What Are Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are a mix of live bacteria and yeast that live naturally in your body. But, these bacteria are beneficial, friendly bacteria, says Ariana Fiorita, a registered dietician nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
The friendly bacteria keep harmful bacteria in check, helping your body maintain a healthy balance, reducing inflammation and optimizing gut health.
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Consuming a balanced, diverse diet of clean protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber and probiotic foods helps promote gastrointestinal health, Fiorita says. And the benefits of a healthy gut are numerous.
Benefits include keeping our immune system healthy by reducing the risk of infection and illness, as well as mental and neurological health, weight and metabolism, cardiovascular health, renal and urinary health and management of gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS , she says.
How To Include Probiotic Foods In Your Diet
Prof. Tim Spector, one of ZOEs lead scientists, recommends eating small amounts of probiotic foods regularly, rather than eating a large amount every now and then.
If you are new to probiotic foods, start slowly and eat small amounts so your palate and gut can get used to the new foods. You can try mixing in your probiotics with other foods so the flavors wont be too strong.
Whether you add some kefir and yogurt to your breakfast, try a new cheese in a sandwich, or mix up your dinner plans by incorporating sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, or kimchi, there is bound to be a probiotic food out there for you.
Probiotics are potentially powerful, but theyre just a single jigsaw piece in the much larger puzzle of your overall diet.
Eating plenty of prebiotic fiber from plants provides the good bugs with the food they need to thrive.
In fact, the American Gut Project found that people who eat 30 plants a week have a greater microbiome diversity than those who only eat 10 plants a week.
The 19 Best Prebiotic Foods You Should Eat
Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
This allows your gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells, which leads to a healthier digestive system (
Some of these nutrients include short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate, and propionate .
These fatty acids can be absorbed into your bloodstream and improve metabolic health .
However, prebiotics shouldnt be confused with probiotics.
Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. To learn more about the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, read this article.
Read on to explore 19 healthy prebiotic foods to add to your grocery list.
Chicory root comes from a flowering plant in the dandelion family. Its popular for its coffee-like flavor and has historically been used in cooking and medicine.
Its also a great source of prebiotics.
Approximately 68% of chicory root fiber comes from the prebiotic fiber inulin .
It may also help prevent diabetes by raising levels of adiponectin, a protein that helps control blood glucose levels .
Additionally, chicory root is high in antioxidant compounds that may protect your liver from oxidative damage .
Chicory root is often used as a caffeine-free coffee replacement. Its inulin fiber promotes friendly gut bacteria, reduces constipation, and can help control glucose levels.
They contain 1.92 grams of fiber per 1 cup .
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Traditional Buttermilk Or Takra
The buttermilk is a range of fermented dairy drinks. There are two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured. Traditional buttermilk is obtained after extracting the butter from the fermented milk.
This has been going on since ancient times. It is called grandmas probiotic. This buttermilk is generally consumed in India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Cultured buttermilk usually does not have probiotics benefits and these are widely available in American supermarkets.
Buttermilk is highly beneficial as it is low in fat and calories and rich in important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.
Heres a recipe for Takra for you to try.
- Heat the pan and add oil.
- Now add the ginger garlic paste and mix till it turns golden brown.
- Now add the miso soup paste and mix well. Stir for few seconds.
- Now add cut veggies and rest of the ingredients except tofu. Mix well.
- Cover and put the heat on low. Let the veggies be cooked on low heat till they turn soft, which is about 10 mins.
- Now add the tofu and mix well without breaking the tofu.
- Close Heat and serve with rice or bread or have it as it is. Enjoy!
Transformation Factory Sea Moss Gel
Sea Moss has many reported benefits to your health, most notably providing your body with all the essential minerals. Sea Moss also delivers 92 of the bodys 102 essential minerals. This marine superfood surpasses other algae, helping with inflammation, healthy mucus membrane support, and digestive health. Although it doesnt provide probiotics, sea moss may have prebiotic effects which could play a role in improving the health of the microbiome.
Transformation Factory has a variety of high-quality sea moss gels. You can easily include this prebiotic powerhouse in your daily routine. Mix it in juices, smoothies, sauces, or consume straight from the jar.
