Is your diet rich enough in probiotics? Probably not. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in your intestine that are responsible for everything from nutrient uptake to a healthy immune system.
Not only are probiotics important for digestion, but did you know that food rich in probiotics has hundreds of other health benefits that you may not be aware of? According to a study published in the journal ISRN Nutrition, probiotics can also help lower cholesterol levels, protect against allergies, prevent cancer, and so on.
In most cases it is not necessary to buy expensive pills, powders or supplements to get more probiotics. In fact, there are a number of probiotic foods that are delicious, versatile and easy to eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet of course.
In this article we provide a comprehensive list of all probiotic foods that you should add to your usual diet and how they can help you. In addition, we will look at some tips on how to include these fermented foods in your meals to maximize the benefits of probiotics on the intestine.
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What is it?
Probiotics are a kind of beneficial bacteria found in the microbiome of the intestine. These microorganisms play a central role in health and disease and are even involved in immune function and digestion. If you don’t take enough probiotics, some of the side effects can be: digestive problems, skin problems, candida, autoimmune diseases and frequent colds and flu.
Historically, people have obtained a lot of probiotics by eating fresh food from good land and fermenting the food to prevent it from spoiling. Today, however, unsafe farming practices and deteriorating food quality have led to a significant decline in our food supply compared to probiotics. Even worse, many foods today contain antibiotics that kill even the good bacteria in our bodies.
Fortunately, in addition to taking probiotic supplements, there are many probiotic foods that people can consume to obtain these essential microorganisms. By adding more probiotic food to your diet, you can see all the health benefits listed below:
- A stronger immune system
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy through the production of vitamin B12
- Better breathe because probiotics kill candida.
- Healthy skin, because probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis.
- Reduction of colds and flu
- Cure for intestinal leakage and inflammatory bowel disease
- Weight management
Does that sound good to you? If you want to take advantage of all these benefits, it’s time to start consuming these probiotic products for better health. Ideally, you should eat different types of probiotic food, because each offers different types of beneficial bacteria that can help the body in different ways. Choose a few ingredients from the list of foods containing probiotics and prebiotics and start filling your plate for the benefits of better intestinal health.
Here are some of the best types of intestinal bacteria your body needs….
7 species of probiotic bacteria:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Streptococcus thermophilic
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- bifidobacteria bifidum
- Bacillus subtilis
The best probiotics, of course, have these active cultures. It is important that they are living, active crops that benefit your intestine the most. So, if you decide to take probiotics, make sure they contain probiotics.
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17 Best probiotic products
Where can we find probiotics? Here are 17 of the best foods in which you can find these beneficial bacteria.
Like yoghurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains. It has been consumed for over 3000 years; the term comes from Russia and Turkey and means to feel good. It has a slightly spicy and pungent taste and contains 10 to 34 strains of probiotics.
It is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product contains more probiotics and less lactose, making it a suitable choice for many people with lactose intolerance.
Made from fermented cabbage and other probiotic vegetables, sauerkraut contains a variety of probiotics, but is rich in organic acids (which give the food a sour taste) that promote the growth of good bacteria.
Sauerkraut is very popular in Germany today. It is rich in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. It is also a good source of natural lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacilli.
Kombucha is a sparkling black tea fermentation that begins with the use of SCOBY, also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha has been around for over 2000 years and is originally from Japan. Kombucha has been the subject of many claims, but the most important health benefits are helping digestion, increasing energy and detoxifying the liver.
4. Coconut Kefir
This version is obtained by fermenting the juice of young coconuts with kefir and contains some of the same probiotics as the traditional version, but is generally not as probiotic. Nevertheless, it has several strains that are beneficial to health.
Coconut kefir tastes delicious and you can add a little stevia, water and lime juice to make a refreshing and tasty drink.
Natto is a popular dish in Japan made from fermented soy beans. It contains an extremely potent probiotic called Bacillus subtilis, which has been shown to strengthen the immune system, promote cardiovascular health and improve the digestion of vitamin K2.
Natto also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase, which has been shown to prevent blood clotting, and is rich in protein, making it an excellent choice for probiotic foods.
Probably the most popular probiotic food is living culture probiotic yogurt or Greek yogurt, which is made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk. In most cases, yoghurt can take the top position among probiotic products if it comes from animals fed on grass and not pasteurised.
The problem is that the quality of yoghurt on the market today is very different. When buying yogurt, look for organic grass-fed breeds of goat’s or sheep’s milk.
This powerful ingredient has been a common fermented beverage in Eastern Europe since ancient times. Traditionally it was made by fermenting rye or barley, but in recent years it has been made using probiotic fruits and beets and other root vegetables such as carrots.
Kvass uses lactobacillus probiotics and is known for its blood and liver cleansing properties and slightly acidic taste.
Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and soft cow’s cheese A2 are particularly rich in probiotics, including Thermofilus, Bifudus, Bulgaricum and Acidophilus. Always buy raw, unpasteurized cheese if you want probiotics, because pasteurized and processed types do not contain useful bacteria.
9. Apple cider vinegar
Is apple cider vinegar a good source of probiotics? Besides controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, improving insulin sensitivity and even promoting weight gain, apple cider vinegar can also help you absorb probiotics. For best results, drink it every day or use it as a dressing.
These tasty fermented treats are also a recognized source of probiotics. When buying gherkins, you should choose a small grocery store that uses organic products. If you find a local manufacturer, you will get some of the best probiotics for your health.
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11. Olives obtained from brine
Olives processed in brine are an excellent source of probiotics. As with gherkins, choose an organic product first. Then make sure your olives are not from a large manufacturer and try to choose a smaller company that advertises probiotics.
Also make sure your olives do not contain sodium benzoate, a food additive that can negatively affect many of the health benefits of this probiotic food.
This fermented soy product from Indonesia is another amazing probiotic food. Tempeh is made by adding tempeh yeast to soy beans. The product then remains for a day or two, resulting in a pie-like product.
You can eat tempeh raw or cook and eat with miso. It can also be used as a meat substitute when fried, baked, grilled, marinated or stir-fried.
Miso is a traditional Japanese spice found in many traditional dishes. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you’ve probably seen their miso soup. In addition, it is one of the pillars of Japanese medicine and is used in the preparation of macrobiotics as a digestive regulator.
It is obtained by fermenting soya, barley or brown rice with koji. The koji is a mushroom and the fermentation process takes several days to several years.
Miso soup is famous all over the world and is very easy to prepare. Just dissolve a tablespoon of miso in a jar of seaweed and other ingredients of your choice. Miso can also be sprinkled with crackers, used instead of butter, or added to marinades and stir-fries for an extra dose of flavour.
14. Traditional buttermilk
Traditional buttermilk, also called cultivated buttermilk, is a fermented beverage made from the liquid remaining after churning. It is considered one of the best probiotic foods in India and is also widely consumed in countries such as Nepal and Pakistan.
Note that most buttermilk found in supermarkets does not contain probiotics. Instead, look for varieties that contain live plants to increase the benefits of your buttermilk.
15. Water kefir
Water kefir is made by adding grains to sugar water. The result is a fermented, carbonated beverage full of probiotics.
Water is one of the best natural vegan probiotic products to consume as part of a healthy plant-based diet. It is also thinner than the normal version and can be flavored with a variety of herbs, fruits and spices to create your own kitchen.
16. Raw milk
Raw cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and A2 matured cheeses are particularly rich in probiotics. Don’t forget that not all pasteurised dairy products contain beneficial bacteria. Therefore, only high-quality raw dairy products that have not been pasteurised should be used to obtain probiotics.
Kimchi is a cousin of sauerkraut and a Korean follower of cultivated vegetables. It is made by mixing a main ingredient such as Chinese cabbage with a number of other foods and spices such as red pepper flakes, radishes, carrots, garlic, ginger, onions, sea salt and fish sauce.
The mixture is then fermented for 3 to 14 days, resulting in a tasty probiotic ingredient.
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How to get more probiotics in your diet
Adding a few servings of probiotic-rich food to your daily diet can be an easy and effective way to stimulate the microorganism in your gut while improving your overall health – and you’ll feel better if you eat this food as well.
For starters, try to make a few simple substitutions in the food you eat. For example, you can replace soft drinks, juices or energy drinks with fermented drinks such as kombucha. You can also exchange ordinary yoghurt for probiotic yoghurt and replace raw milk or cheese with ordinary cheese or dairy products.
Also try using some of the best probiotic foods in your favorite recipes to add a little more flavour and variety to your weekly rotation. Tempeh works well as a meatless main course, sauerkraut can be served as a delicious sandwich filling and apple cider vinegar is an excellent addition to salad dressings and sauces.
No matter how you choose to consume your daily dose of these natural probiotics, the trick is to be creative and not be afraid to experiment with new ingredients to prepare healthy and delicious meals.
More information can be found here: Advantages of probiotic drinks and how to make them yourself