8 Foods Rich In Probiotics For Your Gut
- Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits.
- They include - Yoghurt, Traditional Buttermilk, Pickles, Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Cheese, and Kefir.
- There are various sources of probiotic-rich foods.
- Consuming these foods boosts not just gut health, but also overall well-being.
What is your first reaction when you hear the words microbes? Eww, Gross! Are we right? Well, we're here to change your perspective on that - not all microbes are bad. Some of them live in our intestines and support our digestion and immunity as well. These are the 'good bacteria' or the gut microbiome living in our systems.
Some foods can promote the growth of good bacteria. These are called probiotics.
Read on to know more about foods rich in probiotics, and for a complete list of some of the best probiotic-rich foods.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts, which when ingested in an adequate amount provide health benefits. They are good bacteria that help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut when it is disrupted.
You can get probiotics from various supplements as well as from foods prepared by bacterial fermentation.
Best sources of probiotic foods
At this point, you must be asking yourself, what foods are high in probiotics? And how to improve gut health naturally?
Here are some best probiotic foods which can help keep it healthy and balanced:
Yogurt is one of the best and easily available sources of probiotics. Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by probiotics, mainly lactic acid bacteria.
Eating yogurt is associated with many health benefits, including improved bone health. It is also beneficial for people with high blood pressure. In children, yogurt can reduce and control diarrhea caused by antibiotics. It can even help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and restore gut health.
Additionally, yogurt may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. This is because the bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which is also what gives yogurt its sour taste.
2. Traditional buttermilk
The term 'buttermilk' actually refers to a range of fermented dairy drinks. It is commonly drunk in some Asian countries.
There are two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.
Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter and is rich in probiotics, minerals, and vitamins. Only this version contains probiotics, and it is sometimes called grandma's probiotic.
Cultured buttermilk, commonly found in supermarkets, generally does not have any probiotic benefits.
Buttermilk is low in fat and calories but contains several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.
Pickles are another traditional form of probiotics that is commonly prepared by the process of fermentation with the help of sea salt and water.
Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been preserved in a solution of salt and water. Make sure that vinegar shouldn't be used while making it as may not contain probiotic effects.
Pickles are low in calories and high in vitamin K and sodium. They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour.
How do probiotics help, you ask? Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria, which may improve digestive health. They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with black or green tea and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It is consumed in many parts of the world and is no longer restricted to Asian countries.
However, because kombucha is fermented with bacteria and yeast, it does probably have health benefits related to its probiotic properties.
Kimchi is a fermented food rich in probiotics that provide a wide range of health benefits. It is Asian fermented food that is made mainly from cabbage and radishes.
What foods have lactobacillus, you may ask? Kimchi is rich in lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchi, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health.
Kimchi made from cabbage is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin B2, and iron. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient, but it can also be made from other vegetables.
Kimchi is flavored with a mix of seasonings, such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallion, and salt.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that boosts the healthy flora in the gut, raises your immune system, and even improves your overall health. It is rich in lactobacillus even more than yogurt. It also contains antioxidants, which keep your eyes healthy.
Sauerkraut is often used on top of sausages or as a side dish. It has a sour, salty taste and can be stored for months in an airtight container.
In addition to its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut is rich in fiber as well as vitamins C and K. It is also high in sodium and contains iron and potassium.
Soft cheeses that are made from unpasteurized milk—such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, etc. typically contain beneficial bacteria. The longer the cheese ages, the more beneficial bacteria for your belly. Good bacteria survive the aging process.
Cheese is highly nutritious and a very good source of protein. It is also rich in important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.
Moderate consumption of dairy products such as cheese may even lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
The word 'kefir' is thought to come from the Turkish word 'key if', which means feeling good after eating. If you have lactose intolerance then Kefir would be the best choice.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink made by adding kefir grains to cow's or goat's milk. Kefir grains are not cereal grains, but rather cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast.
Kefir has been found to colonize the intestinal tract, which makes them more likely to confer their healing benefits to your gut. It may improve bone health, help with some digestive problems, and protect against infections.
While yogurt is probably one of the best-known probiotic foods in the Western diet, kefir is a better source of good bacteria and is generally well tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant.
The above-listed 8 best probiotic-rich foods can provide all the benefits that can be provided by the consumption of probiotics. What's more, they can be prepared at home, with minimal requirements to suit your diet and healthy food requirements.
We hope that we've given a satisfactory answer to your question about what foods have probiotics in them? Keep reading our nutrition blogs, to know more about such foods to improve your gut health.
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- Health benefits of taking Probiotics. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics
- Probiotics. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics
- Probiotics - What you need to know. Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know