Buzzwords are constantly being thrown around in the health world and Probiotics is a big one. While you may be familiar with the term, you might still be wondering what exactly a probiotic is and how is it beneficial? Essentially, Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut, helping to make digestion possible and overall boosting your health. Also, they are known to help support your immune system, relieve depression, and much more. Sounds great, right? So how do you get more? Here's a checklist of some of the best probiotic rich foods that you can pick up the next time you're at the grocery store.
Yogurt is probably one of the best known probiotic foods available to us at the market and is easy to make your own at home too. There are tens of billions of bacteria in just one serving of yogurt. Some yogurts advertise as having more live and active cultures than others, making them higher in probiotics, and therefore generally better for you. Look out for labeling to ensure you are not buying yogurt laden with sugar or artificial sweeteners and that you are buying the right yogurt for you.
Kefir has recently come into the mainstream North American market, being advertised as an even better probiotic food than yogurt. Originating in Turkey and Russia, it’s a milky beverage active with bacteria.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made by fermenting cabbage, cucumber or radish. These pickled veggies are a great low-calorie source of fiber and of course, probiotics.
Achar is a traditional south Asian condiment made by fermenting vegetables and or fruit, mixed with salt, and spices placed under the hot tropical sun in clay vessels. Most popular Achar varieties are made from green mango or lime. The fermentation process produces a tangy probiotic containing condiment. Achar is generally enjoyed at lunch or dinner time to help with meal digestion as the actively fermented vegetables contain a good source of probiotics.
Kombucha has also recently come into the mainstream market, and is quickly becoming a well-known probiotic beverage. Made when sweet black tea is fermented with a mushroom-like colony of bacteria called a “scoby”, Kombucha is a fizzy liquid that is potent in probiotics.
Sourdough bread is a great source of probiotics. While it may seem surprising that bread could have health benefits to it, sourdough bread contains bacteria that are probiotic, but also that are low on the glycemic index, ensuring that you are full and energized after consumption, unlike other white, refined flour breads.
Miso is a beloved Japanese soup that is generally consumed prior to the meal, because of miso’s high protein and probiotic count. Miso is made when soybeans are fermented with brown rice, creating a paste that is used frequently in lots of Asian dishes.