Guest post by Beatrice Potter
Probiotic foods are any foods that contain probiotics, which are ‘healthy’ bacteria. You may not have ever thought of bacteria being healthy before, since most people only think of pathogenic, ‘bad’ bacteria when they hear that word. However, having probiotics is vital to your body, since it needs a balance of the good and the bad bacteria, and probiotics can have many health benefits, such as improving your heart’s health and also aiding in digestion. Many foods have lots of probiotics within them, but knowing which ones are the best to include in your diet is what this article should help you with.
If you have heard of probiotics before, it is likely to do with yoghurt. Yoghurt is one of the most popular probiotic foods, but most people just assume that all yoghurt contains probiotics, when this actually isn’t true. You need to look for yoghurts with live or active cultures, since many probiotics are killed off during the processing of the yoghurt. On top of containing probiotics, yoghurt also improves your bone health and can be very good for people who suffer from high blood pressure, so it’s definitely a good food to get into your diet.
This dish is less popular in Western culture, but you may have still heard of the Korean Kimchi, since it is a very popular side dish in Korea. It is usually made with mainly cabbage, but also a few other vegetables, which have been lacto fermented with a mix of many seasonings – just a couple examples would be garlic, ginger and salt. It is a tasty dish which can also help you to cut down on the fat, and it is packed full of vitamins and minerals as well, making it very healthy and beneficial to your diet.
Back to a well-known food, you might not have known that pickles – or gherkins, as they are sometimes known – are a probiotic food. They have been fermented in their own lactic acid bacteria, giving them their distinct sour taste. While they can be very good for you, and incredibly low in calories, they are also very high in salt content, and any pickles that were fermented in vinegar won’t have the probiotics which pickles fermented in their own lactic acid do, so vinegar-made pickles are not a probiotic food, and consuming hundreds every day probably isn’t a great idea, but eating the right pickles in moderation can be a great way to introduce an interesting little probiotic snack into your diet.
4. Select Cheeses
Not all cheese contains probiotics. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s true that some cheeses – ones which have expressly stated that they contain live and active cultures on the packaging – do contain probiotics. Gouda, cottage cheese, cheddar and mozzarella are the usual suspects, since probiotics usually survive their aging process. Obviously, cheese, as a dairy product, needs to be enjoyed in moderation, but it is highly nutritious and might even lower the chances of you getting heart disease, so it’s definitely not bad to eat every once in a while, and include semi-regularly in your diet.
Kombucha, although originating from Asia, may be one of the most popular foods on this list, due to the many wild rumors spreading about it on the internet. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of good quality evidence on Kombucha and its effects, but we do know that it contains probiotics. This is because it is fermented with bacteria and yeast, creating one of the friendly probiotic colonies which can help your body out a lot. Although studies on Kombucha are lacking, it certainly doesn’t do any harm to your body, and drinking it can help to improve your digestive health if nothing else, so go ahead and add it to your healthy gut diet.
Beatrice Potter works in web development at Academized, assisting many companies with their marketing strategies and concepts. He also contributes to many sites and publications.