Probiotics are living microorganisms in the body that have a myriad of positive functions. They can also be consumed to up your health and improve your overall quality of life . Consuming probiotic foods is linked to improved digestion and heart health, better mood and healthier skin , , , .
Probiotics are also available in supplement form but a better alternative would be to add probiotic rich foods in your diet. You don’t have to worry about being sensitive to a certain food or disliking its taste because probiotics are available in a wide range of foods, satisfying even the pickiest eaters.
The following are the best probiotic foods and how you’ll benefit from them:
Each serving of yogurt can contain billions of bacteria – the good kind that is . How much live cultures a yogurt has can vary between brands so reading the labels will help. Regular consumption of yogurt has been linked to improved weight, reduced blood pressure, improvement in diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Just try to flavor the yogurt yourself with natural ingredients like berries and nuts and skip the sugar-sweetened kind.
Kefir is a fermented dairy similar to yogurt that includes fermented kefir grains and milk. People have been consuming kefir for over 3000 years and the word “kefir” actually means “feeling good” . Kefir has a tart flavor and can contain 10 to 34 probiotic strains, having more probiotics than yogurt.
3. Coconut kefir
Coconut kefir is dairy-free making it a great option for those with lactose intolerance. While it does contain some of the same strains as dairy kefir, the probiotic content is slightly less. Coconut kefir tastes fabulous and makes a refreshing drink when flavoured with some lime.
This traditional Korean side doesn’t only taste fabulous but it’s incredible for health too. It’s sour and spicy and typically made with fermented cabbage, radish and cucumber. Kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria that are great for gut health as well as fiber and many vitamins .
5. Sour pickles
Sour pickles, an age-old favorite among many people also comes with a decent dose of probiotics. Be sure to get ones brined in sea salt or water and not vinegar, as vinegar inhibits good bacteria from growing. Pickle juice is also a great source of electrolytes and helps alleviate muscle cramps post workouts.
6. Dark Chocolate
Lactose intolerants rejoice! What a lot of people don’t know is that dark chocolate contains up to four (!) times more probiotics as numerous types of dairy products.
Tempeh is a healthy substitute for meat for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Made with soybeans, this fermented grain is rich in probiotics and protein. The bacteria in tempeh produce their own vitamin B12 as well 
Although it has been used for centuries, kombucha is becoming increasingly popular these days for all the good reasons. It’s a fermented tea packed with healthy bacteria. The drink is a quick energy booster and it also helps in weight loss.
However, the drink may not suitable for everyone, such as those with candida-related issues.
Microalgae are ocean plants like chorella, spirulina and blue-green algae. They are rich in bifidobacteria and lactobacilullus, both of which are super beneficial for your digestive system.
Sauerkraut is made with fermented cabbage and other vegetables and is rich in live probiotics. Not only is it a probiotic food, it also helps relieve symptoms of allergies and is packed with vitamins A, B, C and E.
Natto is a popular Japanese dish made with fermented soybeans. It contains potent probiotic strains such as Bacillus subtilis, which is great for the immune system, digestive system and cardiovascular system. It’s also full of vitamin K2 and anti-inflammatory enzymes that fight cancer.
12. Raw Cheese
Soft cheese made with A2 cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk are particularly rich in probiotics that bolster human health . Stick to unpasteurized cheese for an increased amount of probiotics.
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