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Whoever thought that bacteria could actually be good for you? That’s right, you heard me. There’s a thing called good bacteria, and they exist. Probiotic food contains these good bacteria.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms. They provide the human body with many health benefits when consumed. These are especially helpful to the digestive system. They are also beneficial to the immune system. This leads to protection from various infections and illnesses.
Probiotic Food to Try Out
I'm sure you’re still a little iffy about probiotic food and what they're all about. However, you’d be surprised to know that you’ve probably already tried some of them.
Read on to find out more about these healthy bacteria.
Surprise! Yup, yogurt is one of the most popular probiotic food out there. Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria.
Eating yogurt has plenty of health benefits for the body. First, it improves bone health and helps lower high blood pressure. It also relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues.
Yogurt is safe as well for those who are lactose intolerant.
This dairy product is a unique combination of cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. This originated in the North Caucasus Mountains in Russia.
It also has a high level of antioxidants. It’s also another of the probiotic food that’s safe to consume if you have lactose intolerance.
An Ohio State University study found that drinking kefir reduces bloating and gas brought on by lactose consumption by 70 percent. And kefir actually contains more probiotics than yogurt!
Vegetarians use tempeh as a meat or tofu substitute. It is a fermented soybean product.
This probiotic food is created by adding a yeast starter to soybeans. Then set aside for a day or two. It then takes the shape of a firm patty.
People describe its flavor as similar to a mushroom, nutty and earthy. Tempeh originated from Indonesia.
It provides the body with vitamin B12, protein, fiber, and calcium.
Who knew this Japanese seasoning, often used in miso soup, has lots of vitamins and minerals for the body? First, it’s a great source of fiber and protein. It also has a number of phytonutrients, vitamin K, copper, manganese, and all 9 essential amino acids.
A study showed that miso lowers the risk of breast cancer. Another study also showed it reduces the risk of stroke.
Miso is a great digestive regulator. First, it alkalinizes the body, strengthens the immune system, stops the effects of carcinogens, and neutralizes the effects of environmental pollution.
Miso is made by mixing soybeans with other ingredients. It could be rice, rye, or barley. You can create this by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus koji.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is used as a salad dressing, or you can drink this straight up (in small amounts, of course). It has protein enzymes, potassium, pectin, calcium, acetic acid, and malic acid.
Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body and replenishes beneficial bacteria that crowd out yeast. It also controls blood pressure, prevents diabetes, aids in weight loss, and lowers cholesterol.
To make apple cider vinegar, first crush apples and save its liquid. Then add good bacteria and yeast to the liquid. Next, the sugars are converted into alcohol. Then the alcohol is turned to vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria.
Bread contains probiotics? That’s right. Well, at least this type of bread does. To make sourdough bread, ferment the dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. These two break down the gluten and sugar in the wheat flour. This turns it to proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
The bacteria predigests the starches from the grains. This makes sourdough bread much easier to digest compared to other types of bread. Eating this also makes you feel fuller longer.
Sauerkraut is made from finely shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is very popular in many countries, specifically in Europe. Sauerkraut is a side dish or a topping on top of sausages. It tastes quite sour and salty.
Sauerkraut has a high content of sodium, iron, and manganese. It is also very rich in fiber and contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. This probiotic food also has a high amount of organic acids, which support the growth of good bacteria. Lastly, it also has the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which are very beneficial for the eyes.
In order to enjoy its full probiotic benefits, make sure to consume unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria.
Kimchi is the Korean relative of sauerkraut. It boasts a spicy and sour taste. Kimchi is usually made with fermented cabbage. However, you can use other vegetables as well. Some use cucumbers or radish. Then you season with garlic, ginger, salt, red chili flakes, and scallion.
This Korean side dish is a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, and iron. It also has vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and K. Also, it has lactic acid bacteria that promotes good digestion.
That’s right, there’s a difference. Most store-bought pickles are merely pickled, not fermented. Those found in the store undergo pasteurization, which kills off the bacteria. You can make your own fermented pickles with a starter (yeast), water, and salt.
They are low in calories, but high in vitamin K and sodium. In the UK, Australia, and Ireland,they call them gherkins. In Canada and the US, they call them pickles.
Take note that I don’t just mean the mere term buttermilk. I specifically mean traditional buttermilk. Buttermilk has two main types. There’s the traditional buttermilk and the cultured buttermilk.
Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter. This contains healthy probiotics. People in Pakistan, India, and Nepal usually consume this.
Cultured buttermilk, on the other hand, generally doesn’t contain probiotic benefits.
Traditional buttermilk is low in both fat and calories. It has several essential vitamins and minerals good for the body, such as calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.
Here’s another of the probiotic food that we have to be very specific with. Note that not all types of cheese contain probiotics. It is important to read the labels. Make sure there is a presence of live and active cultures in the product.
This is where raw cheese comes in. You use raw, unpasteurized cow’s or goat’s milk to make them. Their low acidity and high fat nurture and preserve microorganisms. Some examples of probiotic raw cheese are cheddar, cottage, feta, Gouda, and Gruyere.
Cheese is a great source of protein. It also contains calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. This makes it a great healthy choice for a snack.
Another fermented soybean product is. It is mixed with rice. You can best enjoy it during breakfast. Natto has a strong taste and smell and a slimy texture.
It has a high protein and vitamin K2 content. It also has a potent anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase.
Kombucha is fermented green or black tea. It is made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This tea has a slightly sweet taste. It is also fizzy and bubbly. It is very popular in Asia, especially in Japan.
Its health benefits include increased energy, detoxification of the liver, weight loss, and promotion of good digestion.
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