While your brain might tell you that bacteria is harmful to your body, some bacteria present in probiotic food can help promote better health.
Probiotics are microorganisms that are naturally present in your digestive tract and aids in digestion and reduce inflammation.
While you may be taking probiotic supplements there are different food items you can add to your daily life.
There are different types and classes of probiotics, however, some of the most common are Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and Saccharomyces boulardil, which is a type of yeast.
Many foods manufacturers may call probiotics “live culture” or “active culture” while many fermented products or fermented foods contain them.
This means that the bacteria are still living in the food products. Moreover, most of these foods are either naturally fermented or undergo a fermentation process using create probiotic bacteria. These help to improve your gut health.
Moreover, they help to improve your immune system.
Moreover, food products often do not contain living bacteria especially the ones that you can find on the shelves of a market and is not in the refrigerator.
Sources of probiotics are aged cheese, fermenting cabbage, kefir, traditional buttermilk, and yogurt. However, it is important to seek medical advice before adding an extra amount to your diet.
It is important to note that not all foods must be dairy, and other non-dairy products are pickles, kimchi, kombucha, miso, etc.
How to In-corporate Probiotic Foods into your Diet?
A wide range of probiotic foods is available in the market and you can easily add some of them you like to your diet.
Certain examples of ways you can add these foods to your diet are as follows:
- Making a breakfast of probiotic yogurt with berries, flax seeds, and nuts.
- Adding miso into soups. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can make a miso soup by adding beans and ginger.
- You can drink probiotic-rich beverages like kefir, kombucha.
- Cooking stir-fry using tempeh as a meat replacement. However, keep in mind to add it at the end of cooking as excess heat can destroy its active ingredients
- Serving sauerkraut as a side dish
Moreover, keep in mind that certain foods especially yogurt can contain added sugars.
Thus, it is important to look for food that has minimal artificial sweeteners, sugars, and other artificial flavors.
Now let’s discuss foods you can add to your diet.
11 Probiotic Foods that are Healthy
Probiotics are living organisms or bacteria that have health benefits for your health when you consume them.
Moreover, these beneficial bacteria provide all sorts of powerful benefits not only for your body but also for your brain.
They also improve your digestive health, reduce depression, and promote a healthy heart.
Some evidence also suggests that consuming these foods also helps in getting better skin.
You can get probiotics from supplements, however, you can also get them from different dairy and non-dairy products.
Learn more about mental health here.
Yogurt is one of the best probiotic foods which contains friendly bacteria that can improve your health.
After the fermentation of milk, yogurt forms with the help of friendly bacteria, especially lactic acid and bifidobacterium.
Moreover, it can help reduce diarrhea in children which results from taking antibiotics.
This is because the bacteria can turn some of the lactose into lactic acid and that is the reason why yogurt tastes sour.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is that it contains live probiotics, however, in some cases, live bacteria may die during processing.
Thus, make sure that your yogurt is active or has live cultures. Also, read the labels before buying yogurt.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink that is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.
However, these grains are not cereal grains, but rather cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that look a bit like cauliflower.
The word Kefir comes from keyif which means “feeling good” after eating.
Indeed, it contains various health benefits and can help improve bone health, improve digestive issues, and protect your body against infections.
While many people are of the view that yogurt is the best probiotic food, however, kefir is the best source.
It contains different major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast make it a diverse and potent probiotic.
Just like yogurt, kefir is generally well tolerated if you are lactose tolerant.
This one is a shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria.
It is one of the oldest traditional foods and is popular in many countries, especially in Europe.
Many people use it as a side dish or as sausages. Its taste is sour, salty and it can be stored for up to 8 months.
Additionally, it contains fiber as well as vitamin C, B, and K. It is also high in sodium and contains iron and manganese.
According to studies, Saurekruat also contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are crucial for eye health.
However, it is important to note that you should buy unpasteurized sauerkraut as the other one kills live and active bacteria.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product and forms a firm patty whose flavor is either like nuts, earthy, or like a mushroom.
It originally comes from Indonesia, however, it is now popular worldwide as a high-protein meat substitute.
