Apart from positive thinking, you probably already know that a healthy gut directs your overall health. If your digestive system is healthy, you’ll feel more energized. Additionally, you manage your weight better, you avoid getting sick, and even your skin appears more radiant. You’re also a lot happier and positive because you’re in good health. To facilitate a healthier gut, you need a regular diet of probiotics. So, what are some foods you should eat every day?
Here Are 13 Probiotic Foods That Reset Your Digestive System
“Regular consumption of certain probiotics can help regulate the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.” – Dr. Ellen Antoine
The most popular of all probiotic foods is yogurt. It’s a lot healthier if it’s cultured from the milk of grass-fed sheep, goats, or cows. There are different varieties of yogurt in the market today because of the food’s popularity. However, some types of yogurt aren’t healthy, especially the flavored kind. When buying yogurt, look carefully at the ingredients. It’s best to buy the organic versions that use milk from grass-fed animals.
2. Unpasteurized Cheese
Raw or unpasteurized cheeses have a high fat preserve and low acidity that help the microorganisms in the digestive system. Make sure, however, to properly read the label of cheese you buy because some types might not be unpasteurized. You won’t get the same benefits from pasteurized cheese.
Kvass is a Slavic beverage that’s mostly found in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. This drink comes from rye or barley but in recent years there have also been version that includes fermented beets or carrots. Kvass has a sour flavor that may be enhanced by adding raisins or strawberries. As per Food Technology & Biotechnology, the probiotic bacteria present in this drink is effective in cleansing the liver and blood.
4. Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables contain high amounts of acid and enzymes that promote the production of good bacteria in the gut. The Germans call their fermented vegetable dish Sauerkraut, while the Koreans also have their version in a dish called Kimchi. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient in these dishes, with slight variations in the preparation process.
Aside from its probiotic benefits, fermented vegetables are low in calories, high is antioxidants, and rich in fiber. These foods also contain vitamin C and K, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Fermented vegetables reduce problems like bloating, constipation, diarrhea irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and sensitivities to food.
Kombucha is a fermented and mildly alcoholic drink derived from green or black tea. It looks like a brown but slightly cloudy liquid with a thick mushroom-like layer on the top of the drink. It’s not known who invented Kombucha centuries ago. Some historians say the drink became popular in east Russia and Manchuria in the early 1800s, while others say the Japanese drank Kombucha over 2,000 years ago.
The yeast or bacteria added and fermented with the tea turn into probiotic bacteria that benefits the digestive system. Because of the composition of black or green tea, a regular drink of Kombucha may also help with weight loss, according to the Food Microbiology journal.
Kefir is a drink that comes from cow or goat’s milk. It is fermented and cultured with kefir grains that contain yeast or microorganisms that look like cauliflower. This probiotic is popularly found in Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. Its name is from “keyif,” which means “feeling good” in Turkish.
Experts compare kefir to yogurt, which is more popular in Western diets. But kefir is apparently the more potent probiotic source for digestion, weight management, and mental health. According to Frontiers in Microbiology, kefir has 61 microorganisms compared to the popular probiotics. It’s low in calories and lactose, and it can also treat different types of digestive diseases.
7. Coconut Kefir
Coconut kefir makes use of young coconut juice instead of cow or goat’s milk. The process of fermentation, however, is similar, as kefir grains are added and given time to develop into good bacteria.
This drink is more flavorful than regular kefir because of the coconut and tastes even better when mixed with lemon juice or stevia. Consequently, lemon juice also improves the digestive health because it contains pectin and soluble fiber to help the intestines process starch better.
Natto is made from fermented soybeans. Though it has a distinctive and pungent smell, the Japanese love eating this probiotic food with rice and seasonings. This food is packed with nutrients that promote stronger bones, as well as strengthen the heart and immune system. A BioMed study showed that Natto contains trillions of microorganisms that create a healthy environment for the good bacteria in the stomach.
Like the Japanese, the Indonesians have their own version of fermented soybeans in Tempeh. This food may also be made with a mix of soybeans and wheat to deliver a nutty flavor and chewy texture. However, soy tempeh has more beneficial bacteria than bean-based tempeh, according to research published in the Polish Journal of Microbiology. Tempeh is rich in phytic acid and probiotics that help the stomach digest nutrients better. It also reduces bloating and facilitates regular bowel movements.
Miso is a common Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans, barley, and koji. It’s most commonly turned into a soup but miso may also be used a spread in sandwiches or on crackers. The koji in miso brings probiotic benefits that aid the digestive system, but its fermentation process may sometimes take a year.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) comes from fermented apple juice. Just like cheese, the healthier versions are the raw and unpasteurized kind. Raw ACV retains the “mother” of the fermented liquid. It’s this cloudy layer with cobweb-like strands on top of the container. This is where most of the enzymes, probiotics, and proteins are found.
12. Fermented Gherkin
Gherkin is often confused with cucumbers or pickles because of its appearance but it’s actually neither of the two. This produce is abundant in Mexico. When fermented for a week, it becomes a tasty ingredient that you may eat with burgers, fish, or chicken.
13. Brined Olives
Paleo dieters enjoy brined olives with their salads and Mediterranean dishes. The brining process makes this food gut-friendly. Olives also provide health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects for the body, as per a study on Food Science.
Scientists are still learning more details about the benefits of having balanced bacterial content in the gut. By adopting these probiotic foods in your daily diet, you’ll soon feel the positive effects of good bacteria in your digestive system.