The world of bacteria is so diversified and spectacular!
Apart from the numerous pathogens that we have to deal with on a daily basis, there are also dozens of beneficial microorganisms that help the human body perform some of its most important functions.
Probiotics are such beneficial bacteria. Many foods are an excellent source of probiotics and you should get in the habit of consuming those on a regular basis.
Probiotics-rich foods are particularly good for people that deal with a compromised immune system and the ones suffering from digestive issues.
So, which foods should you consume to give your body a fresh supply of good microorganisms? Let’s start the countdown.
Many people believe that the best daily source of probiotics is yogurt but kefir happens to be an even better pick.
Kefir is the result of milk fermentation. It can be produced from just about every milk variety, including cow, goat and sheep milk. The fermentation process results in a slightly acidic, “grainy” drinks. This process also enriches the milk with over 20 types of beneficial bacteria.
Kefir is such a beneficial drink that it can even be consumed by lactose-intolerant individuals. Getting used to the taste may take some time but you can add fruits to kefir and turn it in a delicious morning smoothie.
Yogurt is probably one of the most popular food sources of probiotics. It also contains essential proteins and calcium, which turns plain yogurt in a truly beneficial nutritional pick.
Depending on the brand and the processing that it has undergone, yogurt can contain just a few to a dozen types of beneficial bacteria.
When shopping for yogurt, make sure that it hasn’t been pasteurized after the fermentation process. Pasteurization kills pathogens but it will also destroy all of the beneficial bacteria. It’s also possible to make yogurt at home, which is the ideal possibility for ensuring the probiotic properties of the food.
Sauerkraut is another food that undergoes fermentation. This process results in a population of truly wonderful bacteria.
Sauerkraut is a popular side dish, salad and even main dish in various European countries. This is another food that you can easily make at home.
If you plan to cook sauerkraut, remember that the thermal processing will destroy the bacteria. The outcome may be truly delicious but it’s not going to produce the same health benefits as raw sauerkraut.
Kombucha is a drink that’s once again produced… that’s right – through fermentation. In this case, sweet black tea gets fermented through the addition of a mushroom-like bacterial colony. The result is a fizzy drink that contains large quantities of probiotics.
The kombucha bottles sold commercially feature different types and counts of bacteria. This is why you’ll have to do your research when shopping for the drink. Just like in the case of yogurt, thermal processing could destroy everything beneficial about kombucha.
#5 Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread has a very specific taste that differentiates it from other types of loaves. This specific taste is the result of the sourdough starter being used. A source of beneficial bacteria, this starter makes the bread rich in probiotics.
Sourdough bread is an overall healthy nutritional choice. It has a low glycemic index, which means it’s a good pick for individuals trying to lose some weight. It will provide a day-long energy boost rather than a peak and a crash (which is typical for foods that have a low glycemic index).
This is the Asian response to the European sauerkraut. Kimchi is a spicy type of fermented cabbage that is served alongside a vast range of Korean meals.
Kimchi can also be produced through the fermentation of radish or cucumbers.
The final product is delicious, low in calories and very high in fiber. Kimchi shouldn’t be subjected to thermal processing that can destroy all of the good bacteria.
They are quite potent and research suggests that eating kimchi on a regular basis can strengthen the immune response significantly.