Probiotics are live micro-organisms with beneficial health properties, the “good” bacteria that live within our body. Probiotics do many wonderful things for our body, including supporting immune health, digestive health and protecting against the development of food sensitivities. They also help metabolise certain foods, and aid in the synthesis of essential nutrients like folate and Vitamin K.
It’s important to support the growth of good bacteria within our bodies, as environmental factors such as alcohol, stress, diet and antibiotic use can all damage the colonies of healthy bacteria living in our systems. Below is a list of Be Well’s top ten probiotic rich foods, an excellent, natural way to support your probiotic health!
Yoghurt is rich in probiotics, produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. A yoghurt that is traditionally made, full fat and organic with no added sugars or sweeteners is a great way to get a bump of probiotic goodness in the morning, or as a snack throughout the day.
This traditional Japanese dish made from the fermentation of soybeans is rich in probiotics and can be used in a variety of different ways. Miso is a great base for soups, marinades, pickles and sauces. We like to make homemade miso soup, especially when the weather gets cooler.
Sauerkrauts distinctive sour taste is caused by the fermentation of the cabbage by lactic acid bacteria. Along with creating a probiotic rich culture, the fermentation process also makes the nutrients in the cabbage very bioavailable. Sauerkraut is also an excellent source of Vitamin K.
Here is a recipe to make your own batch of Sauerkraut at home. It's fairly simple.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink produced using lactic acid bacteria and yeast “grains”. Kefir can be made with milk alternatives such as coconut, rice and almond milk, so it’s a great probiotic alternative for people who are lactose intolerant. I have made water kefir at home since when my kids were dairy intolerant. You can buy grains online.
Kimchi is the Korean version of sauerkraut. Made with fermented cabbage, radish or cucumber, kimchi is a rich probiotic dish with a variety of spices.
Many vegetables can be lactofermented to create delicious probiotic snacks. Carrots, beetroot, zucchini, asparagus, beans, eggplant, capsicum and turnips are all examples of vegetables that can be fermented easily to create probiotic rich foods.
Kombucha is very popular here at Be Well, and we’ve already made a blogpost detailing how you can make your own. A fizzy, refreshing, probiotic drink, kombucha is packed full of good stuff and tastes amazing - a healthy alternative to sodas and fizzy drinks. Along with it’s beneficial probiotic properties, kombucha is also a great source of antioxidants, plus it’s a great detoxification aid.
Similar to tofu, tempeh is a product made from fermented whole soy beans. Along with excellent probiotic properties, tempeh is higher in protein, dietary fibre and vitamins than tofu, and is a great meat substitute.
Buttermilk is a traditional milk product, fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It can be drank alone, or added to cooking and is very soothing to the stomach.
Natto is another Japanese food, made from small fermented soy beans. Rich in probiotics, natto is also rich in Vitamin K, and aids in maintaining healthy blood viscosity. However, it has an unusual texture and a strong flavour, so is an acquired taste.
Source: Mediherb/ Proherb