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Best Probiotics to Include in Your Diet

    A war that you may not be aware of has erupted inside your gut, and the good guys aren’t doing too well. Securing good gut health has never been this important. Poor eating, excessive use of antibiotics, sugar-laden foods, and microbe-feeding prebiotic fiber foods have wrecked your gut health over the years. The bad bacteria present in your guts have learned to overtake the good bacteria: probiotics.

    When good bacteria start to diminish in your gut, gut health is largely affected. The immune system starts to weaken, the metabolism slows down, and your mind becomes slow. This is why gut health needs to be paid more attention to.

    The good news is that over time, research has shown that consuming probiotic food is the solution to all your gut problems as it nourishes the microbiome. Here are some probiotic foods:

    1.   Yogurt

    Yogurt contains friendly bacteria that can improve gut health. Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by good bacteria, including lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

    Yogurt is also great for those who have high blood pressure problems. Due to its immense benefits, yogurt has been linked to improved bone health, too.

    Since yogurt is a probiotic, it can reduce diarrhea in children, which is caused by the use of antibiotics. Moreover, it can help relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) of all ages. If you are lactose intolerant, yogurt may be great for you! This is because the bacteria present in yogurt convert the lactose into lactic acid. This is why yogurt has a sour taste.

    It is important to remember that not all forms of yogurt have live probiotics. Some yogurt types are so processed that the live bacteria die. Hence, it is best to buy fresh yogurt. If you choose to buy one available in the supermarket, make sure to check the label. If it says low-fat or fat-free, the chances are that it might include high levels of sugar.

    2.   Kefir

    Kefir is a popular fermented milk drink that is made from cow’s or goat’s milk. All you need to do is add some kefir grains! Do not mistake kefir grains for cereal grains. Kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that resemble pieces of cauliflower.

    Kefir is derived from the Turkish word “keyif,” which translates to “feeling good” after eating. We’re not surprised. Kefir has numerous health benefits. Alongside improving bone health, it helps prevents digestive problems and protects the body from infections.

    In Western cultures, yogurt is the most popular probiotic food. However, the truth is that kefir is a better source. It is loaded with friendly bacteria and yeast that make it a potent probiotic.

    The good news? Kefir is great for people who cannot tolerate lactose.

    3.   Tempeh

    A popular fermented soybean product, tempeh has a taste similar to that of a mushroom. It can form a patty that is nutty and earthy in flavor. Even though tempeh is an Indonesian dish, it has become popular all over the world, especially as a meat substitute that is high in protein.

    To understand what makes tempeh so nutritious, let’s break down its nutritional values. Soybeans, the main component of tempeh, are loaded with phytic acid that reduces the absorption rate of minerals, such as iron and zinc. However, once fermented, the amount of phytic acid is reduced in tempeh. This allows a higher rate of absorption of minerals in the body.

    The fermentation process also produces vitamin B12- a common vitamin found in meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Hence, tempeh is a go-to for many vegetarians.

    4.   Kimchi

    Kimchi is a Korean side dish that is fermented and spicy. Even though cabbage is the star ingredient in kimchi, it can be made using a variety of vegetables. However, kimchi that is made using cabbage is loaded with minerals and vitamins, including vitamin K, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and iron.

    Different seasonings, such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallion, and salt, are used to flavor kimchi. The lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus is found in kimchi, making it an excellent source for digestive health.

    5.   Pickles

    Who doesn’t like pickles? Pickles go well with all kinds of food, especially cucumber pickles! Also known as gherkins, these cucumbers are pickled in a mixture of salt and water to allow the fermentation process. During the process, the naturally present lactic acid bacteria make the cucumbers sour.

    Pickled cucumbers help improve digestive health, are low in calories, and are a great source of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps blood clotting. However, it is essential to note that pickles can be high in sodium, so should be consumed by blood pressure or uric acid patients.

    Most probiotics can be found online. However, make sure to always read the label carefully to ensure that they do not contain added sugars. Remember, probiotics are used to ensure a healthy gut.