Probiotics are live microorganisms that improve health when consumed. Probiotics are usually beneficial bacteria and provide all kinds of powerful benefits for the body and brain. Probiotic supplements may improve digestive health, reduce depression, and promote a healthy heart.
Some evidence also suggests that they might improve skin and make it look better. Although you can get probiotics from supplements, fermented foods also provide them in the required quantities.
Yogurt is one of the best and easily available sources of probiotics. It is made from milk by fermenting it with friendly bacteria, mainly bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. It can control blood pressure, reduce diarrhea, and relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS). However, it is important to choose yogurt that has live or active cultures for maximum benefits.
Kefir is fermented probiotic milk and is made by adding kefir grains to goat or cow milk. These grains are yeast and cultures of lactic acid bacteria that somewhat look like cauliflower. This drink is said to help with digestive problems, improve bone health, protect against infections. People with lactose intolerance can also consume this drink.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage which is fermented by lactic acid bacteria. This food is rich in vitamin B, C, K, fiber, sodium, manganese, and iron. It contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are important for healthy eyes. It is important to choose unpasteurized Sauerkraut which contains live bacteria.
Kimchi is a spicy Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage but can be made from other vegetables as well. The dish contains different types of lactic acid bacteria that may improve health conditions. Kimchi is high in vitamin K, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), iron, and other vitamins and minerals.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that forms a patty and is a high-protein substitute for meat. Soybeans are high in phytic acid which results in impairing the absorption of minerals like zinc and iron by the body. Hence, fermenting it reduces the amount of phytic acid and results in increased absorption of minerals by the body. Further, fermentation also produces vitamin B12 which is not obtained in soybeans. Vitamin B12, which is mainly found in dairy, eggs, meat, and fish. Hence, tempeh makes a great substitute for vegetarians.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning that is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus. It is an excellent source of fiber and protein along with vitamins, plant compounds, minerals, vitamin K, copper, and manganese, which are essential for the body. Consuming miso soup has shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women, and also reduced the risk of stroke.
Kombucha is a fermented green or black tea. The fermentation is done by a friendly colony of yeast and bacteria. Although it has health benefits, more research is required to be sure. An alternate source of protein is whey protein price.
Pickles are made with putting cucumber pieces in a solution of salt and water. Due to the presence of lactic acid bacteria, they become sour after leaving to ferment for some time. They improve digestive health, are a good source of vitamin K, low in calories, and are an important nutrient for blood clotting.
There are mainly two types of buttermilk, the traditional one and the cultured one. Traditional buttermilk is easily made at home taking the leftover liquid after making butter. The liquid contains probiotics. On the other hand, cultured buttermilk is low in fat and calories, and contains important minerals and vitamins such as riboflavin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and calcium.