7 Healthy Probiotic Foods

Are you worried about your health? For wellness, you need probiotics, beneficial bacteria. Thankfully, there are fermented foods that provide you with these live microorganisms. With probiotics, your brain and body will thank you.

Herein, you will discover ten natural and healthy foods rich in probiotics that you can grab from your grocery store. Let us get started.

Yogurt

For improved health, yogurt should be your friend. If you are looking for one of the best-known sources of probiotics, you can’t miss this. Once you take it, you will get an array of health benefits, from better bone health to helping reduce diarrhea resulting from antibiotics in children. Furthermore, if you are intolerant to lactose, you can give yogurt a try. It can also help with stomach problems. So, with these and other benefits, how do you make it?

Well, you get yogurt from fermented milk. Normally, friendly bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria are used. However, in some cases, the live bacteria in yogurt is killed during processing. So, what should you do?

When shopping, always ensure you pick that which has live cultures. Plus, be keen on what is on the label; read it to know if you are buying the right thing or not.

Kimchi

This Korean side dish is another source of probiotics. How is it made? You get kimchi from fermenting vegetables, cabbages being the commonly used, with some spices and herbs. You can get ginger, garlic, scallion, salt, and red chili pepper flakes present. The mixture is then placed in a container that is airtight for some days. It could even stay for a week.

So, you can enjoy the spiciness of kimchi as you enjoy its probiotic benefits too. The one made from cabbage is beneficial in vitamins K and B2 as well as iron.

Sauerkraut

This is one of the popular traditional foods.  The Koreans have their kimchi, as the Europeans have their sauerkraut. Like kimchi, sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and stored in an airtight container for months.

Traditionally, it was made by drying cabbage with salt then fermenting for a few days or even a week. However, currently, you will get it in supermarkets or grocery stores. There are two variations available; it could be canned or made from pickled cabbage in vinegar.

The use of vinegar and the canning process normally kill the active probiotics. Therefore, as much as these readily available options are delicious, the benefits can’t be compared to the traditionally dry-cured ones.

Apart from the wonderful probiotic benefits, some of the health benefits associated with sauerkraut include; has belly-slimming properties that can help you shed some belly fat. Nonetheless, it could also help fight cancer, contains fiber, iron, sodium, and vitamins B, C, and K. If you want to enjoy a side dish, sauerkraut, you can order its raw types online.

Pickles

These are another good source of probiotics. However, whenever you go looking for them, opt for those that are naturally fermented. This is because those that have been processed might contain vinegar. So, to get the most benefits, you can soak them in saltwater. This way, the probiotics are not killed even as fermentation continues.

Can you make pickles at home? If you love doing things on your own, you can enjoy this simple process. All you need is either cucumber, commonly used, or carrots and apples. Notably, not every vegetable that is pickled is fermented. Therefore, whenever you want to make pickles, ensure that, indeed, the vegetables are fermented.

Miso

If you are native to Japan, then probably you are aware of this breakfast food. It is normally served as a salty soup. Also, if you frequent restaurants, then it might have been served as an appetizer. Well, what is it made up of? It is obtained by fermenting soybean paste with salt and koji. Other than getting it in the form of soup, you can obtain the paste from supermarkets.

Therefore, what are some of the benefits of miso? If you want to stay low on calories, then you shouldn’t shy away from it. Also, it is a good source of vitamin B as well as antioxidants. Nonetheless, miso is a protein hence has all the nine essential amino acids.

Kefir

This is a drink containing kefir grains and milk. When you hear grains, you could be thinking of cereals. Well, not in this case. They are cultured yeast and lactic acid bacteria. A look at them gives you the picture of cauliflower. The microorganisms in this milk convert lactose to lactic acid, giving a sour taste like yogurt.

Some of the benefits of this fermented drink include; help improve bone health and protect you against infections. What if you are intolerant to lactose? Can you still use kefir? The good news is, yes, you can.

Tempeh

Have you ever tried tempeh? If you are a vegan, this is probably your go-to option whenever you need a bacon alternative. This is all thanks to its meaty and neutral flavor. How do you make it, though?

Tempeh is obtained by fermenting soybeans with yeast. The resultant flavor is similar to that of mushrooms.

This fermented product can help with the belly, is a good source of protein, and can also give you calcium. Moreover, during the process of fermentation, vitamin B12 is produced, and this can benefit you. So, as much as soybeans don’t contain it, you can get it from the fermented tempeh.

Therefore, if you are a vegetarian, why not use this fermented soybean product? The nutritional benefits are numerous. You can still get the same protein benefits you would have obtained from meat. However, this doesn’t lock the non-vegetarians out. The good news is that anyone can use it, as long as you want some probiotics in your body. Get them through your diet.

Conclusion

Probiotics are essential for your health. The good news is, you can always find them in some healthy and natural foods. This article has listed foods you can get from your supermarket or even purchase online to get started with the amazing benefits. Importantly, it is good to use fermented ones for this purpose. This calls for keenness when reading labels or when preparing them.

Elena Ognivtseva

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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