It seems there is so much emphasis on probiotics these days.
In fact, these helpful bacteria are being being added to a plethera of foods, but do we really need them to be?
The best sources of probiotics are found by eating foods that naturally contain good gut microbes.
We do know that we need these little guys to be healthy. They allow our intestines to work properly, they produce vitamin K, they are an important part of a healthy immune system, and have even been shown to prevent yeast infections. Have you ever felt horrible after taking an antibiotic? This is because the antibiotic also kills much of the good bacteria in your digestive tract.
Because bacteria have the ability to reproduce rapidly, most people do not need probiotic supplements, especially if you’re eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit as well as consuming foods that naturally contain them.
Here are 13 foods that are natural sources of probiotics.
- Yogurt: Although not all yogurts contain live cultures, yogurt is one of the most well known sources containing this type of bacteria.
- Kombucha: Found in health food stores, kombucha is produced from tea and live cultures. Although some people find the taste hard to swallow, this low calorie and healthy drink is a great choice.
- Kefir: High not only in antioxidants, but also lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria ,traditionally kefir is a combination of goat milk and fermenting kefir grains.
- Sauerkraut: Most famously known for being a big part of the German diet, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that contains many health benefits.
- Pickles: Not only useful for hamburger toppings, pickles are a great source of probiotics.
- Miso: Usually added in soups, Miso, which is made from soybeans, fermented rye, and either rice or barley is famous for being an element in traditional Japanese medicine.
- Tempeh: A top vegetarian pick, tempeh is made from soybeans. Tempeh is usually a substitue used for meat or tofu.
- Buttermilk: Commonly used in salad dressings or smoothies, buttermilk is full of probiotic bacteria.
- Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese, along with other aged cheeses, are great to add into your daily diet.
- Natto: Made from fermented soy beans, is a Japanese food that contains Bacillus subtilis.
- Kim Chi: is a traditional Korean dish composed of fermented vegetables.
- Unpastorized Olives: They serve not only as a popular trimming for foods, but also they have been used to fight heart disease.
- Sour Cream: Obtained after fermenting cream by lactic acid producing bacteria.
Eating foods rich in probiotics is the best way to make sure you’re keeping your gut flora healthy, however, people with dietary restrictions may need to supplement. When choosing a probiotic supplement, just make sure it contains high quality cultures and bacterial cultures that would naturally be found in the human intestines.