Great Probiotic Foods For Better Gut Health
Are you getting enough probiotic-rich foods in your diet? Chances are youre probably not. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in your gut which are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption to immune health.
Not only are probiotics are essential for digestion, but did you know there are hundreds of other health benefits of consuming probiotic-rich foods that you might not be aware of? According to a review in the journal ISRN Nutrition, probiotics could also help people lower cholesterol, protect against allergies, aid in cancer prevention and more.
In most cases, getting more probiotics in your routine doesnt require you to buy expensive pills, powders or supplements. In fact, there are a number of probiotic foods out there that are delicious, versatile and easy to enjoy as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet naturally.
In this article, well cover the extensive list of all probiotic foods you should consider adding to your food routine and how they can benefit you. Plus, well look at some tips for how to fit these fermented foods into your meals to maximize the gut-boosting benefits of probiotics.
Amazing Health Benefits Of Consuming Probiotics Rich Foods
Although it is well known that including probiotics in your daily diet either through foods or supplements helps in improving digestive functions, it also has several other health benefits that we hardly know about.
It has been proven that the brain sends signals to the gut which is why different types of emotions and stress can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. Brain function is notable different among women who consumed probiotics in yogurt. Women consuming probiotics present better connectivity between significant brainstem regions called the periaqueductal grey and areas of the prefrontal cortex and they experience less activity in both the insula and the somatosensory cortex.
The somatosensory system is a complex sensory system. The processing primarily occurs in the primary somatosensory area in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex and information is sent via sensory nerves to the brain.
Low-density lipoproteins is known as bad cholesterol because they can transport their content of fat molecules into artery walls resulting in clogged arteries and can increase the chance of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to chest pain, heart attacks and strokes.
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!
Recommended Reading: Does Peanut Butter Cause Heartburn
What If You’re Having Gi Symptoms
Sometimes as a result of an insufficient diet, you might find that you experience symptoms that could point to a need for more probiotics and prebiotics. There are several indicators to an unhealthy gut that you may not be aware of, so here are some examples of symptoms to look out for:
If youre experiencing any of the above symptoms, you might want to consider increasing your fiber intake and decreasing sugars and fats. Plus, incorporating foods rich with prebiotics and probiotics into your diet might be just what your body needs. For more details on how the digestive system functions, the work it does for your body, and the importance of adding fiber into your diet, check out the following article Why You Need To Eat More Fiber ASAP. That said, if you’re concerned about any of these symptoms you should definitely consult your doctor.
What Are Probiotic Foods
Itâs important to understand what a probiotic is first. Probiotics are good, live bacteria that you add to your gut via food with a live culture in it or via dietary supplements, and which have a proven health benefit.
Probiotic foods contain live bacteria or yeast cultures that offer proven health benefits. Yes, they are bacteria and they are alive those are both good things.
However, the good bacteria canât do this if they arenât alive. Probiotics need to be living to help support your gut. the cultures arenât alive, they wonât deliver the intended health benefit.
In short, probiotic foods must have living cultures that provide a health benefit.
You May Like: Align Probiotic Gut Health
How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
Whats The Difference Between Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods
Most types of fiber are fully digested before reaching the intestines, but others, the prebiotics, stay intact through the metabolic process and feed the intestinal bacteria in the gut.
Related: Probiotics for Weight Loss
Prebiotic foods are fiber-rich and encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms that already exist in the gut, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, she says. Leeks, onions, tofu, some soy products and grains are examples of prebiotic foods.
Probiotics thrive when an individual consumes adequate prebiotic-rich foods within a diverse diet, Fiorita says. One group is not healthier than the otherwe need both.
Also Check: Bananas Cause Bloating
Tips To Add Probiotic Foods To Your Diet
While it might be tempting to rush to the grocery store and buy up all these probiotic-rich foods, you’re better off introducing them into your diet more gradually.
“A common side effect from eating too many probiotics is having extra gas and bloating,” Yeung says. Plus, “some people experience headaches when eating probiotic foods due to the amines, such as histamine and tyramine, found in those foods.”
To minimize the chance of side effects, Yeung recommends going slow. “Gradually introduce probiotics into your diet with a serving a day, and then increase the amount once your digestive system has adjusted.” Your gut will thank you.
How Probiotics Can Benefit Your Health
And additional research has suggested a way we might mend this imbalance: by eating fermented foods full of probiotics
Another major benefit of probiotics is that they may help regulate weight. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that overweight women who were put on a calorie-restricted diet and given a probiotic supplement for 12 weeks showed significantly higher weight loss than those given a placebo.
A possible mechanism, described by a summary in the journal Gut, is that probiotic foods help rebalance your gut bugs by creating an environment where the good guys can regain strength. The A-lister usually mentioned is yogurt, but the probiotic foods we’re about to discuss go way beyond breakfast.
Recommended Reading: What Can You Take For Diarrhea During Pregnancy
Should I Try Probiotics
If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, its worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally dont cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.
Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.
Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body
You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.
Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.
Don’t Miss: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
Food Sources Of Prebiotics
According to regulation standards, prebiotics are made up of non-digestible carbohydrates that are used by bacteria in the colon to produce measurable health benefits. Naturally found in food, a prebiotic is not broken down or absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial bacteria use this fiber as a food source in a process called fermentation. .
