13 Super-Healthy Probiotic Foods You Should Be Consuming and The Amazing Benefits.
We know what probiotics are. They are healthy gut bacteria that boost nutrient absorption and offer other important benefits. But the truth is, not all of us are aware of the several ways probiotics can do us good. That is what this post is all about – probiotics and the everyday foods that are rich in them.
What Are Probiotics? How Do They Work.
Probiotics are the good bacteria your body needs. Though researchers are trying to understand how they work, there is some information we have. If you happen to lose good bacteria from your system (which happens when you take antibiotics), probiotics replace them. Probiotics also balance the good and bad bacteria in your system, enabling your body to work the way it should.
And more interestingly, there are different types of probiotics.
What Are The Different Types Of Probiotics.
Though there are several types of probiotics, most of them fall into two groups.
Lactobacillus, which is a common probiotic you will find in fermented foods like yogurt. This one helps people with diarrhea and those that can’t digest lactose.
Bifidobacterium, which is a less common type, is also found in some dairy foods. This type eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
What Are The Top Foods That Contain Probiotics.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. It is made from milk that is fermented by bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. More interestingly, yogurt is a better option than milk for people who are lactose intolerant. And it has been associated with improved bone health and blood pressure levels,.
But keep in mind that not all yogurts contain probiotics. Which is why you need to choose yogurt with live cultures.
This is a fermented product from soybeans. It has become popular across the world as a high-protein substitute for meat. What is more interesting is that the fermentation process of tempeh generates vitamin B12, which is not available in soybeans.
This is prepared by adding kefir grains to cow or goat milk. Kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria that look a little like cauliflower. Research reveals how kefir can help improve bone health and even treat digestive problems,.
This is another fermented soybean dish, quite popular in Japan. It contains Bacillus subtilis, a potent probiotic that helps boost heart health, amongst offering other benefits. Natto also contains nattokinase, a powerful enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.
Cabbage is the most important ingredient in kimchi, and it is a popular Korean dish. This one contains Lactobacillus kimchii, lactic acid bacteria that benefit digestive health.
6. Raw Cheese.
This is especially true with cheese made from the milk of cows and goats – and they are high in probiotics, some of which include Bifidus, Thermophillus, and Acidophilus.
If you are buying cheese from the market – here is a quick tip. Always buy cheese that is unpasteurized and raw as only these contain probiotics.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has several benefits, some of which include cutting the risk of diabetes, regulating cholesterol levels, and aiding weight loss. The vinegar is also a good source of probiotics.
This is nothing but finely shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is quite rich in probiotics, why is why it is often used on top of sausages and even as a side dish.
Research suggests that it also contains good amounts of fiber, and vitamins B, C, and K.
Just ensure you go for unpasteurized sauerkraut.
Kombucha is black or green tea that is fermented. Having originated in Japan, this tea has been around for over 2,000 years. Kombucha is fermented with bacteria and yeast and hence has probiotic benefits.
Studies also show how this tea can offer digestive support and help the liver detox.
Kvass is one fermented beverage quite popular since the ancient times. Traditionally, it was prepared by fermenting rye or barley, but in the recent times, it is made using beets and other root veggies like carrots.
The most common buttermilk is the liquid that is left over after making butter. This is the only version rich with probiotics. Apart from being rich in probiotics, buttermilk is also replete with calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
12. Gherkin Pickles.
These are cucumbers pickled in a solution of water and salt. They are left to ferment for a while, and it is the lactic acid bacteria that offer the benefits. These pickles are also low in calories and rich in vitamin K, which can boost bone health.
But they also contain sodium, so consume them in moderation. Also, pickles made with vinegar do not contain probiotics – keep that in mind too.