A lot of people are becoming more interested in probiotics as they learn of their many benefits. While you can obtain a good supply of probiotics from supplements, there are many probiotic foods that you might not be aware of. These are just a few of the probiotic foods you might want to consider adding to your diet, as well as some of their benefits.
Probiotics – The Basics
Before we get into the subject of probiotic foods, it’s important that you know what probiotics are in the first place. The best probiotic foods are filled with good bacteria.
These good bacteria, or probiotics, help to reinforce the supply of beneficial microbes you already have in your gut, or gastrointestinal tract.
Now, your gut is filled with trillions of good bacteria, but harmful microbes also reside there. This environment is known as your gut microbiome, and the microbes inside this environment are collectively known as the gut flora. Your gut health may be affected when the harmful microbes outnumber the good ones. An imbalance of good and bad microbes might lead to something known as “leaky gut syndrome.” This occurs when there are weaknesses in the lining of your intestines, allowing toxins to enter your digestive system.1
In order to protect your digestive health, you need to make sure you have plenty of beneficial microbes. That’s where probiotic foods come in. Some of them you’ve heard of, others you might be learning about for the first time. Let’s take a look at some of the best probiotic foods and the benefits they can provide to help protect your gut health.
You can also get probiotics from drinks such as kombucha. This fermented tea is packed with bacteria that help digestion. Some of these bacteria also play a role in producing cellulose, a substance that helps protects your cells.2
Sauerkraut is one of the best probiotic foods. You might have had it as a side dish, or as a topping for a sandwich, and never realized the benefits it can provide. It’s packed with probiotics – in fact, it has several beneficial strains of good bacteria that contribute to healthy gut flora. These microbes not only help ensure that your job properly absorbs nutrients from food, they can also help protect you from certain digestive issues.3,4
This Korean dish is closely related to sauerkraut. Both come from fermented cabbage. The fermentation process is what produces the good bacteria that can help digestion. There are other benefits of kimchi as well. It has a lot of fiber, which can help to lower the levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad” cholesterol in your blood.5 Fiber also promotes a feeling of fullness, so you will be less likely to overdo it at the dinner table.6
This is a soup base which many people in Japan eat for breakfast. Miso paste can also be used to season veggie dishes and other foods. Not only is miso packed with probiotics, it also contains copper, vitamin K, and manganese.7
Other Probiotic Foods
These are just a few more probiotic foods that you might want to consider.
Beet Kvass – This fermented drink originated in Russia. Beets are not only a great source of fiber, but potassium as well.8
Apple Cider Vinegar – This is a beverage that has been around for centuries. Probiotic-rich ACV may also help keep your weight down and reduce your blood sugar levels.9,10
Wrapping it Up
As you can see, the best probiotic foods deliver substantial digestive health-boosting benefits. These benefits involve not only your gut health, but your overall health. However, you should always speak to your doctor first before adding probiotic foods to your diet, or making any other significant changes to your eating routine. Now you can familiarize yourself with prebiotic foods to learn even more.
Prebiotic Foods 101 (and the 5 best to eat)
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