Probiotics are foods or supplements containing live microorganisms that improve or maintain the good bacteria in your body. Two examples of such microorganisms are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotics help maintain what is called the normal microflora, or balance of microorganisms, in your gut and other areas of your body. In this way, they help improve your immune and digestive systems, and your overall health. You can find probiotics in foods like kimchi, yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, and others.
Let’s find out about some popular probiotic foods that are currently available on the market:
This is a very popular brand of low-fat yogurt, and it has probiotics for extra nutrition. This extra creamy, delicious yogurt is made with Activia’s exclusive probiotic culture, Bifidus regularis (Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010).
Two containers of this yogurt a day is enough to keep your digestive system nicely regulated. It contains less than 1% milk protein concentrate, so it is suitable for those who want to maintain a low dairy diet. The milk is reduced fat. It also contains added vitamin D3.
There are four ounces of yogurt in every container, and you can buy this in a case of 24 containers. They are shipped refrigerated. Be careful when purchasing through Amazon that you do not purchase too many containers at one time, as they have short expiry dates.
- Extra creamy and delicious yogurt
- Made with probiotic culture, Bifidus regularis (Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010)
- Contains less than 1% milk protein concentrate and the milk is reduced fat
- Contains added vitamin D3
Kimchi is a spicy, savory, tangy Korean condiment that naturally contains probiotics. It is made from pickled cabbage. It is known for its flavorful heat and nutrition.
House Napa Cabbage Kimchi is Mother in Law’s original and still their best-selling version. It is made with an authentic restaurant recipe that combines savory with spicy. To make this kimchi, they ferment long strips of Napa cabbage slowly in chili sauce.
This kimchi also contains salted shrimp and other types of seafood, anchovy sauce, bone broth, yellow and green onion, fresh ginger and garlic, and organic sugar.
This kimchi is non-GMO-verified and gluten-free. It is all natural with no preservatives.
Each glass jar contains 16 fluid ounces of kimchi and you can buy it in a case of six jars.
- Spicy, savory, tangy Korean condiment that naturally contains probiotics
- The kimchi is made with long strips of cabbage fermented in chili sauce
- Also contains salted shrimp and other seafood, anchovy sauce, and bone broth
- All natural, non-GMO-verified, gluten-free, and preservative-free
Tempeh is a vegan protein from Indonesia that can be used in anything from sandwiches to stir fry. It also tastes great served with garbanzo, mung, or adzuki beans. It has a rich, nutty flavor, and makes a delicious bean cake, among other things.
Tempeh is traditionally made from fermented soybeans but this particular product is a soy-free starter kit that you can use to make tempeh at home. The kit is easy to use and great for beginners who are just getting started with tempeh.
This starter culture contains the freshest probiotics, and making your own cultured foods at home produces a higher amount of live probiotics than if you buy the tempeh at the store. Its main probiotic is Rhizopus oligosporus.
It is non-GMO and has numerous health benefits. It is a great source of vitamin B12 and protein.
It does take some practice to perfect the tempeh-making process, so try not to lose patience or give up. Try again if it doesn’t work properly the first time. Cultures provides lots of articles, recipes, and step-by-step video tutorials to help you learn how to embrace the natural lifestyle by culturing your own food.
- Tempeh is a tasty vegan protein with a rich, nutty flavor
- This product is a soy-free starter kit you can use to make tempeh at home
- The kit is easy to use and great for beginners who are new to making tempeh
- Contains the freshest probiotics, primarily Rhizopus oligosporus
- Non-GMO, great source of vitamin B12 and protein
Fermented sauerkraut is a great source of natural live probiotics. It is absolutely delicious and full of nutrients. Cabbage (the main ingredient in sauerkraut) itself is full of nutrients, and fermented cabbage has bacteria that makes all those nutrients a lot more bioavailable.
This particular brand of sauerkraut is delicious. The texture really sets it apart from other brands. The cabbage is chopped irregularly rather than shredded, and it is more crunchy than other varieties of sauerkraut. The brine is not too sour, and it does not have the vinegar taste associated with other brands. This sauerkraut is made the way sauerkraut was made many years ago, and the added carrots bring its flavor to the next level.
This sauerkraut is raw, unpasteurized, and naturally fermented for 28 days. It is made using a traditional Russian recipe, by hand in small batches. The ingredients include organic green cabbage, organic carrots, Himalayan salt, sea salt, and water. There is no sugar added. This sauerkraut is made with the highest quality salts and 100% organic ingredients.
This sauerkraut is high in living probiotic cultures, other microorganisms that are good for your system, and enzymes. It’s great for people who suffering with digestive ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome – users have found it reduces gas, cramping, and spasms.
The carrots in this sauerkraut add to the nutrition – carrots help improve vision, reduce cholesterol, lower your risk of heart attacks, boost the immune system, improve digestion, and improve your skin health.