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What Are The Top 5 Probiotic Foods To Eat
Probiotics can be taken as a supplemental pill, but they also naturally form in some foods. Probiotics in the pill form are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration like other medications are, if you have a weak immune system you should talk with your doctor before using probiotics as they could be harmful for people with certain conditions. Below are 5 foods you can incorporate into your diet that contain healthy probiotics.
How Do Probiotics Help Your Health
Probiotic foods can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Researchers have found lots of evidence connecting probiotics to improved immune functions and overall gut health.
However, only foods and supplements that contain live, active cultures, that have been studied and proven to deliver a health benefit actually count as probiotics. Some foods marketed as probiotic foods may not technically contain live cultures with proven health benefits. Always check the label for a probiotic, and always research the strain.
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Probiotics May Reduce The Severity Of Certain Allergies And Eczema
Certain probiotic strains may reduce the severity of eczema in children and infants.
One study found eczema symptoms improved for infants fed probiotic-supplemented milk, compared to infants fed milk without probiotics .
Another study followed children of women who took probiotics during pregnancy. Those children had an 83% lower risk of developing eczema in the first two years of life .
However, the link between probiotics and reduced eczema severity is still weak and more research needs to be done .
Some probiotics may also reduce inflammatory responses in people with milk or dairy allergies. However, the evidence is weak and further studies are needed .
Probiotics may reduce the risk and severity of certain allergies, such as eczema in infants. However, more research is needed.
How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States
Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.
Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.
If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.
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What Are Natural Probiotics
Natural probiotics are those probiotics that occur in food and in the dirt. As humans, we have actually evolved to ingest soil-based organisms as our source of natural probiotics. This includes trace amounts of organic dirt on your vegetables or incidental ingestion from working or being outside near grass and soil.
These naturally occurring probiotics populate our gut and keep us healthy. After all, our ancestors long ago didnt have access to probiotic supplements they got everything they needed from their natural environment and foods.
The good news is that we have access now to both: probiotic supplements and natural probiotics from foods. But, as mentioned, certain foods have naturally occurring probiotics that can help you diversify your diet and keep your gut health strong!
When Should You Take Probiotic Supplements
Most of these foods sound delicious, but that might not be the case for everyone, and people might have certain dietary restrictions that prohibit them from eating certain probiotic foods. How do you know when to supplement with probiotics? If you cant eat the majority of these probiotic foods, it would be a good idea to add a probiotic supplement into your daily mix, says Vaca-Flores. You also may notice changes in the health of your microbiomes that could prompt a need for a boost in probiotics. For example, if you have signs of poor gut or skin health, including an upset stomach, gas and bloating, changes in bowel movements, or skin irritation and breakouts, that could be your sign to start a probiotic supplement, according to Vaca-Flores.
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Probiotic Foods For Kids
Are you looking for probiotic foods for kids? Theyre essential for gut health and easier to get than you may know.
The first question you may ask is, “what are probiotics?” The word itself sounds like a little creature, and thats actually partly true. Probiotics are live microorganisms that have tons of health benefits for your body and brain when you eat them.
These microorganisms are naturally present in your digestive tract and help aid in your digestions and can even reduce inflammation in your gut. Our first reaction may be to avoid bacteria. While that may be smart in certain cases, some bacteria, like probiotics, can actually promote better health!
Why are probiotic foods for kids important? There are tons of health benefits including improved digestion, better immune function, healthier skin, reduced risk for some diseases and even weight loss.
It may feel daunting to try to get your child to eat some of these foods, but theyre all surprisingly kid friendly. Many can have a salty or intense flavor which I have seen kids immediately open up to from the very first bite, so give your child a chance even if they have never tried one of them before.
1. Yogurt: this creamy treat is loaded with friendly bacteria which may reduce inflammation and help kids taking antibiotics. Its important to enjoy yogurt with live cultures and to avoid yogurt which includes added sugar.
What are some of your probiotic foods? Let me know in the comments below!
Conditions Related To Allergy
- A review of 23 studies in which probiotics were tested for treating allergic rhinitis found some evidence that they may be helpful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, because the studies tested different probiotics and measured different effects, no recommendations about the use of probiotics could be made. Few side effects of probiotics were reported in these studies.
