Ready to transform your health? Rather than trying to count the tons of probiotics in your pickle, why not just drink down your daily requirement?
It’s easier to do than you might think – all you need to do is find a source of probiotics that you love and get in the habit of gulping it down every day.
Why Drink Your Probiotics?
It’s official: probiotics are key to a healthy diet. Now that experts understand how much probiotics can impact your overall health, nutritionists and doctors alike recommend keeping an eye on your probiotics intake to make sure that you’re getting as many as you need.
So, what exactly are probiotics? In the simplest terms, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that fight against the harmful bacteria that live all over your body. Often people associate probiotics with gastrointestinal health and this is an important connection, but on top of keeping your gut feeling comfortable and healthy, probiotics can affect countless aspects of your health. A recent Harvard study found that probiotics can have a major benefit for people with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
And it’s not just your belly that needs this stuff. The benefits of probiotics extend far past gut health – these friendly bacteria can improve everything from mental health to allergies to eczema. And, the best news of all? There are no negative side effects!
You don’t have to resort to supplements, either – it’s easy to get probiotics from a wide range of fermented foods but, if you aren’t in the mood for a sweeping diet change, we’ve got some ultra-easy (and tasty!) drinks that will give you all the probiotics that you need.
Before we count down the best probiotics drinks, here’s one word to the wise: Don’t do too much too soon! While there are no real side effects to probiotics, you can get uncomfortably gassy if you add too much to your diet too quickly. Take it slow and steady and you will be seeing major improvements to your health in no time.
Another interesting read: Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?
Probiotic Drinks: Milk Kefir
Made from fermented goat or cow’s milk, your body loves milk kefir. On top of being rich in probiotics, milk kefir is a great source of vitamin B12 and B1, biotin, folic acid, calcium, and phosphorous. This tasty dairy drink has long been a staple of Polish and Russian cuisine.
According to Eastern Europeans, kefir cools your body and boosts your mood. While your results may vary there, kefir has been proven to help beneficial bacteria thrive in your gut by coating your intestinal lining.
Milk kefir isn’t a particularly strong flavor but, if the taste isn’t for you, fear not! You can make any kind of smoothies with kefir. Add some fruit or go the green route and you’ll have a taste shake in no time. It’s a great alternative to milk and is easier to digest than non-fermented goat’s milk.
Probiotic Drinks: Apple Cider Vinegar
A true staple of a healthy diet, the Babylonians were using this miracle tonic way back in 5000 BC and apple cider vinegar has hardly wavered in popularity since then. Loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fluorine, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E, it’s no wonder it’s considered “liquid gold.”
But the best thing about apple cider vinegar is the Mother – the swirling bits of probiotic enzymes it contains. Keep in mind that not all apple cider vinegar has Mother and opt for the kind that does. Bragg’s is the best choice. Add some to a dash of oil and dip a nice crusty bread in it for the perfect starter.
Probiotic Foods: Buttermilk
Like regular cow’s milk, buttermilk is an excellent source of calcium. Just one cup of buttermilk provides almost 30% of your daily calcium requirements. Another major perk to buttermilk is that it’ll give you a good dose of probiotics too!
It’s important to remember that probiotics can’t deal with the heat though. Once you add buttermilk to pancakes or biscuits, it loses its superpowers. If you want to get all the nutritional benefits, drink it cold and uncooked.
Hint: It’s delicious by itself.
Probiotic Drinks: Coconut Kefir
Coconut milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk if you are lactose intolerant or just looking for something new. Coconut milk has a creamy taste like other types of milk but it is easier to digest. To make things even better for your digestive system, go for coconut milk kefir. It’s delicious and great for your gut! It’s also a good source of fiber, iron, and vitamin C.
Wondering what this coconut kefir is? Coconut kefir is simply fermented coconut water. If you can’t track it down at a local health food store, make it at home! It’s incredibly easy to make your own. If you decide to add it to your daily diet, it is well worth learning how to concoct your own. The only thing that you need is a kefir starter. You should be able to find this at any good health food store or you can order it online. A little bit goes a long way so it’s easy to get a good stock going at home.
Once you’ve got your kefir starter, mix it in a glass jar with coconut milk. Cover the jar with a cloth, securing it with a rubber band. Let it sit for 24 hours and you’ve got coconut milk kefir! Strain the blend and store it in the fridge.
If coconut milk kefir is a bit sour for your taste, experiment with different juice blends. A strong flavor like cranberry will balance out the sour taste perfectly and make an unbelievably tasty breakfast treat. You can also make fruit and green smoothies with coconut milk kefir. Just substitute coconut milk kefir for cow’s milk or yogurt in the recipe for a healthy lactose-free treat.
Probiotic Drinks: Lassi
If you love spicy food, there’s nothing like a lassi to help your stomach survive the spice. The Indian-style smoothie is made from yogurt, milk, fruit, cardamom, and honey. It’s the perfect companion to a spicy meal because it will put out the flames in your mouth and stomach.
As an added bonus, this calcium-rich treat also has a whopping 15 billion probiotics per serving!
Probiotic Drinks: Kombucha Tea
Kombucha tea has been a health food staple in China for more than 2,000 years. According to local legend, it’s pretty much a cure-all. Many Chinese nutritionists believe that Kombucha tea can help people lose weight, boost their energy levels, clean and detox their body, help support a healthy immune system, reduce joint pain and prevent more serious illnesses.
Kombucha tea is a fermented, effervescent drink that can be made from black or green tea leaves. There is a pretty wide range of tea flavors so keep experimenting until you find one that works for you. Be sure to double-check the label to make sure that it is unpasteurized so that you’re getting a full dose of probiotics.
While Kombucha tea is a great way to get a good dose of probiotics, don’t expect any miracles. There are countless rumors and over-the-top claims about kombucha tea but none have been proven so don’t look to it as a type of medicine that will cure or prevent anything. It is simply a good, low-calorie, low sugar drink that will provide you with ample probiotics.
Probiotic Drinks: Kvass
This Eastern European summer treat has been the lemonade of the east for years. While it is definitely an acquired taste, it has a flavor that is similar to the taste of beer. So if you’re a beer lover in search of the perfect probiotic drink for you – get ready to fill your mug with something yummy and healthy.
While the beer-ish flavor isn’t particularly popular outside of Eastern Europe, you can definitely find a variety for you. Check out the types of kvass that are flavored with raisins, strawberries, or mint. Kvass is traditionally made from sourdough rye bread but you can also check out the type that is made from beets for a different twist. Traditional kvass is also a good source of potassium while the beet variety of kvass will also give you a healthy dose of vitamins B and C.
We’ll drink to that!
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