Add these probiotic powerhouses to your diet for a healthy gut!
Have you been told that you need to add probiotic foods to your diet? Are you unsure of exactly what that means? There is a good chance you are already consuming foods that include probiotics and do not even know it!
There are so many different functions going on inside your body at any given time it’s important to try and understand what we can do to keep it running at its best. With cold and flu season hitting everyone hard this year, let’s work on giving your body the best chance to fight off all of the nasty bugs by keeping it balanced with good bacteria and a strong immune system.
What are Probiotics and How Do They Work?
First off, what are probiotics and how do they work inside your body? Probiotics are a mix of good bacteria strains (including lactobacillus and bifidobacteria), along with yeast (bacillus subtilis). These are found in your gut and work with other ingredients to make up your unique gut microbiome.
To keep your gut health running efficiently, you need a healthy balance of good bacteria. This allows it to fight off any bad bacteria that try to enter the body. Keep in mind it is all about finding the right balance; if you overdo your probiotic levels, you can end up with very uncomfortable side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and IBS issues.
Probiotics also help build up your immune system by keeping your body in a balanced state. A few health benefits include helping your body digest food, fight bad bacteria, create vitamins, and can even break down medications you need to take.
When you begin looking at food labels for probiotics, you will want to keep an eye out for the label to include “live and active cultures.”
The Ultimate List of Probiotic Foods
Your body naturally includes good bacteria. Some foods are also probiotic powerhouses and great to add to your diet to keep your gut balanced!
There are so many different ways you can include yogurt into your daily diet! We recommend trying this awesome yogurt vanilla bean shake for breakfast or lunch for a high-quality dairy product with a tasty dose of probiotic goodness!
Cottage cheese offers you a great source of probiotics and is also a great way to add in some protein. You can add it in at breakfast with this breakfast bowl or try using it as a side for a light lunch. You will be shocked at how many different ways you can use it in your meals!
If you are following a vegan diet, or you just prefer the flexibility of tempeh in your meals, it is a great source of probiotics. Try out this Maple Glazed Tempeh with Quinoa and Kale recipe for a well-balanced meal the whole family will love!
This is another great way to add probiotics to your system. You can purchase bottled kombucha, or learn How To Brew Kombucha At Home!
While miso is best known for being used in Miso Soup, there are many different ways you can add it to your diet. It is a Japanese paste made out of soybeans, salt, and koji, that have been through the fermentation process. One of our favorite ways is this Orange Miso Wild Cod recipe!
This fermented milk drink has been used dating back to ancient times to help people add probiotics into their system and aid in keeping gut health balanced.
Fermented pickles are a great treat that is low in calories! They offer a great source of vitamins and add a satisfying taste and crunch to sandwiches and other meals. You can also try them on their own with this yummy oven-fried pickle recipe.
This fermented food can add a fun twist to a variety of meals and is packed full of probiotic goodness. We encourage you to try this pierogi casserole to mix up your next family dinner night!
Apple Cider Vinegar
In its fermented state, apple cider vinegar is a great way to get good bacteria into your gut and help things work properly. You can use it as a refreshing liquid drink in the summertime in place of dehydrating alcohol options. If you really want to branch out, you can make your own and see the process from start to finish!
Related: Apple Cider Vinegar and Cranberry Detox Drink
A great way to get your probiotics in for lunch or dinner is with this easy kimchi recipe. The different flavors and textures might take a little getting used to if it’s not something you have eaten before, but you may learn that you really like it. Added bonus, it’s good for your gut health!
How Can I Naturally Get More Probiotic Bacteria?
There are a variety of sources of probiotics, and you also naturally have some already in your body. It is highly recommended to use natural foods to get your daily probiotic bacteria intake.
Dairy products such as cow’s milk, butter, or goat’s milk naturally include a probiotic known as lactic acid bacteria. This is another great source of probiotics in your diet.
If you are struggling to get enough in to keep your digestion and immune systems running smoothly, you can also look into an over-the-counter probiotic supplement until you find the right balance for your personal gut microbiome.
Health Benefits of Probiotic Foods
There are a variety of health benefits that these little live microorganisms offer to our bodies when consumed in balanced amounts. Not only do they help aid in digestion so that you are ready to take on every daily challenge, but as with most things in life, when things are balanced it makes other systems run better as well.
Adding a healthy dose of probiotic foods into your diet could give you some positive changes at your next check-up. Some might include lower blood pressure, better good cholesterol numbers, and overall a system that is running better.
A study also showed that increased probiotics in the system could help the body have a higher level of micronutrients. These include Vitamin B, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
Keep Your Body Running Smoothly with Probiotic Foods
Now that you know about all of the benefits of adding probiotic foods to your diet, we look forward to hearing from you on the ways you used our ultimate list to get your system running smoothly every day! Knowing foods that are great sources of probiotics can help you know what to add to your next grocery list!
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