- A review of 11 studies of probiotics for asthma in children had inconclusive results.
- Atopic dermatitis is an itchy chronic skin disorder thatâs associated with allergies but not caused by them. Itâs most common in infants and may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema.
- A 2017 review of 13 studies of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and children did not find consistent evidence of a beneficial effect. A review of 9 studies in adults provided preliminary evidence that some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Prevention of Allergies
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How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
A Word Of Caution With Probiotic Foods
All types of probiotic foods are not the same. Their healthful benefits are dependent on how they effect your gut microbiome.
The effect of probiotic foods also depends on the condition of your health:
- Probiotics have a good safety record when people are healthy. Sometimes, it shows side effects, like mild digestive symptoms such as gas.
- Alternatively, probiotics may cause severe side effects. It can cause dangerous infections in people with serious underlying health problems.
- If you are critically ill or having surgery or low immunization power, you should not consume probiotics or its supplements.
- Similarly, it may cause harm for very sick infants.
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It Is Important To Take Care Of Gut Microbiome
When there is disturbance in the types of gut bacteria or the overall quantity of microbes in our gut, it affects our health and mood. Thats why it is important to maintain the range and quantity of our gut bacteria.
Different probiotic foods provide different types of friendly microbes. Thats why we should try to include a variety of probiotics in our diet.
Regular intake of probiotic foods is perhaps one of the easiest and best ways to support our microbiome.
Misconceptions About Probiotic Foods
There are several misconceptions about probiotic foods.
Just because some food types can contain probiotics, it does not mean they all do. For example, not all yogurts contain live and active cultures. The ones that do are usually clearly marked.
Also, not all fermented foods contain live cultures. Examples of fermented foods that do not have probiotics include:
- soya sauce
These and other foods like them go through additional processing that inactivates the live cultures. Examples of these processes include baking, filtering, or pasteurization.
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How Might Probiotics Work
Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.
- Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your bodyâs community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
- Produce substances that have desirable effects
- Influence your bodyâs immune response.
May Treat Ibs Symptoms
IBS, a condition affecting the large intestine, can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. Doctors aren’t yet sure what causes IBS, but some research indicates an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut may be to blame.
The probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium infanti may help reduce some of the symptoms affiliated with IBS, but the research so far is mixed.
A 2015 review found probiotics effectively reduced symptoms of IBS. In three of the trials, people with IBS who took probiotics for four weeks saw an improvement in the frequency and severity of their abdominal pain, bloating, and gas compared to the placebo.
However, a 2019 review found mixed results with seven studies indicating probiotics improved IBS symptoms and four reporting no significant improvement over placebo.
If you have IBS and want to try probiotics, talk with your doctor who can recommend specific types and doses.
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Top Probiotic Foods To Include In Your Diet
Probiotics are introduced in foods in the form of condiments, beverages, and or probiotic foods. A majority of the probiotics utilized in the food industry produce lactic acid that preserves the dairy products.
Probiotics are utilized as starting cultures, co-cultures, and as bio-protective cultures.
Probiotic Foods To Help Balance Your Gut
Itâs true that probiotics can be found in some foods. You might already include them in your diet, or you may be able to replace a food currently in your diet with another that specifically contains probiotics. But picking a probiotic food is not as easy as picking any yogurt off the shelves at the store, and not all fermented foods have probiotics in them.
Finding foods with live cultures is easy. Finding foods with live cultures that have proven health benefits requires attention to detail and research. Plus, you need to make sure youâre getting enough probiotics from those foods in your diet to actually get the health benefit you want.
Yogurt is a classic example. All yogurts do contain live cultures at some point as they are being made. However, as a part of the manufacturing process, the live cultures donât always survive until the yogurt makes it to store shelves. Alternatively, some yogurts still contain live cultures post-processing, however, the specific strains used to make the yogurt provide no benefits to humans.
The truth is, few yogurts naturally contain a probiotic strain. Oftentimes, probiotics are added to the yogurt, but not used as part of the production process.
If you donât already eat fermented foods, there are other options to help you add probiotics to your gut without making a significant dietary change. Probiotic supplements like Align DualBiotic Prebiotic + Probiotic Gummies will guarantee you add more good bacteria to your gut.*
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