Primarily contained in most yogurts, probiotics are the good bacteria in our bodies that support healthy digestive tract chemistry and a strong immune system. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to get some of this beneficial stuff flowing through your system—especially if you’re not a huge yogurt or dairy buff. One way is to take daily supplements filled the live bacterium culture, but another way simply involves eating some key probiotic potent foods. Below is a list of five you can try, so you can start building a healthy gut today!
Kombucha tea: This natural, fermented tea is one of a kind when it comes to both taste and health benefits. Known to contain a significant amount of probiotics due to the fermentation process, this healthy-bacteria packed drink can not only keep your gut balanced but also increases energy, helps promote weight loss and protects liver function. The fungus culture in kombucha tea is even known to help tame cases of E. coli and Staph bacteria.
Dark chocolate: Chocolate itself, when made from pure cocoa, contains things like antioxidants and flavonoids which are wonderful for your body. However, when combined with probiotics, chocolate can be a probiotic powerhouse. Compared to yogurts and other dairy products, chocolate can fit up to four times the amount of probiotics—making it one of the best sources of the healthy bacteria out there. As if we needed another reason to love chocolate, right?
Miso soup: Turns out miso soup isn’t just your favorite Japanese dish—it’s also one of the most abundant sources of nutrients and healthy metabolic function. In Japanese culture, it’s even used for medicinal purposes to help regulate digestion. Brewed from fermented beans, rye, rice or barley, the resulting broth is packed with healthy gut bacteria like the anti-inflammatory lactobacillus and nourishing bifidus.
Kimchi: This traditional Korean dish is a great source of probiotic intake. Adored for its tart vinegar taste and unique flavor, Kimchi is actually nothing more than pickled sauerkraut. It starts out as cabbage, which, when fermented produces all the lovely gut-supporting probiotics our bodies want, like lactobacillus. Aside from probiotics, it contains awesome nutrients like beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. Kimchi is also thought to prevent ailments like the avian flu virus. Talk about a hot mouthful!
Pickles: When made using a process called lacto-fermentation—meaning without the added vinegar—pickles become a breeding ground for probiotic growth. When ingested, they help balance and maintain stomach flora, supporting general well -being. Not only does this natural process create a plentiful environment live with vitamins and nutrients, it also helps preserve the actual pickle itself.
Try these great sources of probiotics today—your stomach will thank you!
Photo Credit: Mimi McCormick