Do you know what probiotics are and why they are good for you? Probiotics are live microorganisms having health benefits when you consume them regularly. As you know, probiotics are usually called beneficial bacteria, as they provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. Therefore, you should consume probiotic foods that are beneficial for your overall health.
They can reduce depression, improve digestive health, and even promote heart health. Some evidence suggests that probiotic food may even give you better-looking skin. If you consume probiotics in supplement form – is one popular way to get them. But you can get them from fermented foods as well.
Below is a list of super healthy probiotic foods.
Best Probiotic Foods For a Healthy Diet
Some commonly found probiotic foods are:
Do you know that yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics? These are friendly bacteria that can improve your overall health. Yogurt is prepared from milk that probiotics have fermented. Primarily lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria act on it to ferment it.
Eating yogurt is associated with many health benefits. It also improves bone health. It is also beneficial for individuals with high blood pressure.
In children, yogurt may help reduce diarrhea caused by antibiotics. You may also eat yogurt to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
These good bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which gives the yogurt a sour taste. You need to keep in mind that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. At times many of the live bacteria have been killed during processing.
Therefore, you should try to choose yogurt with active or live cultures. Also, read the label on yogurt before buying. Even though it is labeled fat-free or low fat it may still be loaded with high amounts of added sugar.
Kefir is a popular fermented probiotic milk drink. It is prepared by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk. Remember that kefir grains are not cereal grains but rather yeast and lactic acid bacteria cultures. Kefir looks quite similar to cauliflower. The word “kefir” comes from the Turkish word “keyif” meaning feeling good after eating.
Yes, you can link kefir, probiotic food, to various health benefits. It may help with digestive problems, improve bone health, and protect against infections.
Yogurt is considered the best-known probiotic food in the Western diet, but kefir is a better source of good bacteria. It is because kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast. Hence it is considered a diverse and potent probiotic.
Like yogurt, you can easily tolerate kefir. Individuals with lactose intolerance can drink fermented milk drinks with no health problems.
What is sauerkraut? Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage – fermented using lactic acid bacteria. It is one of the oldest traditional foods. It is also very popular in many countries worldwide, especially in Eastern Europe.
One can use sauerkraut on sausages or even as a side dish. This probiotic food has a very sour, salty taste. The best part is – storing it for months in an airtight container.
Besides its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut is rich in vitamin K and C and is high in fiber. It is also high in sodium and contains iron and potassium. Moreover, it includes antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which are very important for your eye health. Always try to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurization often kills live and active bacteria.
Kimchi is a kind of spicy, fermented Korean side dish. The main ingredient is cabbage, but you can also use other vegetables. Kimchi is often flavored with seasonings, using red chili pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, salt, and scallion.
It contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchi and other lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria are very usually beneficial for your digestive health. You can make kimchi using cabbage. It is high in some vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin K, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Pickles are also known as gherkins, cucumbers that you preserve in a solution of salty water. You can leave them to ferment while using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation process makes the cucumbers sour.
These pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria. They are beneficial for your digestive system(as they are low calorie diet). They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting.
You should consume them in moderation as these pickles are high in sodium. Note that pickles prepared with vinegar do not contain live probiotics. So try choosing a probiotic diet.
6. Traditional buttermilk
Did you know that the term “buttermilk” refers to different varieties of fermented dairy drinks? There are primarily two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.
The traditional buttermilk is the leftover liquid remaining after making butter. Only this version contains probiotics, and it is sometimes called grandma’s probiotic. In contrast, traditional buttermilk is primarily consumed in India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Cultured buttermilk, you can find in American supermarkets, but they do not have significant probiotic benefits. The benefits of consuming buttermilk are low in calories and fat but contain several important vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.
7. Some Types of Cheese
Although most of the varieties of cheese are fermented, all of them do not contain probiotics. Therefore, it is important to look for the words “live cultures” or “active cultures” on the food labels.
It is the good bacteria that survive the aging process in some cheeses. This includes Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese. Hence these varieties of cheese are healthy.
As you may know, cheese is highly nutritious and an excellent source of protein too. Rich in essential minerals and vitamins, it includes vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and more. Remember that moderate consumption of dairy products like cheese might even lower your osteoporosis and heart disease risk.
Tempeh is a typical fermented soybean product. It often forms a firm patty with an earthy, nutty flavor similar to a mushroom. Tempeh is unique to Indonesia, but it has become famous worldwide as it is a high protein meat substitute in recent times. The fermentation process in tempeh, a probiotic food, is such that it has some surprising effects on the nutritional profile.
Did you know that soybeans are generally high in phytic acid, a plant compound that may impair the absorption of minerals like zinc and iron? However, the fermentation process often lowers the amount of phytic acid. As a result, it may increase the number of minerals your body can absorb by consuming tempeh.
Additionally, fermentation also produces some vitamin B12, a nutrient generally not present in soybeans. You can find vitamin B12 in animal foods, such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. This vitamin-rich tempeh often makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians. And also for individuals looking to add a nutritious probiotic to their diet.
As we all know, miso is a Japanese seasoning. You can traditionally prepare it by fermenting soybeans with salt together with a fungus known as koji.
You can also prepare miso by mixing soybeans with other ingredients, like rice, barley, and rye. The miso soup uses this paste. It is a popular breakfast food typical in Japan.
Miso, a popular probiotics foods, is usually salty. You can purchase it in many varieties, like yellow, red, white, and brown. Miso is a good source of protein and fiber. It is also high in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, including manganese, copper, and vitamin K. It is also linked to some health benefits.
One study reported that consuming miso soup frequently may have many health benefits. It is linked with a lower risk of breast cancer, especially in middle-aged Japanese women. Another study also confirmed that women who consumed a lot of miso soup had a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
How to Add More Probiotic Foods to Your Diet
As you know, there is a wide range of probiotic foods available in supermarkets. So you can try including all these food items into your diet, according to your tastes.
Here are a few examples of adding probiotic foods to your healthy diet:
- Enjoy a breakfast of probiotic yogurt and include flax seeds, nuts, and berries.
- Prepare a stir-fry, using tempeh as your meat replacement. In fact, the best way is to incorporate tempeh at the end of cooking. It is done so that excessive heating may destroy the active cultures.
- Also, incorporate miso into soups. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests a recipe for black bean soup with miso and ginger.
- Drinking probiotic-rich beverages, such as kefir or kombucha.
- Serve sauerkraut as a side dish to any main meal.
- Keep in mind that certain foods, especially yogurt, may contain added sugars.
Look for foods with minimal artificial sugars, sweeteners, and other artificial flavorings.
Probiotic Foods are Super Healthy
There are many very healthy probiotic foods you can choose from. The choice is huge. It may include numerous varieties of fermented vegetables, soybeans, and dairy. Of those, many are mentioned, but you can find many more out there.
If you can not eat any of these foods, you may also take a probiotic supplement. You may also shop for probiotic supplements online. Always check with your doctor before taking any new supplement.
Probiotics and probiotic foods can have equally powerful effects on your health and digestive system from both supplements and foods.
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