“P” is for Probiotics

Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson

I have been contemplating on writing about this particular subject for quite sometime now. The time has come, please allow me to add my 2 cents. Probiotic is a hot subject today and there is no sign of slowing down anytime soon. It has been like this for a couple of years if not longer.

Healthy living fanatics are flocking to healthy food isles looking for the fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut “P”. I tried to disregard intentionally unfortunately fortunately no matter where i go, i see the same name. I couldn’t dodge any longer therefore i dived my head first in kombucha. Excuse me, i meant yogurt before kombucha. That was long before probiotics was on the front page of any mainstream media. Since then i started to notice more micro-biome products popping up. Kimchi got me hooked and i went on with kefir, kevita, kvass. Anything beggin with k was a fermented Food for a healthy happy gut, sort of.

Now that you know the history, i’m feeling pumped about the Fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut. I want to eat talk about them. Let’s get down to business. Right here, right now. What in the Heaven or Earth is Probiotics.

INTRODUCTION TO PROBIOTICS:
Probiotic foods are foods that contain live and active bacterial cultures. I’m not talking about the bad guys, like salmonella or E. Coli. The bacteria in probiotic (Fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut) are good for you: these are the “good bugs” that you want in your gut.

Your intestines are home to 500 million bacteria, some good and some bad. Recent research suggests that the more good bacteria in your gut, the stronger your immune system will be.

8 BENEFITS OF ADDING PROBIOTICS (Fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut) IN YOUR LIFESTYLE
By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could see the following health benefits:
• Stronger immune system therefore reduced cold and flu
• Improved digestion because during fermentation, carbohydrates in the food are broken down into acids that might otherwise cause digestive symptoms.
• Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
• Better breath
• Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
• Probiotics help the body absorb important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, chromium, and vitamins A, D, E, and K, just to name a few.
• Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
• Weight loss

HOW TO BUY AND COOK WITH PROBIOTIC FOODS
It’s time to decide whether you want to make your own or buy them pre-made. Making your own is actually very easy and much cheaper than buying them. It doesn’t require any special equipment, but it does require some waiting – usually 1 week to a month while it ferments.

You can also buy probiotic foods at the store, but here you’ll have to be very careful to make sure you’re actually getting something with live bacteria. TIP: Not all fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria in the final result. For example yogurt and kefir is pasteurized before it hits the shelf, but then probiotics bacteria are re-introduced, so it’s a probiotic food by the time it gets to you. Pickles, sauerkraut, or other vegetables are much more likely to be pasteurized. If they’re sold out on the shelf at room temperature, they definitely have no bacteria in them – they might be tasty, but the health benefits of the probiotics are gone. Look for a container labeled “live and active cultures” (or something similar) and sold in the refrigerator section. It is very rare to find kombucha that isn’t probiotic; almost any bottle you pick up will be fine. Regarding vinegar, look for “raw, unpasteurized” on the bottle – vinegar that’s still probiotic will be cloudy. Most stores will only carry raw apple cider vinegar, not other types.

23 Fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut

SOUPS

miso soup
miso soup

1. Miso Soup
A popular breakfast food in Japan, this fermented soybean paste can get your digestive system moving. Probiotic-filled miso is often used to make a salty soup that’s low in calories and high in B vitamins and protective antioxidants.

SNACKS
2. Soft Cheeses
Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and A2 cows soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Always buy raw and unpasteurized cheeses if you want to receive any probiotics.
3. Active-Culture Yogurt
Yogurt is one of the most familiar sources of probiotics — “good” bacteria that keep a healthy balance in your gut. Studies suggest that probiotics can help ease lactose intolerance. They also may help tame gas, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. An explosion of yogurt brands has taken over the dairy section lately, but you have to be careful about which brands to buy; many of them—both Greek and regular—are loaded with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors. You can pay extra for special digestive yogurt brands, but any with “live and active cultures” listed may help. For people sensitive to dairy, coconut yogurt is an excellent dairy-free way to work plenty of enzymes and probiotics into your diet.

SIDE DISH

sour pickles
Sour pickles

4. Sour Pickles
One of the most loved snack among pregnant women, fermented pickles is basic and beloved natural probiotic. For many, pickles can be your gateway food to other, more exotic fermented foods. When looking to pickles for probiotics, choose naturally fermented kinds, where vinegar wasn’t used in the pickling process. A sea salt and water solution feeds the growth of good bacteria and may give sour pickles some digestive benefits.
5. Curtido
A type of lightly fermented cabbage relish. It is typical in Salvadoran cuisine and that of other Central American countries, and is usually made with cabbage, onions, carrots, and sometimes lime juice; it resembles sauerkraut, kimchi, or tart cole slaw. It is commonly served alongside pupusas, the national delicacy.
6. Natto – A popular dish in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans. Natto contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis, which has been proven to bolster your immune system, support cardiovascular health and enhance digestion of vitamin K2. Also, Natto contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase that has been proven to fight cancer.
7. Kimchi
A popular Korean side dish, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.

