As we learn more about the importance of cultivating good bacteria in our digestive tracts many patients are wondering if it is better to take a probiotic supplement or eat fermented foods. In general whenever we can use food as medicine it is a better choice, but there are some exceptions to this rule! With some conditions we may want to use specific strains of bacteria, especially if your doctor has found imbalances in stool testing. We use different strains of probiotics depending on your condition- digestive complaints, recurrent vaginitis, immune support, etc. And in some cases patients simply prefer the ease of taking a supplement daily!
If you are going to buy a probiotic look for at least 5 billion CFU per serving. Typically at the health food store the probiotics kept in fridge are a better option. If you're coming into the clinic a favorite full spectrum probiotic is Iflora. Prescript assist is a great option available at health food stores.
Fermented food options- live culture yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, beet kvass, and many more! Experiment with your own recipes- we love Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions if you are new to fermenting foods.