What do yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, and cheese have in common? For starters, they are all delicious. Even more importantly, however, they are all rich in probiotics — the beneficial bacteria that can help improve your gut health.
Are you in the habit of making probiotic foods and beverages a regular part of your diet? If so, good for you! If not, well, there’s no time like the present to begin! Read on to learn about five foods that provide friendly bacteria that are good for your health.
Fans of Korean food know that this spicy, funky take on sauerkraut is one of the Asian cuisine’s most popular exports. If you have never had kimchi, you are in for a treat. Kimchi is a blend of napa cabbage, daikon radish, and a few other crisp, crunchy vegetables fermented with gochujang, a red chile paste.
Snack on this probiotic-rich dish by itself, incorporate into a savory pancake or stir a few spoonfuls into your next bowl of ramen.
Kimchi is available at many mainstream supermarkets these days, as well as Asian groceries and restaurants. For a fun foodie project, try making your own!
There’s nothing quite like a crisp, cold, sour dill pickle to wake up your taste buds. If you choose fermented pickles, they will also provide great probiotic benefits to your tummy.
In the U.S., many people think that pickles are exclusively made from cucumbers, but in fact, you can pickle just about any vegetable (and even some fruits). Red onions, zucchini, and green beans are just a few of the many forms of produce that take well to pickling.
Note that using a vinegar solution to pickle your cukes or other veg won’t result in a probiotic product. For the benefits of good bacteria, ferment your pickles the traditional way, with brine and time.
Perhaps the most famous of all probiotic foods, yogurt is incredibly versatile. Eat it with granola or muesli for breakfast, make plain yogurt into a salad dressing or sauce, or drop a dollop into your post-workout protein smoothie.
Make sure to look for yogurt that contains live and active cultures, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, acidophilus, and bifidus.
Kombucha is all the rage these days, and with good reason. This naturally fizzy tea-based beverage is refreshing, comes in lots of appealing flavors, and packs a probiotic punch that will keep your GI system working smoothly.
Buy bottled kombucha at the grocery store, get it on tap at certain health food stores and juice shops, or brew up a batch of your own so it’s always available.
Have you ever dined at a Japanese restaurant? If so, you have likely tasted miso soup, traditionally served as a first course. Miso is made from fermented soybeans. Not only is it rich in umami, but it will also do a body good if consumed regularly.
Sip on miso broth if you feel a cold coming on, cook up a warming bowl of miso soup, or use this taste paste in a dressing or marinade. Miso is especially nice when used to glaze fish, such as cod or salmon.
In addition to being a good source of protein and fiber, miso is high in vitamin K, manganese and copper.
Getting Hungry For Some Probiotic Foods?
By now, your mouth is probably watering! If you don’t have any of these probiotic foods in your fridge right now, a trip to the store might be in order.
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