Now that people are waking up to the benefits of probiotics, the store shelves have become lined with different pill popping methods to satisfy your desire to try out this “new” trend. However, what few people realize is that in many cases, appropriately fermented foods and beverages can provide a wide array of strains and high counts of beneficial bacteria, and deliver more than just probiotics.
Not only that, these foods are not just limited to probiotics. They also contain enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients not seen in a pill. This is further reason to check out these 7 sources of probiotics, and get them in your belly.
Sauerkraut is created through the process of lacto-fermentation, which is essentially providing an environment for bacteria to break down cabbage so that it is teeming with highly bioavailable probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients. Recent research has indicated that a 4 ounce serving of homemade sauerkraut can yield up to 10 trillion bacteria!
One needs to be careful however to choose raw or unpasteurized sauerkraut when in store, as the pasteurized pickled sauerkraut you often find on shelves has ruined those delicate enzymes and probiotics, and likely contains non-organic white vinegar (GMO alert).
Often referred to as “Korean sauerkraut”, this fermented treat is usually made of napa cabbage and daikon radish, with a variety of spices like red chili peppers and ginger to boot. Think of it as a spicy sauerkraut, which helps deliver an additional potent punch to your gut and tastebuds.
When in store, the same warning goes for kimchi. Choose raw or unpasteurized, and stay away from the pasteurized and pickled versions.
Commonly made from fermented soybeans (the only form of soybean you want to eat), miso often comes in a paste with other grains such as rice or barley. It is teeming with enzymes, probiotics, and minerals (such as zinc), and can be used in soups, sauces, and salad dressings,
Kombucha is a fermented beverage commonly made from black or green teas, sugar, and a SCOBY. This refreshing drink not only contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria, but it is also rich in antioxidants, glucoronic acid, glucosamine, and B-vitamins.
There is however, some drawbacks to kombucha so to understand the pros and cons of it, please visit this revealing article.
Traditionally made from fermenting cows or goats milk with yeast and lactic acid bacteria, kefir can be reasonably compared to drinking yogurt, only with a more diverse population of bacteria. It can used in smoothies, soups, and even cereal, or simply blended with fruit to make a nice tangy yet sweet beverage.
Kefir is not limited to just dairy however. An even more potent and healing beverage than dairy kefir is coconut kefir, which you can learn more about and learn how to make, here.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples and can be substituted in many food preparations for white vinegar (like salad dressing), with exponentially more health benefits.
Consuming apple cider vinegar will introduce beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and amino acids that will improve digestion, relieve heartburn, stimulate the lymphatic system, help get rid of Candida, and help strengthen the immune system.
Taking a shot of apple cider vinegar before meals can greatly aid in digestion, and taking it away from food has also shown improvements in many areas of digestion, including heartburn and acid reflux.
This Asian delicacy is made from fermented soybeans and has a very pungent aroma that many might compare to old socks. Besides being rich in enzymes and probiotics, it is one of nature’s richest forms of vitamin K and Bacillus subtilis bacteria.
Natto works well in plan rice dishes, mayo, and certain noodle dishes.
Sources for this article include: