5 Probiotic rich foods to add to your diet
Do you often feel sluggish and bloated? Struggling to lose those last few stubborn kilos? Feel like your hormones might be off balance? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you might want to take a closer look at your gut health.
Our digestive health is an essential part of our physical and mental wellbeing, and if you are eating a highly-processed diet of complex carbohydrates, sugar and fat, then your gut microbiome might be begging for a little balance. According to a study on gut bacteria in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, having a wide variety of good bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity and provide numerous other benefits.
So how do we add more of those good guys into our gut? Probiotics of course.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (mostly bacteria) that are great for our digestive health. They contribute to the colony of good bacteria in our bodies and help us fight off any bad bacteria that might be causing havoc. While you can definitely buy probiotics over the counter as supplements (always check with your healthcare provider before doing so), one of the best ways to get probiotics is through food.
Here are our top 5 probiotic-rich, fermented foods to start adding to your diet today.
The perfect addition to your smoothie, morning cereal or on top of fresh fruit, Yoghurt is an easy and inexpensive probiotic-rich food to add to your diet. High in lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacterial, yoghurt contains live bacteria to help rebalance your gut.
Kombucha is a delicious, fermented tea bursting with antioxidant-rich benefits and probiotics. Created over 2,000 years ago by ancient Chinese Qigong Masters, Kombucha is a week-long fermentation process whereby a SCOBY (culture of bacteria and yeast), sugar and black/green tea is steeped for its medicinal benefits on the digestive tract.
This spicy Korean side dish is made of fermented cabbage and other vegetables, along with seasonings such as chilli, salt, ginger and garlic. Apart from being a probiotic that is great for balancing the gut bacteria, cabbage kimchi is also high in iron and vitamins K and B2.
Made from soybean, salt and a koji starter, Japanese miso soup is a delicious and simple way to add more probiotics into your diet. Rich in vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, the process used to ferment miso ensures that nutrients are easily absorbed into the body.
Rich in nutrients and probiotics, this creamy, yoghurt drink is possibly one of the most beneficial on the list for gut health. Typically made from cow’s milk and starter grains, kefir has bioactive compounds like peptides which have been known to contribute to health. Dairy intolerant? No worries. Non-dairy kefir alternatives are also available, such as those made from coconut milk and coconut water.
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1. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973), last access in May 2021