If you’ve seen a commercial for yogurt lately, you’ve probably at least heard of probiotics. Probiotics are one of the sweethearts of the health world, and it may be with good reason. Some research suggests that they may aid with digestion and help with problems like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Wondering if your senior parent should give probiotics a try? Read on to learn more about probiotics and how you can easily add them to your parent’s diet.
Probiotics are a kind of good bacteria found in foods like yogurt. They’re also available as supplements and have been added to some foods. Experts believe they aid the body with digestion and might even protect the body from some harmful bacteria. Some of the things probiotics might help with are:
- Diarrhea, especially when it is caused by taking certain antibiotics.
- Treatment and prevention of urinary tract and yeast infections.
- Speeding up the treatment of intestinal infections.
- Treating irritable bowel syndrome.
- Preventing colds and flus and making recovery from them faster.
The Mayo Clinic says that most people don’t experience any side effects from probiotics, so they are safe to add to your parent’s diet. However, they do suggest that if your parent intends to take probiotics as a supplement, they should check with their doctor first.
Adding Probiotics to Your Parent’s Diet
Aside from taking probiotic supplements, there are several ways for your parent to get probiotics through the food they eat. Your parent might not be familiar with everything on the list, but they might enjoy trying some new foods.
Here are some ideas:
- Yogurt Snacks: Yogurt, which is rich in probiotics, makes an excellent snack. It comes in individual containers and lots of tasty flavors. There’s no preparation needed—just grab a cup and a spoon.
- Parfaits for Breakfast: Plain yogurt can be used to make a delicious breakfast parfait with granola and fresh fruit. Just layer the yogurt, granola, and fruit in a bowl and enjoy.
- Substitute Yogurt: Yogurt can be used in lots of recipes in place of sour cream. Use it to make dips and sauces. However, heating the yogurt can kill the probiotics and render them ineffective, so choose recipes that don’t require cooking.
- Kefir Smoothies: Kefir is a cultured milk drink that has a tart or tangy flavor—and it’s packed with probiotics. The taste may be too strong for your parent to drink it straight, but it works well when added to a smoothie.
- Use Tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that contains probiotics. In addition to being protein-rich, it is also a good source of protein, antioxidants, amino acids, and fiber. It can be used as a meat substitute in recipes.
If you’d like to try adding some probiotics to your parent’s regular diet, a home care provider can help. Home care providers can prepare foods using the recipes you supply and encourage your parent to try new foods. Home care providers can also assist with grocery shopping. And, if your parent finds pulling the tops off of yogurt containers difficult, a home care provider can help with that, too!
For home care in Turnersville, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.