vegetables-mainly napa cabbage and radishes. With it’s gaining popularity in North America, you may have already tried it! Spicy and salty, it could be your new favourite {probiotic rich} food.



Kombucha is a variety of fermented black or green tea.  It has the benefits from the enzymes developed in the fermentation process and contains a few million probiotics for you to enjoy.



A paste made from fermented soy beans, miso is most popularly enjoyed in it’s ‘soup form’. It’s flavourful, it’s delicious and also happens to be a  source of probiotics.



We’re not going to sugar coat this one (although we wish we could because candied apples are delicious) apple cider vinegar on it’s own is pretty…pungent. But it is packed FULL of probiotic goodness— and it’s pretty affordable. If you’re really struggling, maybe try mixing it with something that tastes better… like a fruit juice.



Love ’em or hate ’em (but like, let’s be serious…love), the fermentation process that turns cucumbers into pickles gives them the probiotic cultures you want in your gut. A pickle a day just might be what actually keeps the doctor away.



From drinking vinegars to probiotic bars, ferments and cold presses, you can count on Welo products to give you your daily (delicious) dose of probiotics!

Posted by Jessica Dixon in Featured, Lifestyle
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