5 Great Probiotic Foods For Better Gut Health

Flat lay picture of probiotic foods

Written by Kayla Natividad

Kayla Natividad, aka Nati, is a copywriter and creative development manager. She’s a recent college graduate who enjoys interacting and collaborating with others as well as benefiting from their varied perspectives and ideas. When she’s not working, she loves to watch movies and k-dramas.

October 3, 2022

Probiotic Foods, are you getting enough in your diet? Chances are you’re probably not. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in your gut that are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption to immune health.

In this article, we’ll cover a list of 5 best of the best probiotic foods you should consider adding to your food routine and how they can benefit you.

What Are Probiotic Foods?

Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria that are found within the gut microbiome. These microorganisms play a central role in health and disease and are even involved in immune function and digestion. If you don’t get enough probiotics, some of the side effects may include digestive problems, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flu.

Historically, people had plenty of probiotics from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting foods to keep them from spoiling. Today, however, modern agricultural practices and decreased diet quality have caused our food supply to be significantly lower in probiotics. Even worse, many foods today actually contain antibiotics, which can even kill off the good bacteria in our bodies.

Fortunately, in addition to taking probiotic supplements, there are many probiotic foods that people can consume to help provide these essential microorganisms. By adding more probiotic foods into your schedule, you could see all of the following health benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy from the production of vitamin B12
  • Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
  • Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduced cold and flu
  • Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Weight management

If you want to tap into these benefits, then it’s time to start consuming these probiotic foods for better health. Ideally, you should eat a variety of different types of probiotic foods as each offers a different type of beneficial bacteria to help the body in a variety of ways. Pick and choose a few ingredients from the probiotic and prebiotic foods list and start filling your plate to reap the rewards of better gut health.

Here are a few of the top types of “friendly” gut bacteria that your body needs …

7 types of probiotic bacteria:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus bulgarius
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bacillus subtilis

The best probiotics naturally have these active cultures. It’s essential they’re live and active cultures to benefit your gut the most, so if you do choose to take probiotic supplements, make sure they have some or all these.

Top 5 Probiotic Foods

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which are the good bacteria that live in your gut. Probiotics help keep your gut healthy and may reduce your risk of developing diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or colds and flu.

Yogurt has other benefits too: It can help you lose weight if you eat it as part of a reduced-calorie diet, and people who eat yogurt regularly tend to have higher intakes of calcium and vitamin D compared with those who don’t eat it often.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented dairy product that originated in the Caucasus Mountains and has been consumed for thousands of years. It’s made by adding kefir grains to milk or water and allowing those grains to ferment the liquid. The result is a creamy, slightly effervescent beverage that’s loaded with beneficial bacteria—and it’s delicious!

Kefir is packed with probiotics, which are live microorganisms that help keep your gut healthy. These good bacteria can help prevent or treat many gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

There are many benefits that you can get from Kefir. It is rich in vitamins B1, B2, and B12 as well as several minerals like calcium, potassium, and zinc. plus it’s lower in lactose

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish. It’s been around for centuries, and it’s a great probiotic food that supports your gut health.

Sauerkraut is made by fermenting cabbage in brine (salt water). The fermentation process breaks down the sugars in the cabbage, which creates lactic acid. This helps to preserve the cabbage during the long storage period required for sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients. It also contains probiotics that promote healthy digestion and immune function.

4. Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables, spices, and salt. It also contains beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum2 which may help improve digestion and enhance immunity.

Kimchi is a good source of probiotics. It’s packed with probiotics and prebiotics, which support digestive health. Kimchi can help relieve constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other digestive conditions.

Kimchi is also high in fiber which helps keep you feeling full longer10 and may reduce your risk of obesity11.

5. Tempeh

Tempeh a traditional food from Indonesia is a fermented soy product that’s very high in protein. It’s made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a fungus called Rhizopus oligosporus, which produces a white covering of the outside of the bean. This coating contains probiotics that support your gut health.

Tempeh is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3 (niacin). It contains all essential amino acids needed by humans and offers a complete protein profile with all essential amino acids. In addition to these health benefits, studies show that tempeh may reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure due to its high fiber content and antioxidant properties.

How to Get More Probiotics Foods Into Your Diet

Adding a few servings of probiotic foods to your daily diet can be an easy and effective way to give your gut microbiome a boost while also improving overall health — and you’ll find you feel better consuming these foods too.

To get started, try making a few simple swaps in the foods you eat. For example, you can switch out soda, juice, or energy drinks for naturally fermented beverages instead. You can also trade regular yogurt for probiotic yogurt and substitute raw milk (if available) or cheese in place of regular cheese or milk products as well.

Alternatively, try using a few of the best probiotic foods in your favorite recipes to add a bit of extra flavor and variety to your weekly rotation. Tempeh works well as a meatless main dish, and sauerkraut can be served as a savory spread.

Regardless of how you choose to get in your daily dose of these natural probiotic foods, the trick is to get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients to make healthy and delicious meals.

5 probiotic foods infographic


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