Health and dietary trends are always taking on a different focus. There was a firm belief for a while, that fat was the enemy and had to be eliminated from the diet. Companies began creating fat free or low fat products to meet the consumers’ desires. Low carbohydrate or sugar free products also became very popular. High sugar food products were replaced with sugar free alternatives. Then people realized that aspartame and sucralose were man-made products, that had negative effects on health. Products sweetened with stevia began gaining popularity, as stevia was an all-natural zero calorie sweetener. This time around there is a new trend hitting the market, and to no one’s surprise, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) was quick to jump all over it. The trend I’m referring to is gut health and a focus on including probiotics in the diet.
Probiotics and Digestive Health:
Our digestive tracts are full of live microbes or bacteria from the day we are born. These microbes help aid with digestion, but science is suggesting that they may play an even larger role with overall health including immunity, heart health, allergies, and more. Due to poor diet habits, foods full of antibiotics, and artificial sweeteners, our microbiomes get completely out of whack. The good bacteria in our gut dies, and the end result is somewhat unknown.
Probiotic supplements have now surfaced through this evolving research, and have hit the shelves in the forms of pills, drinks, foods, and even sports supplements. Fun fact: Fecal transplants have even become common practice in healthcare. This procedure includes taking someone else’s stool, and flushing it through the patient’s digestive track to bring balance to their intestinal flora.