- Delicious sauerkraut with cabbage that is crunchy and chopped irregularly
- Brine has a nice, mild flavor, not too sour, and no vinegar in the flavor
- Raw, unpasteurized, and naturally fermented for 28 days
- High in probiotic cultures, enzymes, and other microorganisms that are good for your system
- Contains carrots which add to the flavor and nutrition
- No sugar added
This tasty granola is a probiotic cereal. It contains GanedenBC30, a patented probiotic that has a protective spore which enables it to survive the baking process. This cereal is very nutritious and filling. It is packed with fiber and protein, and superfoods like chia seeds and coconut oil.
It also tastes great. It is sweetened with coconut sugar, which is unrefined and low-glycemic. It contains organic maple syrup, walnuts, and cinnamon to taste, which add a lovely sweet flavor to its award-winning Ancient Grain Granola. The cinnamon season is just right – not too strong or too light. The granola itself is crunchy without having a dry texture.
Two servings of this granola per day will provide you with all the probiotics you need to keep your digestive and immune systems healthy. Try it for breakfast and then later as a snack with your yogurt and fruit. It’s also fun to munch on throughout the day.
This granola is organic, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
The ingredients are high quality and pure, and the company is committed to providing high nutrition without sacrificing flavor.
Each package contains eight ounces of granola.
- Made with patented Ancient Grain Granola which is crunchy but not dry
- Contains the probiotic GanedenBC30 which can survive the baking process
- Packed with fiber, protein, and superfoods like chia seeds
- Sweetened with coconut sugar, which is low-glycemic
- Organic, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free
- Flavored with maple syrup, walnuts, and just the right amount of cinnamon
More about probiotics
You’ve learned that probiotics contain live microorganisms that improve or maintain the good bacteria in your body, especially in your gut. You’ve seen examples of some popular foods containing probiotics. Now let’s find out a bit more about these superfoods.
Types of probiotics
There are many different types of bacteria that are considered probiotics. All have their specific benefits.
Lactobacillus is a common probiotic that is commonly found in yogurt and fermented foods. Bifidobacterium is found in some dairy products. Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast found in probiotic foods. All three probiotics are helpful with your digestive system. They can help reduce diarrhea.
How do probiotics work?
In your gut, there are nerves that control the movement of food. Probiotics have an effect on these nerves.
In addition, your body contains lots of good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria help make sure your body runs smoothly. Probiotics contain good bacteria, and consuming probiotics can help increase the amount of good bacteria you have in your body. These good bacteria help fight off bad bacteria that can arise when you are sick. Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of microbes in your body.
Some types of good bacteria can also help break down and absorb medications.
Probiotics are particularly helpful in the digestive system. They can help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea caused by viruses or bacteria, and diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
Probiotics can also be useful in other areas of your body. Some people have found them useful in reducing symptoms associated with skin conditions like eczema, and urinary and vaginal issues. They may also help prevent colds and allergies, and improve your oral health.
Probiotics may be especially helpful after you have had an infection requiring antibiotic drugs. Antibiotics destroy bacteria in your system in order to fight infection but sometimes they kill off good bacteria too. As a result, some people develop diarrhea after taking antibiotics. Others might develop a serious infection called C. difficile after taking antibiotics, that also causes diarrhea. When you consume probiotics after taking antibiotics, you replace some of the good bacteria that was killed by the antibiotics.
There are a few common characteristics that all probiotics have. They must be able to survive being in the intestines after being eaten. They must have a proven health benefit and they must be safe to consume. All probiotics contain microbes that already exist naturally in your body.
You do not need to take supplements in order to get probiotics into your system. You simply need to eat a well-balanced diet high in fiber. Include foods that already contain probiotics. This will keep your good bacteria at a good level in your body.
Foods high in probiotics include the ones profiled above – yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and probiotic cereal – as well as fermented pickles, kefir (a fermented dairy drink), kombucha (a fermented tea), or sourdough bread.
How safe are probiotics?
As always, if you are consuming lots of probiotics in your food, make sure your diet is well balanced. Too much of any one food can prevent your body from getting the benefits of other healthy foods.
Probiotics are generally safe to consume because they already exist in your body naturally. However, some people may have allergic reactions to certain probiotics. They may also have sensitivity to specific probiotics, which can result in stomach aches, diarrhea, gas, and/or bloating for a few days when they first start eating them.
Some people take probiotic supplements, and those are generally safe also. However, some people should not take them: those with a weak immune system (such as going through chemotherapy), critical illness, or those who have recently had surgery.
In conclusion, foods high in probiotics are great for your diet because they add good bacteria to your body, which helps it fight off infection and improve your gut health. There are many foods high in probiotics to choose from, including tempeh, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and more. Search around for your favorite foods that are high in probiotics. You are sure to find something that tastes great and contains lots of healthy probiotics.
This extra creamy and delicious yogurt is made with the probiotic culture Bifidus regularis (Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010). It contains less than 1% milk protein concentrate and has added vitamin D3.
This gluten-free granola is crunchy without being dry. It contains the probiotic GanedenBC30 which can survive the baking process. It has a great maple flavor and is packed with fiber and protein.