Moreover, when it undergoes the process of fermentation, it has beneficial effects on its nutritional profile.
Soybeans are typically high in phytic acid, which is a plant compound that has the ability to impair the absorption of minerlas like iron and zinc.
However, the process of fermentation lowers the amount of phytic acid which may increase the number of minerals your body is able to absorb from tempeh.
Fermentation also produces some vitamin B-12 that soybean does not contain. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.
This makes tempeh a great choice for individuals who are vegetarians as well as for those looking for such foods.
Kimchi is a fermented Korean side dish and contains cabbage as the main ingredient.
However, you can also use other vegetables. Kimchi is a flavored mix of seasonings like red chili peppers, garlic, ginger, scallion, and salt.
Moreover, kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii as well as other components that can help your digestive health.
if you make kimchi from cabbage, then it is high in some vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, riboflavin or vitamin B2, and iron.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning and is made with the help of fermented soybeans with salt and a type of fungus, Koji.
You can easily make miso by mixing soybeans with other ingredients like barley, rice, and rye.
Most often, people use this paste in miso soup, which is a popular breakfast in Japan and is typically salty.
However, you can buy different varieties like white, yellow, red, and brown.
Moreover, it is a good source of protein and fiber and is high in various vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds like vitamin K, manganese, and copper.
It has many potential health benefits and according to a study, miso soup lowers the risk of breast cancer in middle-aged Japanese women.
Another study suggests that women who eat miso soup have a lower risk of stroke.
Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea drink and is fermented with the help of a friendly colony of bacteria and yeast.
It is very popular all around the world, especially in Asia.
The internet is full of potential health effects of kombucha, however, high-quality research is still lacking.
Most of the studies are either animal and test-tube studies and the results may not be applicable to humans.
While it is fermented with the help of bacteria and yeast, it has potential health benefits and is related to its probiotic properties.
Pickles or gherkins are cucumbers that are pickled in a solution of salt and water.
For some time, you can let it ferment, thus using its own naturally present lactic acid and bacteria. This eventually makes them sour.
Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotics which can help improve your digestive health. They are low in calories as well as a good source of vitamin K.
It is important to note that pickles that contain salt and water are usually high in salt content, thus, if you have certain medical issues, you should avoid using them.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for the process of blood clotting, however, is important to note that pickles that contain vinegar do not contain live and active probiotics.
9# Traditional Buttermilk
Buttermilk is actually a range of fermented dairy drinks, however, there are two types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.
Traditional buttermilk is the leftover milk from making butter and is the only version that contains probiotics.
Moreover, it is also sometimes called “grandma’s probiotic”.
You can find traditional buttermilk being used in Nepal, Pakistan, snd India. However, it is also found in other supermarkets today.
But these do not have the probiotic properties as the traditional ones.
Buttermilk is low in fat and calories and also contains important vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.
Learn more about Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Another fermented soybean product is Natto, just like tempeh and miso. It contains a bacteria strain Bacillus subtilis.
It is a staple in the Japanese kitchen and is usually eaten with rice and served with breakfast.
You may also find it to have a distinctive smell, slimy texture, and a strong flavor. It is also rich in proteins, and vitamin K2, which is important for bone and cardiovascular health, according to studies.
Another study states that men who consume natto on regular basis as a high bone mineral density. This is due to the high vitamin K2 present in natto.
Moreover, studies suggest that it can also help women to prevent osteoporosis.
11# Some Types of Cheese
Although most types of cheese undergo the process of fermentation, however, only a few of them contains probiotics.
Thus, it is important to look for the ones that contain live and active cultures mentioned on the food labels.
The good bacteria that survive the aging process in some cheeses are Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese.
Moreover, it is important to note that cheese is highly nutritious and a good source of protein.
It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.
Thus, moderate consumption of dairy products like cheese can help lower your chances of developing heart diseases and osteoporosis.
Probiotics Foods a Healthy Option
There are a number of healthy probiotic foods you can easily incorporate into your diet. These are different varieties of fermented soybeans, dairy, and vegetables.
However, if you do not want to eat these foods, you can always use probiotic supplements, as these have powerful and healthy effects on your body.