If you are wondering what foods are great sources of probiotics then look no further. This article details the probiotic foods that will help your digestive system, support your immune system, and promote overall health.
The most common source of probiotics is already a favorite breakfast or snack of so many people. Yogurt is a result of bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make this probiotic food are called yogurt cultures. Made using active and good bacteria, yogurt provides the digestive tract with a healthy amount of beneficial bacteria which fights pathogenic organisms that can make you sick. Yogurt’s live and active cultures break down lactose in milk, hence people who are lactose intolerant can take advantage of consuming yogurt and receiving its benefits without the side effects such as bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
Soy milk is a popular milk alternative and is highly recommended for people who have lactose intolerance, allergies, diabetes, and heart diseases. Soy milk is made from soybeans which are protein rich legumes with high nutritional value. Although it naturally has probiotic benefits, with added extra live cultures, soy milk can provide your digestive system the healthy bacteria to help maintain the natural balance of organisms in your intestines.
Raw milk or fresh cheeses that use a couple of bacterial strains in the process of fermenting cheese have the beneficial microbes that the body needs. Feta is a good example. Typically made with goat or sheep milk, but can also be made with cows’s milk, Feta is kept in brine and has probiotic benefits. If you are thinking of getting your probiotics from Pizza cheeses, you will be disappointed. The mozzarella cheeses used in pizzas are not fermented and do not have probiotic benefits.
Not all milk but various types of milk now have added probiotics. These probiotic-enhanced milk products have undergone fermentation with bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus that is why it is also labeled sweet acidophilus milk. Any other milk that is cultured with lactic acid bacteria is a good source of probiotics.
Kombucha or fermented tea is popular in Asia. The Kobmbucha culture is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It also contains organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols which are produced by microbes. This fermented and sweetened tea which is also referred to as ‘mushroom’ is used as a functional food. It is a dark tea which is known to boost energy and promote natural digestion. You can easily find it in Asian grocery stores or health food stores.
Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans although it can be made from other types of beans, wheat, or a mixture of beans and whole grains. It is also traditionally an Asian soy product but if Tofu is from ancient China, tempeh originated in today’s Indonesia. The process of making tempeh involves natural culturing and controlled fermentation that bind the soybeans into a cake form. Aside from probiotics, it also has natural antibiotics, and is rich in protein. This patty is used like a tofu which can be incorporated in meals in place of meat.
Naturally fermented varieties such as brine-cured and salt-cured contain significant amounts of lactobacilli. So if you are to get your probiotics from fermented pickles make sure to avoid pasteurized and products preserved with sodium benzoate which is intended for prolonged shelf-life as these will kill the beneficial bacteria. Traditional method using sea salt and water will promote growth of beneficial bacteria that your body needs.
Another Asian food in the list is this popular Korean side dish made of vegetables and seasonings. It is a nutritious dish filled with high concentrations of dietary fiber and low calories. It has vitamins, calcium, and probiotics that are beneficial for overall health.
(Continued on Next Page… Dark Chocolate + Probiotic Supplements + Recommendation)
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