Probiotics contain live microorganisms, or bacteria, that are similar to the good type of bacteria that our body naturally produces for the health of our digestive tract among many other essential functions.
Even though our gastrointestinal tract is home to various types of bacteria, there needs to be a healthy balance of harmful bacteria and beneficial bacteria in our system for us to avoid health issues. With the help of fermentation, many foods contain these microorganisms–yeast or bacteria–, so it is vital to have a diet that is rich in probiotics. However, probiotic supplements are also an option if you think you cannot take in enough through your diet.
Benefits of Probiotics
– Regulate and improve the function of the digestive system
– Treat gastrointestinal conditions like IBS
– Replace good bacteria when there is a lack of it
– Lower Cholesterol
– Bolster the immune system
– Reduce the risk of colon cancer
– Prevent and treat urinary tract infections
Best Probiotic Foods
Yogurt, especially fortified yogurt products that contain more live microorganisms, is your number one probiotics source. However, there are more options, such as the following 6 foods.
Sauerkraut & Kimchi
Cabbage has many health benefits, and fermented cabbage is rich in probiotics. Kimchi is Korean-style fermented vegetables, and there are many versions and recipes for it.
Kefir is sort of like fermented, liquid yogurt, made with kefir grains and cow or goat’s milk. However, kefir is richer in probiotics than yogurt is.
Pickles that get fermented in brine instead of vinegar are rich in probiotics as well. Some brands make their pickles using this method, like Real Pickles, but you can also look up how to make your own pickles.
Kombucha is a black or green tea that gets fermented with yeast and sugar, which produces a super healthy, probiotic beverage with a lot of pulp.
Fermented soy products contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is a type of bacteria our body naturally produces. Lactobacillus produces lactase, Vitamin K, and breaks down lactose.
The way sourdough bread gets made is the flour and water first get fermented and then get mixed in with the dough. Sourdough bread is not only recommended because it is rich in probiotics but also because it is easier to digest than other kinds of bread due to the way its made.
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