Prebiotics are considered functional foods in that they provide numerous health benefits and aid in the prevention and treatment of diseases and health conditions.
Currently, there are three major types of prebiotics that are well documented: inulin, oligosaccharides and arabinogalactans. Examples of food sources that contain prebiotics are:
Inulin and oligosaccharides are short-chain polysaccharides, or chains of carbs, which act at different locations in the colon ensuring complete intestinal health. By increasing and maintaining the populations of good bacteria, the body is less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria and yeast that can lead to a diverse range of negative health consequences.
Arabinogalactans are class of long, densely branched high-molecular polysaccharides Many edible and inedible plants are rich sources of arabinogalactans including leeks, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, coconut meat and coconut flour among others. The bark of the larch tree is the best source and often used to make prebiotic supplements.
Whats The Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics might sound the same, but they are entirely different.
As you now know, probiotics are a general term for friendly bacteria that live in your digestive tract and contribute to your well-being on multiple levels.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a nutrient found in fiber that feeds the good bacteria and allows them to flourish in the gut.
Prebiotics come from plant-based, fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This is part of the reason why a diet rich in nutrient-dense, plant-based foods is so important for your gut.
Also Check: Can Not Eating Enough Cause Diarrhea
Food Sources Of Probiotic And Its Health Benefits
We usually heard that germ causes disease but not all germs! The wrong microbe at the wrong place may cause health issues but the right microbe at the right place can provide benefits. Here comes the role of probiotics. Probiotics are live, good microorganisms that are generally present in our body to prevent certain illnesses. It promotes a healthy gut system and boosts immunity.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Does It Mean When You Keep Having Heartburn
Broaden Your Sauerkraut Savvy
Nutritionists know that sauerkraut isnt just for that ballpark hot dog. You can buy it or make it with traditional cabbage or sub in other veggies to give any meal a whole lot more flavor. Fermented daikon radishes, turnips, cucumbers, okra, and string beans can all make great condiments. They can also be eaten as a snack, or added on to a salad.
Pickling And Fermenting Are Not The Same
Simply because something is pickled, does not necessarily mean that its fermented or rich in probiotics. For a food to be fermented, it needs the presence of live bacteria that also provide health benefits. Many foods are pickled using vinegar or quick pickled, which doesnt allow for this probiotic presence.
Recommended Reading: Lettuce Causes Gas And Diarrhea
How To Get More Probiotics
There are two ways to get more good bacteria into your gut: fermented foods and dietary supplements. Fermented foods are the most natural source. Probiotic supplements, which are typically sold over the counter, are reserved to treat specific ailments as suggested by your doctor, and not recommended for everyday use. Plus, supplements do not have the same FDA oversight as medications do.
So, a big question remains: How many probiotic foods do you need? That’s not easy to answer.
There is no recommended daily intake for probiotics, so there is no way to know exactly which fermented foods or what quantity is best. Therefore, the general guideline is to just add as many fermented foods to your daily diet as possible.
Why fermented foods? Fermenting is one of the oldest techniques for food preservation. Mankind has been fermenting foods and drinks like beer and wine for centuries. Foods that are fermented go through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process creates an environment that preserves the food and promotes beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as various species of good bacteria.
Another way to look at fermentation is that it takes one type of food and transforms it into another kind. For instance, cabbage becomes sauerkraut, cucumbers become pickles, soybeans turn into miso, and milk can be made into yogurt, cheeses, and sour cream.
Not All Fermented Foods Have Probiotics
Case and point: sourdough bread. The dough is fermented by bacteria, but once heated the probiotics are eliminated. Sourdough still has wonderful health benefits, probiotics are just not one of them. Other examples are beer and wine that have undergone fermentation but no longer have probiotic bacteria.
On the flip side, here are seven probiotic-rich foods you should incorporate into your diet:
Don’t Miss: Does Lettuce Cause Constipation
Why Are Probiotics Beneficial For Gut Health
A probiotic is best described as a microorganism which naturally occurs in cultured foods and which improves the health of its host . Probiotic foods naturally contain probiotic cultures of yeast or bacteria. Probiotic bacteria perform some important functions such as supporting a healthy immune system, metabolism and digestion. Research indicates that imbalances in the gut microbiome can been linked to numerous diseases, including cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Your gut microbiome is strongly influenced by your food choices and you can easily support this by including more probiotic rich foods into your daily diet.
Kefir Is Foods Rich In Probiotics
Kefir is traditionally getting made from cow, sheep, or goat milk. Unlike yogurt, however, not only lactic acid bacteria are added to the milk, but also the so-called kefir tuber.
It is a milk fungus that contains yeast as well as bacteria. It converts part of the milk sugar into lactic acid and another part into alcohol and carbonic acid
Kefir contains even more live probiotic bacteria than yogurt, and just like yogurt, it improves bone density and helps with digestive problems. Besides, regular consumption of kefir regulates blood pressure and has an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect.
Traditional kefir is almost lactose-free, which makes it safe for most people suffering from lactose intolerance. Due to its compelling folic acid content, it is also very healthy, especially for pregnant women, to drink kefir regularly.
Recommended Reading: Align Probiotic Yeast Infection