In short, probiotics are bacteria that help to maintain a healthy gut. There are several ways to increase the healthy flora in your body, such as drinking kefir or kombucha, or taking probiotic pills (not mentioning yogurt because most yogurts contain very little probiotics --- raw yogurt and other raw forms of dairy are a different story). An inexpensive way to get probiotics daily is through this apple cider vinegar drink! Apple cider vinegar is pungent (worse than regular vinegar in my opinion), but this drink will give you the health benefits without leaving you gagging ;)
Tip #1: When buying apple cider vinegar, always get one "with the mother" (the source of the probiotics) and raw (means that the product has not been pasteurized so the bacteria are still living!). You might see little dark wispy bits floating around/dark stuff settled on the bottom; that's the mother (always shake well before using).
Tip #2: Bragg's is a really popular brand and we've always bought it (I swear this isn't a sponsored post!); it's best to buy it in bulk as it's cheaper (try Amazon or Swanson).
Tip #3: I like to drink this before I eat a meal; typically 30 minutes before if possible. This is especially helpful before eating a big meal as it aids with digestion.
Caution: NEVER drink apple cider vinegar undiluted! It's extremely acidic and will cause damage to your esophagus and/or stomach. My rule is 2 tsp per 1 cup of water. I once drank the apple cider vinegar without diluting it as much and my throat felt like it was burning for a good 20 minutes (it's not fun). If this does happen (knock on wood --- or just always dilute it properly), drink more water and try eating 1 tablespoon of honey to soothe your throat.
Recipe: Probiotic Drink
By: Hannah Claudia
1 cup of distilled water/drinking water
2 tsp of raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
2-3 tablespoons of orange juice (I like acai juice too!)*
1. Mix everything and drink up to 3 times daily (start off with once daily and move up)
*If you're still gagging, add a little bit more juice!