Top 10 Probiotic Foods To Support Gut Health

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One of the simplest ways to introduce probiotics to your digestive tract and support a balanced gut microbiome is to consume the best probiotic foods. When looking for probiotic fermented foods, check the label to see what specific probiotic strains are included. Eating fermented foods[5] enrichens your diet and provides health benefits.

Greek Yogurt

Enjoy a daily serving of yoghurt daily to get a sufficient amount of healthy bacteria from included probiotic strains. Typically, Greek yoghurt has a lower amount of lactose than other yoghurt types and contains probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus or Lactobacillus casei[6]. Eat Greek yoghurt for a source of calcium, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and plenty of protein and potassium to keep you sated.

It is recommended to consume at least one cup of yoghurt daily[7] to fulfil dietary guidelines. Eating Greek yoghurt made from goat’s milk may be gentler for people who have lactose intolerance and a sensitive digestive system.

Kefir

If you want to enjoy the probiotic benefits found in foods that are packed with nutrition, consider drinking a serving of kefir daily. Kefir is fermented milk that contains a low amount of alcohol, is safe for most to consume without issue, and helps improve lactose tolerance. In addition to supporting gut health, kefir may improve bone health, protect against cancer, and has antibacterial properties worth investigating.

Kefir can be made using raw milk if the grains are activated. Sensitive adults should make this probiotic-rich fermented drink using pasteurized milk, which helps hydrate kefir grains. Adults can safely consume one to three cups of kefir as part of their daily diet. Registered dietitian Caroline Margolis[8] says, “It’s recommended to consume one to two 8-ounce servings of kefir each day for maximum probiotic health.”

Click here to read the full article on 10 Probiotics Foods That Support Gut Health 2021 List

Kimchi

The pungent aroma of kimchi is unforgettable, as this is one fermented food containing probiotic strains that support the immune system, reduce free radicals, and help with weight loss[9]. Adding kimchi[10] to your diet may take some getting used to, as this flavorful fermented food is high in sodium and garlic. However, the extensive health benefits are beyond compare for having anti-cancer[11], anti-constipation[12], and anti-obesity[13] properties.

According to dietitian Samantha Cassetty, RD[14], “Like other fermented foods and veggies, kimchi is rich in beneficial probiotics.” It is recommended to eat one serving of kimchi daily. Start with 1g if new to eating kimchi, and consume more if you wish.

Miso

Enjoy a cup or bowl of miso soup or add miso to dishes for its health benefits. Miso is typically made from fermenting soybeans and can be added to salad dressings. Even though this fermented food may be a bit on the salty side, it has been connected to longevity and the reduction of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. There may be concerns about miso and hypertension, but this probiotic food has been used to relieve inflammation, stomach ulcers, lower the risk of obesity[15], and provide other health benefits.

According to Kayo Kurotani[16] of the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation in Tokyo, “ Fermented soybeans used for products such as miso and natto might have a beneficial effect on longevity…” The average Japanese adult consumes 20g of miso daily[17].

Sauerkraut

If you are looking for beneficial probiotic foods that help with weight loss, add some sauerkraut to your plate every day. People enjoy eating this food for its high fibre content, low calories, and stimulation of good gut flora[18]. Take caution, as eating too much sauerkraut can lead to diarrhoea, but a small amount helps improve digestion and the immune system.

It is best to consume 7 to 10 g of sauerkraut daily to enjoy its health effects, recommended in a study [19].

Fermented Cheeses

Delicious fermented cheese like Swiss, Gouda, and Parmesan contain protein, calcium, and live and active cultures of lactic acid bacteria for supporting gut health. It is ideal to eat cheese in moderation, as it has a high-fat content. However, fermented cheese[20] may help improve blood cholesterol, reduce metabolic disorder risk, and keep your gut microbiota happy.

In an article covering the consumption of cheese, Samantha Cassetty, RD[21], mentions how the fermentation process for cheese “favourably influences your microbiome” and contains beneficial nutrients and vitamins. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, adults should consume 3 cups of dairy servings daily, and a serving of cheese can fulfil this recommendation.

Traditional Buttermilk

The initial taste of traditional buttermilk may have a tang to it, but it’s only because of the probiotic strains within. Strengthen bones, get a rich source of protein and calcium, and enjoy the cooling relief this fermented dairy drink offers. It is safe to drink buttermilk daily to reap the benefits of lower blood pressure[22], lower cholesterol, and ease of digestion compared to other dairy products.

The lactic acid in buttermilk and its hydrating properties aids digestion and speed up metabolism. 500 ml of buttermilk can be consumed as a meal replacement for one to three meals daily. There is no set recommended amount of buttermilk intake, but caution should be taken, as drinking too much can lead to diarrhoea for some.

Kombucha

Don’t drink kombucha to be trendy. This fermented probiotic-rich beverage is perfect for you. Kombucha originates from Asia and is made using a base of green or black tea, yeast, bacteria, and sugar. Drink this daily for B vitamins, antioxidants, and improved digestion[23].

Denver-based registered dietitian Maria Zamarripa[24] stresses, “the drink is not a substitute for a healthy diet” and that kombucha contains “probiotics [that] can support gut health.” According to the CDC, it is safe to consume 4 ounces of kombucha[25] one to three times daily.

Tempeh

Move over tofu and miso, tempeh is another food with probiotics that is based on fermented soybean. As a popular meat substitute for vegetarians, tempeh packs plenty of texture, antioxidants, probiotics, and protein. Enjoy consuming tempeh regularly to balance blood sugar[26], lower cholesterol, and improve gut health and immune function.

According to Tina Marinaccio[27], MS, RD, CPD, “Tempeh is best marinated.” One serving of tempeh measuring half a cup provides 15g protein, 9g fat, and 160 calories. It is best to eat tempeh two to three times a week.

Natto

The odour and texture of the natto are unforgettable because of the sticky surface and texture of the fermented soybeans. You can enjoy eating a little of this pungent, probiotic-rich food daily without worry. Natto is a rich source of vitamin K2, nattokinase, fibre, and other nutrients and enzymes. Nattokinase [28] is a natural enzyme derived from natto. The fermented food is an acquired taste, but it may help boost cardiovascular health because it improves blood circulation[29], breaks up blood clots, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

As stated in the Takayama study[30], higher consumption of natto showed an association with a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Adults have no exact suggestion regarding how much natto to consume to reap the health benefits, but one cup provides 369 calories[31]. Enjoy eating this delightful form of fermented soybeans with rice, vegetables, or soup.

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