It’s a well-known fact that our gut contains both good and bad bacteria within and that these bacteria can come through a variety of sources. Probiotics are the common name for the good bacteria, most of which belong to either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium groups. Probiotics serve to help our digestive tract move the food in an efficient way. Probiotics also help with many digestive conditions such as the irritable bowels or diarrhea. One common cause of losing probiotics in our gut is the use of antibiotics that kill of both the good and the bad bacteria and eating foods rich in probiotics helps restore the balance in our guts. Here is the list of the 10 best foods to eat when trying to restore the levels of probiotics in your gut.
Spirulina is a king of food that is very rich in protein but also some other valuable nutrients, like iron, which is fairly rare for non-animal products, making it a great choice for vegans. Another nutrient that is present in a high dose in spirulina is calcium which serves to improve bone health and is great for pregnant women. Spirulina is also a great antioxidant, 4 times more potent than blueberries and its only real downside is the fairly unpleasant taste which can be annulled by eating spirulina as a part of a smoothie or in capsules. Spirulina is of course also a great source of probiotics and consuming it will improve your gut flora.
Kefir is one of the more famous fermented foods and is a dairy product similar to yogurt. Many types of good bacteria live in kefir and consuming this food is one of the best ways of restoring your gut flora as there are more probiotics in kefir than almost any other food out there. Kafir, like most dairy products is also high in calcium making it great for your bones as well.
Another fermented drink, kombucha is often used in Asia as an energy enhancer and general health booster. There are a number of probiotics living inside kombucha and along with the vitamins B and C, kombucha is an excellent addition to your diet. This fermented tea is great for most people and may only be somewhat problematic if you tend to have issues with the candida yeast.
Traditionally made in Japan, Miso is made of beans, rye and barley and is a great source of both types of probiotics. The Miso paste is never eaten alone and is usually used to create either a Miso soup or several types of sauces and spreads, which are all highly nutritional.
Yoghurt is probably the best known source of probiotics, avalilable in stores in any country of the world. The process of making yoghurt is simple and involves adding bacteria to regular milk. This makes it rich in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and since it is made of milk, it is also very rich in calcium. While yoghurt in theory is a good probiotic rich food, it often ends up being trash food because many manufacturers add much sugar and corn syrup to it. A healthy and well-made yoghurt however is the best probiotics source you can easily add to your daily diet.
6. Umeboshi Plums
Another interesting Japanese food, made of nanko plums mixed with shiso leaves, Umboshi Plums are pink and highly rich in probiotics. These plums are great for digestion and nausea issues and have also been known to help cure hangovers.
The famous German pickled cabbage is one of the most commonly found fermented foods in Europe. When properly fermented, sauerkraut becomes a great probiotics source but also a powerful source of vitamins B, C and K as well as magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium, making it one of the richest sources of nutrition you can get your hands on. Sauerkraut is also a great antioxidant and some research has showed it to even reduce the chances of developing cancer.
Pickles are another easy way of introducing probiotics to your diet. The problem here is that there are two types of pickles. The ones pickled in vinegar are no source of probiotics at all, so you will want to find the ones that are actually fermented. Fermented pickes will usually not be found in normal supermarkets and you may need to find a healthy food store in order to buy some.
Tempeh is made of soybeans and is a common meat replacement used by vegans and vegetarians around the globe. Tempeh is a great source of probiotics but also other micronutrients, such as copper, fiber and vitamin B2. The copper combined with manganese found inside Tempeh serves to greatly enhance your collagen synthesis which helps with healing of all sorts of wounds. Tempeh is a great nutritional source with lots of protein, but due to the very caloric nature it should be consumed in moderation.
Kimchi is another kind of fermented cabbage, similar to sauerkraut, with the addition of radish and cucumbers, which is commonly made in Korea. Kimchi is eaten with almost any meal in Korea and is very rich in vitamins A, B, C and calcium and iron as well as probiotics which help regulate the gut flora.