Are you consuming foods rich in probiotics in your diet?
Are you consuming enough probiotic-rich foods in your diet? Most likely not. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in the gut that are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption to immune health.
Not only are probiotics essential for digestion, but did you know that there are hundreds of health benefits to consuming foods rich in probiotics that you might not be aware of? According to a review published in the journal ISRN Nutrition, probiotics may also help people lower cholesterol, protect against allergies, aid in cancer prevention, and more.
There are many probiotic foods that people can consume to help provide these essential micro-organisms. By adding more probiotic foods to your diet, you could see all of the following health benefits:
They strengthen the immune system
They promote digestion
Healthier skin, as probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
Cold and flu reduction
Fight the symptoms of leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
Sounds good? If you want all of these benefits, then it’s time to start consuming these probiotic foods for better health. Ideally, you should eat a variety of different types of probiotic foods, as each offers a different type of beneficial bacteria to help the body in various ways.
Where can you find probiotics?
Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of fermented milk and kefir grains. It has been consumed for more than 3,000 years; the term originated in Russia and Turkey and means “to feel good”. It has a slightly acidic taste and contains between 10 and 34 strains of probiotics.
It is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the end product is higher in probiotics and lower in lactose, making it a suitable option for many who are lactose intolerant.
Made from sauerkraut and other probiotic vegetables, sauerkraut is not diverse in probiotics, but it is high in organic acids (which give food its bitter taste) that support the growth of good bacteria.
Sauerkraut is extremely popular in Germany today. It is high in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. It is also a good source of natural lactic acid bacteria.
Kombucha is an effervescent black tea fermentation that is started with the SCOBY fungus, also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha has been around for over 2000 years and originates from Japan. Its main health benefits include digestive support, increased energy, and liver detoxification.
4. Coconut kefir
This option, made by fermenting coconut water with kefir grains, has some of the same probiotics as the traditional variety, but is generally not as rich in probiotics. Still, it has several strains that are beneficial to your health.
Coconut kefir tastes great, and you can add some stevia, water, and lemon juice to make a great-tasting, refreshing drink.
A popular dish in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans, natto contains the extremely powerful probiotic Bacillus subtilis, which has been shown to boost the immune system, support cardiovascular health, and improve the digestion of vitamin K2.
Natto also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been shown to prevent blood clotting.
This powerful ingredient has been a common fermented beverage in Eastern Europe since ancient times. It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley, but in more recent years it has been created using probiotic fruits and beets along with other root vegetables such as carrots.
7. Apple cider vinegar
Is apple cider vinegar a good source of probiotics? In addition to controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, improving insulin sensitivity, and even enhancing weight loss, apple cider vinegar can also help increase your intake of probiotics. Drink a little every day or use it as a salad dressing to maximize your results. Remember to choose it organic.
This fermented delicacy is also an under-recognized source of probiotics. When shopping for pickles, be sure to choose organic products.
9. Olives in brine
Pickled olives are an excellent source of probiotics. As with pickles, be sure to select a product that is organic first.
Also make sure your olives don’t contain sodium benzoate, a food additive that can negate many of the health-promoting properties of this probiotic food.
Hailing from Indonesia, this fermented soy product is another amazing food that provides probiotics.
Miso is a traditional Japanese spice that is found in many of their traditional foods. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you may have seen miso soup. It is considered as one of the pillars of Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cuisine as a digestive regulator.
Kimchi is the Korean version of fermented vegetables. It is created by mixing a main ingredient, such as cabbage, with other foods and spices, such as red bell peppers, radishes, carrots, garlic, ginger, onion, and sea salt.
The mixture is then set aside to ferment for three to 14 days, resulting in a flavorful ingredient and multiple benefits.
13. Water kefir
Water kefir is made by adding kefir grains to the water with a little muscovado or brown sugar, resulting in a fermented, fizzy drink packed with probiotics.
Water kefir is one of the best natural vegan probiotic foods that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy plant-based diet. It can be infused with fruits and spices to create your own custom blend, with a delicious taste and multiple health benefits.
Adding any of these foods to your daily diet can be an easy and effective way to stimulate your gut microbiota while improving overall health. Remember to rotate them.