15 Probiotic Foods That Improve Gut Health
Description: Wondering what probiotic foods you should be eating to take your gut health to the next level? Here is a listing of your top 15 best options. Please be sure these aren’t being overlooked. Getting in sufficient levels of probiotics is important if you’re looking to take control over your health. Sadly, few people…
Description: Wondering what probiotic foods you should be eating to take your gut health to the next level? Here is a listing of your top 15 best options. Please be sure these aren’t being overlooked.
Getting in sufficient levels of probiotics is important if you’re looking to take control over your health. Sadly, few people are getting in the numbers they need today. Most of us maintain gut environments that are far less than healthy and some of us even suffer serious health consequences because of it.
Probiotics are not a magical substance where as soon as you begin bringing them into your life you will immediately notice a difference. But when you don’t have them in your life, over time, you will definitely take notice. This can cause a wide array of side effects, many of which you don’t even associate with lack of probiotics.
This can include symptoms such as:
- Constant gas, bloating, and indigestion
- Suffering from a poor mood or issues such as stress, anxiety, irritability, or depression
- Suffering from a weak immune system
- Asthma and allergies that are more noticeable
- Noticing skin problems flare up such as acne, eczema, rashes, and hives
The probiotic benefits are essentially there to help side-step these problems and improve digestion and overall immune function as a result of taking them.
Because probiotics can indirectly impact your health in many ways, often major health concerns can be traced back to not having enough probiotics in your life. By making an effort to get more in, you can remedy these concerns, thus proving additional probiotic benefits.
While taking a high quality probiotic supplement such as P3-OM, it is often the best way to make sure your needs are met and you can take it without worry. Do keep in mind that eating a diet rich in probiotics is another important strategy.
It never hurts to boost your intake of probiotics coming from food sources while doubling up with an extra layer of protection from a supplement.
Top 15 Probiotic Foods:
1. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t crave a little chocolate here and there? As long as you make it dark chocolate, you can definitely add a little of this sinfully delicious food in your life.
Dark chocolate is not only a rich source of antioxidants, it also contains probiotics that can help boost your gut. This can help to lower the level of inflammation present and may help to ward off long-term disease.
Dark chocolate is also a good source of naturally occurring saturated fat as well, which is necessary for the manufacturing of proper levels of sex hormones. Not all saturated fat is bad in the diet – you just want to be sure that you get the saturated fat you do consume from the right source.
Spirulina is becoming more and more popular as a source of good nutrition and for good reason; it will really do your body well. While this food doesn’t actually contain probiotics, what it is is a prebiotic food, so it will help to nourish the probiotics that are already there.
Spirulina is also a source of vegetarian friendly protein, so is great for those who aren’t eating meat. Available in powder form, it’s a great addition to your diet plan.
3. Green Peas
Green peas are next up on the list of smart foods to eat if you want to boost your overall gut health. Many people often view peas as not a very rich source of nutrition, but this just isn’t the case.
Not only are peas a great source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, they are also a source of Leuconostoc mesenteroides, which can help to strengthen your immune system.
Because much of your immune system is found in the gut, the stronger it is, the better gut health you’ll maintain and vise versa. The two work together to keep your body feeling its best.
Fresh peas are best however, so ditch the frozen and canned ones whenever you can. Much of the naturally occurring probiotics in frozen and canned peas will be killed off during the freezing/canning process.
A food that many people turn their noses up at is sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is actually a fantastic option for anyone who is hoping to get more probiotics in their diet. Any sort of fermented food is going to be a rich source of probiotics, sauerkraut included. The primary bacteria found in this type of food is Lactobacillus, which is found in concentrations even higher than that of yogurt.
If you want to reap maximum benefits, you’ll want to prepare sauerkraut yourself rather than purchase a store variety. When they are store-made, they are typically prepared using vinegar, which kills off much of the beneficial bacteria that is found in sauerkraut. When it’s fermented, that’s when you’ll reap the benefits of this food.
Don’t want to eat your probiotics? No problem, you can drink them instead. Kombucha is one of the fermented probiotic drinks that is made with black or green tea along with a yeast that helps to ferment it.
The thing you should be aware of is, unless you prepare this yourself, you will not reap any benefits. Sadly, many people purchase it from the store and drink it believing that it’s doing their body some good. By the time it’s on the supermarket shelves, it’s been pasteurized to ensure shelf life stands and as such, the bacteria will have been killed off.
So while it may help you meet your hydration needs if you’re someone who’s struggling to get them met, it’s not going to do much for actually helping ensure that you are reaping full probiotic benefits.
You’ll want to make your own here again and ensure that you are drinking it as fresh as possible when you do.
On to the next fermented food – hopefully you are noticing a trend here! Kimchi is an excellent source of probiotics and can make for a great side dish to any meal as well.
Kimchi is prepared using cabbage, radishes, scallions and may also contain red pepper or salted shrimp as well.
The particular probiotic strain found in kimchi is called Lactobacillus brevis and may also actually help promote greater weight loss as well. In studies of rats who are given this probiotic it is noted that they may be able to decrease their food related weight gain by about 28%. While it definitely won’t counteract a very high calorie diet, it may help give your weight loss plan that extra edge you’re going for.
Kimchi is also relatively low in calories, really making it a terrific addition to any diet plan.
7. Beet Kvass
Another great food to consider adding to your diet if you’re looking to boost your probiotic intake is beet kvass. Most people have never heard of this before, however it’s a powerful traditional Russian drink that utilizes beets as the main source of starch and speed up the fermentation process. The longer these beets are left to ferment, the stronger the flavor will be and likewise, the better the probiotic content.
