Looking for the ultimate healthy probiotics foods list? Continue reading this article and discover the healthiest vegan probiotics and non-vegan. But first!
While they haven’t been in the spotlight for ages, probiotic foods have started to be of great interest to modern man. Even if most probiotic foods pertain to the traditional cuisine, being ethnical or local products mostly, their amazing properties haven’t been made public until recently. New scientific studies have made it clear that probiotic foods have amazing effects on general public health.
The Benefits of Probiotics
Healthy probiotic foods are filled with good bacteria for the digestive tract. These “good” bacteria interact with the “bad” bacteria in the intestines and reduce their numbers.
While the good bacteria in the probiotic foods maintain a healthy intestinal flora and aid digestion and the proper food metabolism, so-called “bad” bacteria are the root cause of infections and chronic or acute inflammations in the body. So, yes, it is paramount that you include some healthy probiotic foods in your diet ASAP. Here you have a complete list of 9 healthy probiotic foods that you should add to your diet!
Best Food Sources of Probiotics
Many people ask themselves, where do we find probiotics, and which are the best sources of probiotic foods? Well, the main foods containing natural, healthy probiotics are:
- freshly picked fruit (unwashed)
- fruit juices
- soy-based foods
- fermented dairy products
- some soft cheeses
- kefir and yogurt
- kimchi / sauerkraut / fermented pickles
Dairy Probiotic Foods to Include in Your Diet
Undoubtedly, the handiest source of natural probiotics is yogurt. Especially if it is an organic, high-quality yogurt. When you’re buying yogurt make sure you read the labels and check the list of ingredients. Avoid yogurts that have lots of ingredients or sugars, like fruit-flavored yogurts. Instead, opt for natural yogurts and add your own fresh fruit choice and make it a healthy probiotics snack!
This close cousin of yogurt is part of the acidic dairy family and it is a great source of probiotics. Traditionally from Central Asia, kefir has gained a lot of popularity around the world. Initially, kefir was made from goat milk, but most of the kefir you find on the market is made from cow milk. Still, the best quality kefir is made from goat milk. The microorganisms found in kefir and pretty unique, amongst them there is a very healthy yeast called Tolura kefirii. Besides this healthy yeast, kefir is loaded with lactobacilli and bifidobacilli.
Also, traditionally, kefir was made using the Tibetan Mushroom for the natural fermentation of fresh goat milk. When buying yogurt of kefir look up the production date. Although not yet due and relatively fresh, the healthy bacteria in these probiotics have a shorter shelf life. So pick up the more recently produced jars of yogurt or kefir.
7 Healthy Vegan Probiotic Foods Countdown
This is an original Japanese product, with a creamy consistency and excellent flavor, made from fermented soy. The miso paste is fermented with the help of a selected bacterial flora, and it can also be made from grains paste or legume pasta. One tsp. of miso is enough to add flavor to a soup or prepare a healthy probiotic dish.
6. Tempeh & Natto
Besides miso, all the other fermented soybean-based foods are amazing sources of probiotics. We’re talking about tempeh (a mix of whole soybeans or whole grains) and natto, which contains a healthy gut bacteria called Bacillus subtilis.
Or pickled cabbage is a great vegan or vegetarian source of probiotics. Although the German version of pickled cabbage or sauerkraut has gained a lot of popularity, naturally fermented cabbage is found all across the globe.
Kimchi is the Korean version of sauerkraut, the spicier version because it is mixed with a spicy pepper paste. Besides being an amazing probiotic food, cabbage is also a great source of Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, fiber, carotene, and antioxidants.
Another Japanese staple, kombucha is a naturally fermented black or green tea variety. For fermenting this tea, they use bacteria and yeast. Although science has not managed to prove the health benefits of kombucha, Japanese people still use it as a functional, medicinal tea due to its high probiotics content.
Last but not least on our healthy probiotic foods list we have good ol’ pickles. However, we’re not talking about store-bought vinegar pickles, but the brine fermented pickles, that are loaded with benefic probiotics. Although it is possible that the majority of probiotics from pickles may not be made alive in the terminal intestine, they may have a great contribution to digestion, together with yogurt or sauerkraut.
1. Fresh Fruit
The absolute best source of probiotics is on the surface of freshly-picked fruits. Yes, it’s fruits that are the best probiotic food source. Probiotics are actually tiny bacteria living on the skin of freshly picked fruits and when we eat this fruit, these amazing bacteria get into our guts and replenish the gut flora with wonderful bacteria for our digestion and overall health.
The truth is that most probiotic supplements contain bacteria that don’t pass the acids in the stomach. This is the hardest part of repopulating the gut flora with bacteria. Synthetic probiotics don’t even reach there. Whereas fresh fruit just picked from the tree contains all the probiotics you need for a healthy gut and digestion.
Find an organic orchard near you where you can pick your own fruit. Don’t wash the fruit, only if completely necessary (and just superficially), and eat it right away. Wild berries are awesome too if you pick them in their natural habitat. Remember, the skins of freshly picked fruit are the best probiotic food source.
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This has been our 9 healthy probiotic foods list that includes both vegan probiotics and non-vegan probiotics. We sure hope we helped. If there’s anything to take from this whole article is that the best probiotic foods are fresh fruit! Stay healthy, naturally!