Probiotics are living microorganisms that are great for your health. The bacteria in them are beneficial in regulating the functions of the body. There are various benefits of probiotics and they may have some mild side effects as well. Many people prefer consuming probiotic supplements to get the healthy quota of bacteria that is needed. However, there are also various healthy foods which are a great source of probiotics. Below are five healthy foods that you can add to your diet to gain a healthy dose of probiotics daily-
One of the best sources of probiotics is yogurt. Yogurt is formed when milk is fermented by friendly bacteria, mostly bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. Consuming yogurt has various health benefits like improving bone health and managing high blood pressure. Also, yogurt may help in reducing the condition of diarrhea that has been caused by antibiotics in children. It also helps in relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, not all yogurts contain live probiotics. Sometimes while processing the yogurt the probiotics are killed.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning that is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans with a type of fungus called koji and salt. Along with soybeans, miso can also be made with other ingredients like rice, barley, and rye. Miso is usually consumed in miso soup, which is a popular breakfast in Japan. It is a great source of fiber and protein. Additionally, it is high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Some pieces of research have also shown that consuming miso is associated with lowering the risk of cancer in middle-aged women.
Sauerkraut is fermented by lactic acid bacteria and is a cabbage that is finely shredded. It is one of the oldest and the most popular traditional foods in many countries. It is usually consumed as a side dish or on the top of sausages. Along with containing probiotics, sauerkraut is also rich in vitamin C, B, and K along with fiber. It is also high in sodium and contains manganese and iron. Also, while choosing sauerkraut, ensure that it is unpasteurized as pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria present in it.
Kimchi is a spicy Korean side dish that is fermented. The main ingredient of kimchi is cabbage and it also contains many other vegetables. Red chili pepper flakes, ginger, salt, scallion, and garlic are usually used for flavoring. Kimchi also contains vitamins and minerals along with iron, vitamin K, and B2. Kimchi also contains lactic acid bacteria that is beneficial for the digestive health.
Pickles are cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of water and salt. The solution is left for some time to ferment, the fermentation process takes place naturally by using the lactic bacteria present in the solution. Pickles contain bacteria that help in improving the digestive tract of the body. Also, they are low in calories and tend to be high in sodium. It also contains vitamin K, which is an important nutrient that aids blood clotting. However, it is important to know that pickles made with vinegar don’t contain live probiotics.