According to a 2008 article in ‘Clinical Infectious Diseases,’ there has been a growing interest in probiotics for several years. Probiotics are bacteria that counteract potentially destructive bacteria in your digestive system and stimulate digestive activity. They can not only ease lactose intolerance but alleviate gas, diarrhea and other digestive problems. They also stimulate the growth of vitamins and fight diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Here is a list of some of the foods that contain these beneficial bacteria.
Yogurt is one of the most popular sources of probiotics, but not all brands contain them and pasteurization can destroy those even in the ones that do. Brands containing probiotics will typically advertise the fact, referring to them as live or active cultures. Yogurt made from goat’s milk will have extra strains of probiotics added.
This drink is created by fermenting tea with the kombucha mushroom, which contains bacteria and yeasts. Although there are claims that this is loaded with probiotics, can help you lose weight and is generally good for the immune system, the American Cancer Society has stated that these claims still need further clinical support and that there are risks associated with drinking it.
This not only contains probiotics but vitamins A, B, C and E. It also helps combat allergies. Use unpasteurized sauerkraut because pasteurization process can kill probiotics as well as other bacteria. Kimchi, the Korean equivalent, not only contains probiotics but is full of vitamins and minerals.
I bet a lot of you are happy to see this on the list. Some chocolate has probiotics added to it – sometimes up to four times as much as can be found in other dairy products. It also has other health benefits such as neurotransmitters for improving your mood, nitric oxide for normalizing blood pressure and antitoxidants.
People claim that this Japanese soup, which is made from fermented rice and other ingredients, contains about 160 types of bacteria and is loaded with probiotics. It also contains different types of vitamin B.
This drink, which can be made from milk (particularly fermented goat’s milk) and kefir grains, contains three times as many probiotics as yogurt. It is also a good source of yeast and antitoxidants.
Acidophilus milk, which has been fermented with bacteria, and buttermilk contain probiotics. This is considered one of the more accessible ways to work beneficial bacteria into your diet.
Pickles which were fermented naturally rather than with vinegar contain probiotics. The sea salt and water used in storage helps beneficial bacteria grow.
Fermented vegetables in general are considered a good source of beneficial bacteria.
This Indonesian food is made from fermented soybean and contains a natural antibiotic that fights certain bacteria. It also contains vitamin B12. Other foods that contain probiotics include sourdough bread, ocean-based plants and soft cheeses such as Gouda.
It is also recommended that you eat foods with prebiotics, which feed the preexisting beneficial bacteria already inside you — these include asparagus, bananas, oatmeal, red wine, honey and maple syrup. There are also supplements containing probiotics. These include Nordic Probiotics and Probiotic 50B, which are both available from EarthTurns.com.