FOOD

Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Bread

8. Sourdough Bread
The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to what’s holding your cold cuts and cheese. San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread packs a probiotic that may help digestion.
9. Tempeh
Vegetarians eat tempeh as a substitute for meat. Made from a base of fermented soybeans, this Indonesian patty is a complete protein, with all of the amino acids. People often describe its flavor as smoky, nutty, and similar to a mushroom. Tempeh can be cooked or crumbled over salads.
10. Sauerkraut Boosts Digestion
Choose the unpasteurized kind, because pasteurization (used to treat most supermarket sauerkraut) kills active, good bacteria. This sour, salty food — and the similar but spicy Korean dish, kimchi — is also loaded with immune-boosting vitamins that may help ward off infection.
11. Fermented meat, fish, and eggs
Consumed in many traditional fares, you can find some mouth-watering recipes from corned beef to pickled sardines and fermented hard-boiled eggs recipes on internet.

DRINKS

probiotic milk
probiotic milk

12. Kefir: Probiotic-Filled Drink
The name Kefir is derived from the Turkish word keyif which means “feeling good”. According to legend, kefir dates back to the shepherds of Eurasia’s Caucasus Mountains. They discovered the milk they carried tended to ferment into a bubbly beverage. Thick, creamy, and tangy like yogurt, kefir has its own strains of probiotic bacteria, plus a few helpful yeast varieties. For those who are sensitive to dairy or lactose intolerant, coconut kefir, a non-dairy version, is also delicious and equally beneficial.
13. Milk With Probiotics
One of the easiest ways to get probiotics into your diet is by adding acidophilus milk. It’s milk that’s been fermented with bacteria. Sometimes it’s labeled sweet acidophilus milk. Buttermilk — usually milk that’s cultured with lactic acid bacteria — is also rich in probiotics.
14. Kombucha
This is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This fizzy probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your wellbeing, and maybe even help you lose weight.
15. Apple cider Vinegar
Look for “raw, unpasteurized” on the bottle – vinegar that’s still probiotic will be cloudy. Most stores will only carry raw apple cider vinegar, not other types.
16. Kvass – This is a common fermented beverage in Eastern Europe since ancient times. It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley, but in more recent years has been created using beets, fruit along with other root vegetables like carrots. Kvass uses lactobacilli probiotics and is known for its blood- and liver-cleansing properties and has a mild sour flavor.
17. Mircoalgae
Although this isn’t a food per se, it’s great to add to your morning smoothie. Sometimes called “blue algae,” microalgae is a grassy, green plant that’s often used in juices. Microaglae are ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae.

CONDINMENTS AND RELISH

olives
olives

18. Fermented Olives
Olives in brine have large amounts of probiotics because the brine allows the probiotic cultures to thrive.
19. Pickled fruits and vegetables
Pickling fruits and veggies, such as carrot sticks, transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Whether you do this yourself or buy pickled produce, keep in mind that the probiotic benefits are only present in unpasteurized foods pickled in brine, not vinegar.
20. Cultured condiments
Believe it or not, you can create lacto-fermented mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, hot sauce, relish, salsa, guacamole, salad dressing, and fruit chutney. Sour cream, while technically a fermented dairy product, tends to lose its probiotic power during processing. Some manufacturers, however, add live cultures at the end of the process; look for these brands.

DESSERT

dark chocolate
dark chocolate

21. Dark chocolate
Delicious and nutritious – really! Dark chocolate contains probiotics and antioxidants to keep your stomach healthy and your sweet tooth satisfied.

SUPPLIMENTS

fermented cod liver oil
fermented cod liver oil


If you’re not consuming lots of kimchi and kefir on a regular basis, you can also get beneficial bacteria by taking a probiotic supplement.
22. Fermented foods Supplements
Aside from being found in foods, probiotics come in supplements in capsule, tablet, powder, and liquid forms. Although they don’t provide the extra nutrition that foods can offer, they can be convenient. If you’re interested, talk to your doctor. If you’re ill or have immune system problems, you may want to be cautious about taking probiotics.
23. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
You’re probably already familiar with the many health benefits of fish oil, however fermented cod liver oil is a whole different experience. This is one of the oldest “super foods” on the market. It dates back thousands of years and was used by many different cultures. Fermented cod liver oil is not only chock full of probiotics, it also supplies a massive amount of vitamin D – a nutrient in which an alarming number of people are lacking due to our tendency to avoid sun exposure. Fermented cod liver oil also packs a mighty punch of vitamin A, which (no matter what you’ve read recently) is great for your skin and eye health, as well as for cellular regeneration.

BONUS: Make Water Kefir. Instructions can be found here. 

There you have our 23 Fermented Foods For A Healthy Happy Gut

Mouth watering probiotic dish to get you started.

Pickled Ginger Asian Pear Coleslaw

Pickled Ginger Asian Pear Coleslaw
Pickled Ginger Asian Pear Coleslaw

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon yellow miso paste
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®)
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large Asian pear, thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely sliced pickled ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds salt to taste

Directions:
1. Whisk together mayonnaise, rice vinegar, miso, and chile-garlic sauce in a large bowl.
2. Stir cabbage, pear, and ginger into the mayonnaise mixture until well coated. Stir in green onions and sesame seeds. Season with salt to taste. Enjoy (adopted from All recipes dot com)

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