Improving your gut health is a smart step to take when you want to improve your health overall. What are probiotics? They are beneficial bacteria in your digestive system that impact many different aspects of your health. These bacteria work together to fight against sickness, improve cellular health, and to ensure that your body can function optimally.
When these bacteria get out of balance either through poor eating habits, immune dysfunction, antibiotic overuse, or stress, it can be hard to get back to a good place. Fortunately, there are many delicious foods and supplements can improve your health by restoring balance to your intestinal flora. Aside from getting a quality probiotic pill, here are the top probiotic rich foods you can eat to have better gut health.
Those store-bought ones taste delicious, but odds are they are devoid of any probiotic benefits. Look to brands that don’t include added sugars and that were made with the kinds of processes your grandmother might’ve used in making them.
Drinking milk straight from a cow might sound scary but hear us out. Raw milk from healthy cows contains not only protein, lactose, and milk fat, but it also has beneficial probiotics that can help you restore healthy gut bacteria. Find local farms that treat their cows well and that you can trust to provide you with safe raw milk.
The fermenting process that creates traditional kimchi is perfect for making a healthy slurry of probiotics. Kimchi is spicy and adds a unique flavor to not only Korean dishes, but American ones as well. Top your salads with a healthy portion of kimchi to start giving your gut more goodness.
Most people will recognize this food as being associated with probiotics. A good whole milk yogurt with no added sugar can be a simple way to repopulate the good bacteria in your intestines. Enjoy it with a handful of fresh fruit for a tasty breakfast or midday snack.
Kefir is another dairy-based probiotic food. It is a fermented milk drink know for it’s strong and sour taste. You might find this while backpacking through the mountains of Russia, but it has gained in popularity in the western world because of its powerful probiotic benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You may have heard of the health and weight loss benefits of this particular type of vinegar, but did you know that it can also improve your intestinal health? Find a brand that contains the mother to ensure you get all the wonderful probiotics that are in apple cider vinegar.
You’ll want to look for olives that are cured in a brine more specifically to get the most out of this probiotic food. Additionally, watch out for extra ingredients like sodium benzoate. These preservatives can reduce or completely kill off the healthy bacteria that you’re looking for.
I bet you didn’t know that dark chocolate has probiotics. But some varieties do have a bit in them. You’ll want to look for chocolates without a lot of sugar as the sugar can lead to overgrowth of the unhealthy bacteria in your gut.
Who wouldn’t want a delicious, fermented tea? The process that kombucha goes through ensures that not only are healthy bacteria left to grow, but also that a only small amount of alcohol remains. The natural process even adds fiziness without needing to carbonate the drink. Some people like to add fruits and other juices to add flavor to the drink.
Looking for something new to add to your morning smoothies? Healthy algae like spirulina are the perfect choice. Not only does spirulina contain healthy probiotics, but it also has antioxidants, protein, and multiple B-vitamins. People love the anti-inflammatory effects of this healthy food and some studies suggest that spirulina also has anti-cancer effects in the body.
Yet another fermented cabbage dish, this German food adds wonderful flavors to hot dogs and sausages. Another creative way to try sauerkraut is on chips like you would salsa. You might even enjoy it on fish tacos or as a garnish with your salad. You’d be amazed at how this delicious food can add so many health benefits including probiotics.