Not all microorganisms are harmful to our bodies and health. Some of them are highly beneficial and improve overall health and regulate different biological processes. A large number of bacteria are present in the gut, and most of them are very valuable. They help in improving digestion, immune system, skin condition, and even weight loss.
Probiotics are live microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria that are taken orally and help in fighting diseases including digestive disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, and constipation. Probiotics can be obtained in the form of supplements or naturally produced foods.
Let’s Take A Look At Probiotics Rich Foods Sources:
Soybeans are a great source of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. They also contain minerals and several essential vitamins which can reduce the risk of breast cancer rich sources of probiotics. Fermented soybeans are not only delicious but contain some highly beneficial probiotics. Research has found that after fermentation, Tempeh has a high quantity of vitamin B12 which is typically found in meat, fish, and dairy products. If you are a vegetarian, Tempeh is not only a perfect probiotics source, but it will also help you meet the needs of vitamin B12.
Cheese made from unpasteurized milk is also a. Aged cheese like cottage cheese Parmigiano Reggiano which is made from raw milk contains an immense quantity of microorganisms that help in enhancing the gut microbiome. Such a type of cheese enables enzymes to digest fats and proteins. However, sometimes raw cheese may contain unhealthy bacteria that may affect the health adversely.
Yogurt is the best and the most important source of probiotics. Milk is fermented by gut-friendly bacteria to make the highly nutritious yogurt. Bacteria used for fermentation are bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. Antibiotics are recommended to treat bacterial infections. However, the medicine kills both good and bad bacteria and disturbs the gut. Yogurt is a natural remedy for diarrhea caused by the use of antibiotics. Look out for yogurt with active cultures and the least amount of added sugar.
Kimchi is a famous South Korean side dish that is super spicy and totally vegetarian. The main ingredient is cabbage. However, different vegetables can be added to it. This superfood is flavored by adding red chili, onions, garlic, and ginger. Kimchi is made from lactic acid bacteria, and it contains a significant quantity of vitamin B, K, and iron. Some of you may find it extra spicy, but it is a delicious side dish indeed.
Natto is another product made by fermenting soybean by using Bacillus subtilis. You will find it easily in Japan as it is a typical side dish with rice. Natto contains vitamin B6, antioxidants, and folate. It helps in improving digestion by creating a healthy gut flora and defends the body against harmful microorganisms and toxins. It is known to have a very positive effect in reducing the issues of the digestive system such as constipation, gas, diarrhea, and bloating. It is also beneficial for having stronger bones as vitamin K2 in Natto increase the calcium absorption of the bones. It helps in improving the immune functions as it is high in iron, zinc, selenium, copper, and vitamin C.
Kefir is another milk drink that is made by fermentation. Kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that is added to goat or cow’s fresh milk. Kefir is famous for treating infections and improving bone health. It is a diverse source of friendly bacteria that yogurt. It contains a wide range of gut-friendly and bacteria. Kefir is a rich source of essential nutrients, and research is being carried out on how it can be useful for protecting the body against cancer.
Sauerkraut is a delicious probiotics option for those who are not interested in dairy products. It is made by chopping cabbage into fine pieces and fermenting it with lactic acid bacteria. In most countries of Europe, Sauerkraut is used as a side dish with main course food. It is a long-lasting source of probiotics as it can be stored for months in an airtight container. Fermentation gives it a sour and salty taste as it has a high quantity of sodium and iron. It is also a great source of vitamin B, C, K, and antioxidants that improve the overall health of your body.
Miso is another soybean source of probiotics made by mixing barley rye and rice. It is a traditional Japanese seasoning used in Miso soup. Miso is also a rich source of fiber and protein, vitamin B, K, Folic acid, and manganese. It is incredibly beneficial in the process of digestion and assimilation of essential nutrients of the body. It is available in different flavors and colors and can easily be added to your weekly diet.
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink that can be divided into two categories, i.e. traditional and cultured buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is low in fat and contains essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorous, and riboflavin. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which makes it easy to digest. It is highly beneficial for bones and helps in preventing degenerative Osteoporosis. It also helps in improving oral health by reducing inflammation of gums. For those who are lactose intolerant, buttermilk may not be a suitable choice. You can easily find traditional buttermilk in the central Asian countries like Pakistan, Nepal, and India. Cultured buttermilk is easily found in America.
Sourdough Bread is a probiotic-rich alternative to the regular bread. It has a lower level of phytate and is easy to digest. It is also a preferable option for individuals who are gluten intolerant. However, it may not be equally suitable for everybody who is intolerant to gluten. It is highly notorious with a low quantity of fat which makes it more desirable. Sourdough Bread has a high amount of folate and vitamin E.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with green or black tea. The tea is a famous drink in Asia, which is made by using gut-friendly bacteria and yeast. It is rich in antioxidants and helps in fighting free radicals and molecules that can damage the healthy cells of the body. The anti-microbial effect of Kombucha helps in killing harmful microorganisms and infection-causing bacteria. It also reduces the risk of heart diseases by having a significant impact on bad and good cholesterol. Make sure to buy Kombucha, which is appropriately made to reap all potential benefits from this probiotic-rich tea. Remember to avoid brands that offer high added sugar.
Kvass is a fermented beverage in Eastern Europe. It is made by using barley or rye along with fruits and vegetables. Kvass contains lactobacilli which helps clean the liver and blood. It is not intoxicating as it includes a minimal amount of alcohol. It is rich in dietary fiber and has a lower sugar level.
Acidophilus milk is another probiotic drink containing strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus which helps in breaking down sugar into lactic acid. Apart from improving gut health, the bacterium also helps in fighting against depression, infections, inflammatory bowel disease. It helps in enhancing the immunity of the body by catering to painful and irritable infections. It is also a favorable solution for lactose intolerance. It also reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance by metabolizing lactose in the stomach.
Pickles are cucumbers soaked in salt and water solution with added vinegar. The mixture is left for some time in an airtight container in which lactic acid bacteria dwell. Pickles contain a high quantity of vitamin K, which helps in improving bone health and reduces blood clotting. Another great benefit of pickles is that it affects the blood sugar level and helps the patients of diabetes type 2. Fermented cucumbers also provide enough electrolytes and keep the body hydrated. Pickles are a perfect vegan probiotics source that can be easily added to the daily diet.
Types of Probiotic Bacteria.
Different types of probiotics already reside in the gut. If the number drops, it may affect gut health and eventually the whole body. If you find the following bacteria in the products, be sure that they are the gut-friendly bacteria: –
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus Reuteri
- Streptococcus Thermophilus
- Saccharomyces Boulardii
- Bifidobacterium Bifidum
- Bacillus Subtilis
Always have a Balanced Diet.
If you think the probiotics are the right solution for your gut problems, make sure to have a balanced diet. Add probiotic-rich foods to your diet in such a way that the quantity of no other essential nutrients is disturbed to a dangerous level. Add fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meat to your diet along with the above mentioned probiotic foods to give your body a full dose of healthy snacks. Make a colorful and delicious combination of side dishes and main course to enjoy your food to the fullest.