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11 Best Food Sources of Probiotics

  • By Bold Commerce Collaborator
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Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for the body.

It gives amazing benefits to your overall health, especially your digestive system. It is also able to treat depression and enhance heart health.

Some studies have even shown that probiotics can improve skin health, giving you a healthy glowing skin.

Consuming food sources and supplements are some of the best ways to get probiotics in your system.

Check out these 11 probiotic foods that provide excellent health benefits:

Yogurt

Yogurt is at the top of our list. It is one of the best sources of probiotics.

Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented through beneficial bacteria. The good bacteria used in yogurt are what provide its sour flavor. Mainly, these are lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

Consuming yogurt regularly is good for your body. This is linked to numerous health benefits, including improving your bone health. It is also helpful for people suffering from high blood pressure.

Yogurt is also able to help children suffering from antibiotic-caused diarrhea. Consuming yogurt also assists in giving relief from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

If you are suffering from lactose intolerance, yogurt is also best for you. The bacteria in it transform some of the lactose into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its tangy flavor.

Nevertheless, it is important to know that not all yogurts hold live probiotics. In fact, in some cases, the live bacteria are killed during processing. That is the reason why you have to carefully choose yogurt that contains live cultures.

Before you buy a yogurt product, carefully read the labels. Do not be fooled by the “low-fat” or “fat-free” labels because it could still be packed with high levels of extra sugar.

Kefir

Kefir is another sour-tasting probiotic milk drink. It is made from cow's milk and kefir grains.

Kefir grains are not your typical cereal grains. Rather, kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that are similar to the appearance of a cauliflower.

Its name, kefir, apparently comes from the Turkish word “keyif” that means “feeling good” after its consumption.

This amazing probiotic milk drink has been associated with numerous health benefits, such as assisting with bone health and digestive function. It may also guard your body against certain infections.

There is no doubt that yogurt is the most famous source of probiotics. However, kefir is, in fact a better source. It comprises numerous major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, which is the reason behind its powerful health benefits.

Similar to yogurt, kefir is safe for people with lactose intolerance.

Tempeh

Tempeh is made from soybeans, just like tofu. This fermented soybean product forms a firm patty with a nutty taste, a bit comparable to a mushroom.

Tempeh is originally from Indonesia. However, it has gained popularity across the world as a high-protein meat substitute.

Its fermentation process impacts its nutritional profile. Soybeans naturally have high levels of phytic acid. Phytic acid is a plant composite that damages the absorption of minerals such as zinc and iron.

However, the process of fermentation reduced the levels of phytic acid, which may intensify the number of minerals your body is able to absorb from this food.

Furthermore, fermentation also yields a few Vitamin B12. Vitamin N12 is an amazing nutrient that soybeans do not have. Most of the time, Vitamin B12 is set up in animal foods like fish, dairy and meat.

With that being said, tempeh is a perfect option for vegetarians. It is also great for people who want to incorporate probiotics into their regular diet.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is one of the most probiotic-rich fermented foods available. Basically, it is pickled cabbage. It is made by shredding cabbage, adding some salt, and leaving it to ferment through lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation process lasts for about 4-6 weeks.

Sauerkraut is considered one of the oldest traditional foods today. It is extremely famous in numerous countries, most especially in Europe.

Often, Sauerkraut is used as a side dish. It has a delicious taste that is both sour and salty. It could last for months as long as you place it inside an airtight container.

Aside from its amazing probiotic qualities, it is fiber-rich too. It is also packed with vitamins B, C and K together with iron and manganese.

That’s not all. Sauerkraut has the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin too. Both of these are essential for excellent eye health.

Take note that pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria in Sauerkraut. With that being said, see to it that you choose unpasteurized sauerkraut at all times.

Kimchi

Kimchi is basically a spicy pickled cabbage. Even though cabbage is the main ingredient, kimchi can be made using other vegetables.

Kimchi is considered one of the best national dishes of Korea. It is heavily flavored with various seasonings like salt, ginger, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes.

Kimchi aids in digestive function since it comprises of the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii, together with other beneficial lactic acid bacteria. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, such as iron, vitamin B2 and vitamin K.

Miso

Miso is a seasoning used in Japanese cuisine. It is a salty paste that is made using fermented soybeans, together with salt and koji (a type of fungus).

You can also make use of other ingredients like rice, barley or rye.

Most of the time, it is used for making miso soup—one of the famous breakfast options in Japan.

There are different types of varieties, like brown, red, yellow and white.

It is an excellent source of fiber and protein. In addition, it contains high vitamin content, minerals and plant compounds. It is rich in manganese, copper and vitamin K.

Miso is an amazing ingredient that is associated with various health benefits.

In one study, it has been discovered that regular intake of miso soup was linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. This study has been conducted by observing middle-aged Japanese women.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a drink made by fermenting sweet tea together with a colony of yeast and bacteria. It is a famous beverage in certain parts of the world, but it is most famous in Asia.

If you search the internet, you will see many articles linking kombucha to numerous health benefits. However, it is still lacking with high-grade evidence.

More studies have to be conducted because most researches used animal trials, not humans.

However, since Kombucha is known as a fermented drink with bacteria and yeast, it is safe to say that it has potential benefits associated with its potent probiotic properties.

Pickles

Pickles (also called gherkins) are cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of water and salt.

With their own natural lactic acid live bacteria, they go through the process of fermentation for quite some time. The process cause them to taste sour.

If you want an excellent source of probiotic bacteria, pickled cucumbers are perfect. They also contribute in improving digestive health.

They are low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.

Keep in mind that pickles also tend to be high in sodium.

It is imperative to take note that pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics.

Natto

Natto is a great source of probiotics that aids in bone health and heart health.

It is another fermented soybean product from Japan that is fermented with Bacillus subtilis. This staple Japanese ingredient is similar to miso and tempeh. Basically, it is combined with rice and served in the morning.

It has a slimy texture, unique smell, and solid flavor. It is also packed with protein and vitamin K2, which are both essential for bone and cardiovascular health.

One study even suggests that it may be able to assist in the prevention of osteoporosis in women.

Traditional Buttermilk

There are two major kinds of buttermilk: Cultured and traditional.

Traditional buttermilk is merely the leftover liquid from making butter. This is the only type of buttermilk that contains probiotics. It is normally consumed in countries like Nepal, India, and Pakistan.

Cultured buttermilk, on the other hand, is normally found in American stores. This is the type of buttermilk that does not have any type of probiotic.

It may be low in both calories and fat, but it lacks high levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and riboflavin.

Certain Types of Cheese

Most kinds of cheese are fermented. However, not all types are probiotic-enriched. With that being said, you have to search for live and active cultures on the food labels.

In some cheese, the beneficial bacteria endure the aging process. This includes cheeses like:

  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Mozzarella
  • Cottage cheese

Overall, cheese is a very nutritious food and an excellent source of protein. It also contains high levels of essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus and selenium.

In addition, adequate intake of dairy products like cheese can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Probiotic Foods Are Extremely Healthy for the Body

All in all, probiotics can benefit our health in countless ways.

In addition to the 11 foods we just talked about, there are many more food sources rich in probiotics. If you want a different way of acquiring probiotics, you may try taking a probiotic supplement.

Summary:
There are tons of probiotic foods choices that you can include in your regular diet. Several varieties of fermented soybeans, vegetables and dairy food are available for those who a diet rich in probiotics. Aside from being extremely healthy, these foods are delicious too!

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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