Because beets are an all around healthy food source, this beverage is also quite healthy and provides a great dose of potassium and dietary fiber.
8. Green Olives
Ahh, the green olive. Who doesn’t love these once in a while? Many people forget to pick these up at the supermarket because they are not a common food used during the cooking process, but it is well worth your effort to try and get them in as often as you can.
When olives are prepared in salt water, natural fermentation will take place and the acids that are produced will help to give way to two different types of probiotics. These include Lactobacillus plantarum as well as Lactobacillus pentosus.
These are very powerful strains for helping to combat abdominal bloating, as well as irritable bowel syndrome, so if you are someone who experiences either of these things, it’s time to get some green olives in your diet plan.
Green olives are also a good source of healthy fats (since they are, after all, what olive oil is made from), so that’s yet another important reason to include them in your diet plan.
If you are looking for an aesthetically pleasing food, natto is unlikely to be on your menu, however if you are looking for a food that’s chock-full of great health benefits, it’s one that you’ll certainly want to consider.
Natto is a Japanese dish that is basically made from fermented soybeans and has a sticky sort of texture. This dish is very rich in vitamin K and has been known to help boost skin health as well, preventing wrinkles and boosting skin elasticity.
On top of that, it also provides a powerful dose of probiotics and these particular strains may help to combat issues such as acne, eczema, as well as psoriasis that occurs when inflammation is present.
Some people think that kefir is just a particular type of yogurt but it’s slightly different. It is actually a beverage and closely resembles that of yogurt but is a better choice for those who may be lactose intolerant. Most people who do suffer, don’t show as strong of signs when taking this in.
Just like yogurt, it will also provide a good dose of calcium as well as healthy bacteria, which may help to curtail bloating. While many believe that dairy leads to bloating, this dairy product actually reduces it.
Along with that, it’ll also helps boost the intestinal tract and help you better manage the digestive processes that are taking place as well.
Just like with yogurt, do try and choose kefir that is unflavored or the added sugar found in it may help to prevent the healthy bacteria from thriving inside the body. This is definitely another great probiotic drink you can consume.
Pickles are a much-loved food. They’re great on their own, with sandwiches, alongside a plate of meat and cheese, or served with a burger. Many people find the taste highly appealing and if you choose wisely, you can also reap great health benefits.
Just do keep in mind that not every pickle is going to be a fermented pickle. Many in the store are not fermented at all, simply canned and pickled. This will produce a low calorie treat that’s tasty, but one that also provides very little in the way of actual health benefits.
Instead, you want to get fermented pickles, which are usually best made yourself. You don’t need any ingredients besides cucumbers (or any other vegetable you desire), salt and water. The good news is if you choose to make your own, you can sidestep many of the additives that are included with the ones that you purchase off the supermarket shelves.
Pickles do tend to be higher in salt content however, so do keep in mind you’ll want to monitor the salt you’re consuming from other foods in the diet on the day you choose to eat a serving.
Miso soup is a delicious starter soup that is typically served in Japanese restaurants and makes for an excellent low-calorie way to combat hunger, get in a little protein, and help boost your intake of probiotics.
Miso soup is made from fermented soybeans along with salt and koji, which is a fungus that’s edible. It often also contains tofu, which is nice because that adds a little dose of protein to the soup as well.
Taking miso in helps to boost your digestive system, enhance your immune system, and may also help to lower your overall risk factor for cancer as well.
While the calorie content of miso soup will vary somewhat depending on where you are ordering it (or if you are making it yourself), on average, you can expect to take in about 93 calories per cup along with 4.3 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbs, and 7.9 grams of protein.
13. Sourdough Bread
While bread should not typically be a regular part of your diet plan, if you are going to eat bread, consider making it sourdough bread. This form of bread is not just delicious to eat, but also a good source of probiotics as well. Many people think that the term ‘sourdough’ refers to the flavor of bread, but it’s more than just that.
This bread is made by allowing wild yeast and bacteria to break down the sugar and gluten found in the bread, thus giving it a sour taste.
This also increases the overall protein and micro nutrient content of the bread, making this a healthier option to consider.
Vegetarians will likely be getting this food into their diet already, but for those who aren’t vegetarian, it’s still an excellent choice. Tempeh not only provides a good dose of protein, but is also an excellent way to boost your probiotic intake as well.
Some people have come to believe that tempeh and tofu are the same thing, but this isn’t the case. Tofu is lower in total protein content than tempeh is, so you’ll want to make that distinction.
It’s also a great source of calcium, so it can help you build stronger bones. If you aren’t consuming dairy because you are lactose intolerant and are missing out on the potential probiotic benefits from that, you may want to look into this as an alternative option.
15. Aged Cheese
Finally, last but not least you have aged cheese, most notably, soft cheese. These cheeses contain beneficial bacteria and are created by adding lactic acid bacterial cultures to milk, which then forms curds and whey. The longer the cheese sits, the more beneficial the probiotic level tends to be.
Go for the most aged source of cheddar you can if boosting your probiotic intake is your top goal.
So there you have it, the top foods that you should consume which are loaded with probiotics and ready to help you improve your health and digestive system. If you’ve ever wondered what are probiotics, now is the time to start doing your research because the sooner you can increase your intake of these foods, the sooner you can get on to seeing results.
Along with eating more of these foods, make sure you don’t overlook the power of good probiotic supplements as well. P3-OM contains the most aggressive form of probiotic that will quickly double in numbers and make sure that you get your intake up to where it needs to be.