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TRY THESE 7 PROBIOTIC-RICH FOODS FOR GUT HEALTH
Try these 7 probiotic-rich foods for gut health. The good bacteria may improve digestion, boost immunity, promote a healthy weight and more.
Fermented foods are a hot health topic-and for good reasons. These good bacteria-particularly those in our gut-may improve digestion, boost immunity and help us maintain a healthy weight. Research is still emerging on just how important these mighty microbes might be for our health, but the early results are promising. Take care of your gut, and in turn, it will help take care of you.
Eating foods packed with probiotics-good bacteria-is one way to boost up your gut health (eating more foods that are high in fiber, particularly prebiotic-rich foods, is important too). Fermented foods, like yogurt and kimchi, are rich in probiotics. The good bacteria grow during the fermentation process. Add these seven fermented foods to your diet for a healthy dose of probiotics.
Sauerkraut is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Made from fermented cabbage and other probiotic vegetables, sauerkraut is not diverse in probiotics but is high in organic acids (what gives food its sour taste) that support the growth of good bacteria.
Sauerkraut is extremely popular in Germany today. It is high in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. It’s also a good source of natural lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacillus.
Kimchi is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Sauerkraut's Korean cousin, this fermented cabbage dish is spicy. Look for it in the refrigerated section near other Asian ingredients or pickles and sauerkraut. Eat it on it's own or try it as a burger topper or atop tacos.
Kefir is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir has been consumed for well over 3,000 years; the term kefir originated in Russia and Turkey and means “feeling good.” It has a slightly acidic and tart flavor and contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics.
Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product is higher in probiotics and lower in lactose, making it a suitable choice for many who are lactose-intolerant.
Kombucha is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Kombucha is a tangy, effervescent tea-typically black or green-that's rich in good-for-you yeast and bacteria. The drink is often flavored with herbs or fruit. You can find kombucha in natural foods stores, farmers' markets and your regular grocery store. A tiny amount of alcohol is sometimes produced during fermentation-usually less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years, originating around Japan. Many claims have been made about kombucha, but its primary health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.
Miso is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Miso is a traditional Japanese spice found in many of their traditional foods. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you may have seen their miso soup. Not only that, but it is also one of the mainstays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator.
It is created by fermenting soybean, barley or brown rice with koji. Koji is a fungus, and the fermentation process takes anywhere from a few days to a few years to complete.
Miso soup is famous throughout the world, and it’s very easy to prepare. Simply dissolve a tablespoonful of miso in a pot of water filled with seaweed and other ingredients of your choice. Miso can also be spread on crackers, used in place of butter or added to marinades and stir-fries for an added dose of flavor.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Is apple cider vinegar a good source of probiotics? In addition to controlling blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, improving insulin sensitivity and even enhancing weight loss, apple cider vinegar can also help ramp up probiotic intake as well. Drink a small bit each day or use it as a salad dressing to maximize your results.
Yogurt is one of probiotic-rich foods for gut health - google image
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk. The probiotics in yogurt help digest some of the lactose (milk sugar) so if you're lactose intolerant you may be able to enjoy yogurt. Plus, many companies are now making dairy-free and vegan yogurt options that contain probiotics.
Regardless of how you choose to get in your daily dose of these 7 probiotic-rich foods for gut health, the trick is to get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients to make healthy and delicious meals.
Source: draxe, eatingwell