Maybe you’re looking to eat healthier to lose some weight, or you just want to encourage better lifestyle habits in yourself. Either way, you’re probably looking for some good foods to add to your diet. Have you looked into probiotics as ways to make your diet healthier? Today we’re going over some of the best probiotics you can add to your diet!
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are foods that have been shown to encourage the growth of positive bacteria. Your intestinal tract is home to millions of bacteria that help you break down and process the foods you eat, so taking good care of them is vital for good intestinal health! Here are some of the foods you can eat to encourage good intestinal health.
A very beloved German dish, sauerkraut is thinly-shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria. You’ll often see sauerkraut served on top of sausage at German restaurants, or as a side with traditional German food. It has a distinctive sour and salty taste that is described by some as overwhelming, and others as delicious.
Sauerkraut is very good for you for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s packed full of probiotics, which are great for your intestinal health. Secondly, it’s also a great source of vitamins: it’s loaded with vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin K. Notably, if you want the healthiest version of sauerkraut, you need to get the unpasteurized variety.
Kefir is a milk-based drink, created by adding kefir grains to cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Kefir grains aren’t grains in the same sense that barley or oats are grains, but are instead created from lactic acid bacteria cultures. They’ve been described as looking similar to cauliflower.
Notably, even people who are lactose intolerant tend to handle kefir well. This is likely due to the high concentrations of positive bacteria and yeast that are found within kefir, which help to stimulate good digestion and positive intestinal health. People who commonly consume it tend to praise the good overall feeling they get from ingesting the drink.
Likely the least exotic of the foods on this list, yogurt is not dissimilar from kefir. Both are great sources of probiotics, and both are dairy-based. Like kefir, yogurt tends to be easier on the stomach for people who are lactose intolerant.
Yogurt has a variety of positive health impacts. It’s great for bone health, as well as being an excellent source of calcium. Make sure, however, that the yogurt brandy you’re choosing has live cultures or bacteria in it, otherwise it won’t give you the great probiotic health benefits. Likewise, make sure the brand you’re getting doesn’t have a ton of added sugars.
The much-beloved Korean food kimchi is another excellent source of probiotics. The fermented cabbage dish has been compared positively to sauerkraut, as the two foods are both fermented cabbage dishes. However, unlike sauerkraut, kimchi can be made from a variety of other vegetables, too.
As far as health benefits go, kimchi is really great for you. It’s loaded with a lactic acid bacteria named for the dish, Lactobacillus kimchii, as well as vitamin K and vitamin B2. In addition, it’s a great source of iron!
Another far East favorite, miso is a Japanese seasoning that is traditionally made from fermented soybeans with koji, a Japanese fungus. Commonly, miso is added to soup, and such soups are considered a staple of breakfast foods in Japan. The seasoning has been described as earthy, salty and savory.
Miso is high in both protein and fiber, and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of breast cancer in middle-aged women. Much like other probiotics, miso is also a great source of vitamin K and positive bacteria.