When it comes to foods high in probiotics, we are all spoiled for choice. Here is a list of probiotic foods from around the world – guaranteed there are some you’ve never even heard of.
Another Japanese classic made from fermented soybeans, miso soup will give you a hearty dose of vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin K, iron, calcium, dietary fiber, complete protein, and potassium. This filling dish is a dieter’s dream thanks to its low-calorie content.
While it is high in sodium, research has shown that it doesn’t affect your cardiovascular system in the same way that other salty foods do. As an added bonus, miso soup’s polyunsaturated fat content has been proven to lower your body’s level of LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad stuff). And did we mention it’s one of the most delicious foods high in probiotics?
First things first, before we can talk about pickles, it is important to know that there are two different types of these tasty little cucumbers. The standard jars that you buy in the supermarket are just cucumbers dosed in vinegar. These are fine but not especially beneficial to your health.
On the other hand, naturally fermented pickles are loaded with probiotics that will transform your gut health and do everything from treating irritable bowel syndrome to preventing allergies.
When you go to find pickles that have been fermented rather than pickled, go straight to the refrigerated section of your grocery store and search for packages that say “probiotics” or “live cultures”.
When it comes to foods high in probiotics, look no further than kefir. The mainstay of homes in Eastern Europe, Turkey, and across the Caucasus, kefir is one of the best things that you can drink for your digestive health. Made from the fermented milk of cows or goats, kefir comes from a word meaning “feeling good” in Turkish.
With 6 grams of protein, kefir provides you with 20% of your daily calcium, 20% of your phosphorus, 20% of your vitamin B2, and 14% of your vitamin B12 daily needs. On top of all of these health perks, kefir has one of the highest probiotic counts of any food that you will find on the planet.
If you are interested in improving your immune system and digestive health, look no further.
Not a big fan of kefir? No big deal! Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, and phosphorus. Of course, not all yogurts are created equally.
Swapping your plain old yogurt for Greek yogurt will give you double the protein, half the carbs, and less than half the sodium. Just watch out to make sure you are buying Greek yogurt rather than Greek-style yogurt. Another thing to keep in mind in the supermarket is that not all yogurts contain probiotics.
If you want to get a boost to your gut health, make sure that your yogurt is labeled as having probiotics or live cultures. Both traditional-style yogurt and Greek yogurt can have probiotics. Fortunately, the most popular Greek yogurt brand, Fage, has probiotics.
Lactose intolerant and on the hunt for probiotics sources? Never fear! For those of you who can’t tolerate dairy, there are quite a few different lactose-free kefir choices. You can find options like coconut, almond, and walnut kefir. Of these, coconut kefir is the most popular.
Regularly drinking coconut kefir will help to improve your heart and kidney health as well as to give you an overall boost to your gut and immune system. While it tends to be something that people either love or hate, everyone can find a way to included coconut kefir in their diet.
Not a fan of the flavor? Try adding it to smoothies! The taste will blend into the background.
Another fermented treat from the east, kvass is a traditional non-alcoholic drink that has been a staple of Ukraine and Russia for generations. This probiotic-rich beverage will give you a dose of healthy bacteria and vitamins.
Made from either lacto-fermented beetroot or rye, both options are a great way to improve your gut health and enhance your immune system. When it comes to drinking it straight, most Russians and Ukrainians opt for room temperature rye-based kvass.
Keep in mind, the flavor is strong! Think of it more like wine than juice. As for the beet stuff, it is a popular addition to traditional borscht.
Whether you go for cow, sheep, or goat cheese, opting for the raw variety of cheese can provide you with a serious health perk. Raw cheese will give you protein, vitamins, minerals, all eight essential amino acids enzymes and a serious dose of probiotics.
While plain old grocery store cheese has zero probiotics, raw cheese is a rich source of healthy bacteria. Because cheese is pasteurized by heating it up to 35C/ 95F degrees, the probiotics in cheese aren’t able to survive.
By forgoing that heating process, you can get a cheese that is rich in probiotics. One quick word though- be careful if you are pregnant. Experts advise pregnant women only to eat raw cheese that’s been aged for at least 60 days.
Who says that bread has to be bad for you? Acidic foods, like sourdough bread, have a low glycaemic index which means that they won’t leave you with an appetite-inducing spike in your blood sugar.
On top of being an awesome source of probiotics, picking sourdough bread over boring pre-sliced, pre-packed bread will give you a healthy source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium!
Sourdough bread is also much easier on your digestive system than other types of bread. What more could you ask for from a quick and delicious hit of carbs?
While you won’t find microalgae on many menus, this stuff can seriously transform your health. A food additive made from underwater plants like blue-green algae and chlorella, microalgae is a quick and easy way to add healthy bacteria to your diet.
One of the top types of microalgae, spirulina, has been named one of the most impressive superfoods by the World Health Organization. By swallowing microalgae supplement tablets whole or adding microalgae to your smoothies, you can get a healthy kick of probiotics that will transform your gut health and provide a major boost to your immune system.
A traditional treat from India, buttermilk is a top source of probiotics. Before you start whipping up pancakes, it’s important to know that there are two different types of buttermilk.
Cultured buttermilk, one of the most common types of buttermilk, doesn’t contain probiotics. Traditional buttermilk, which is made from leftover liquid from the butter-making process, has been properly fermented and will provide you with a healthy dose of good bacteria that will rev your immune system and give you a healthy gut.
In addition to probiotics, buttermilk is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Before you start stocking up, remember that probiotics can’t be heated. Opt for a cold recipe and reap major benefits.
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