Top 10 Probiotic Foods That Are Super Healthy 

Top 10 Probiotic Foods That Are Super Healthy 

Probiotic foods are considered true health boosters. The microorganisms it contains not only stimulate digestion. They also strengthen the immune system. But which foods are particularly suitable for a probiotic diet? An overview of the top 10 healthiest probiotics!

Top 10 Probiotic Foods

The following overview shows the top 10 healthiest probiotic foods and explains how they can promote health.

1. Yogurt

To make yogurt, milk is mixed with lactic acid bacteria. The subsequent fermentation (acidification) acidifies and thickens the milk. Anyone who eats yogurt regularly can improve their intestinal flora and thus specifically alleviate digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation. Various studies have shown this.

In addition, regular yogurt consumption also has a positive effect on increased blood pressure values. Chinese researchers from Soochow University analyzed a total of 14 studies on this topic.

In general, nutrition experts recommend using natural yogurt. Industrially produced fruit yogurts often contain a lot of artificially added sugar. It is also not necessary to buy yogurt with certain lactic acid bacteria. Because it is not the strain that is decisive for the health-promoting effect, but a high number of living bacteria.

2. Kefir

Kefir originally comes from the Caucasus and is a sour milk product. Traditionally, kefir is made from milk or cream and so-called kefir grains. In addition to lactic acid bacteria, these also contain yeast cultures. This produces lactic acid, alcohol, and carbonic acid from milk sugar. That’s why kefir tastes slightly sparkling. The maximum alcohol content is 0.6%.

Kefir contains a very large amount of probiotic microorganisms. Studies have shown that kefir is particularly effective in treating digestive problems. Consumed regularly, it can also regulate high blood pressure and blood lipid levels, support the body in fighting pathogens and alleviate inflammatory processes. However, further investigations still have to prove these last-mentioned positive effects beyond any doubt.

Especially people who suffer from lactose intolerance can benefit from kefir. Because it is almost lactose-free.

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is also a fermented product made from white cabbage through lactic acid fermentation. This makes the cabbage easier to digest and lasts longer. The probiotic lactic acid bacteria in particular make sauerkraut so healthy. The bacteriocins produced by the bacteria, for example, protect the intestines from pathogenic germs. The lactic acid formed not only promotes the movement of the intestines but also keeps the pH value low and the intestinal mucosa healthy. Muscles, liver, and red blood cells can also gain energy from it.

Sauerkraut is also considered a good source of vitamin C. However, there are only 20 to 30 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of herb. Sauerkraut is also not suitable as a source of vitamin B12. Because, contrary to what was previously claimed, it contains at most traces of it. Old measurements also included so-called vitamin B12 analogs. These have a similar chemical structure to the “real” vitamin B12 but have no effect.

Sauerkraut is best eaten fresh and unheated

The heat destroys most healthy bacteria. Fresh sauerkraut is available, for example, in health food stores, health food stores, or at the weekly market.

4. Miso

Miso is a flavorful paste made by fermenting soybeans, wheat, barley, or rice. Responsible for this is the mold “Koji”. Miso paste is an essential part of Asian cuisine. In its present form, it comes from Japan.

Like other fermented products, miso paste is a probiotic food that keeps our gut healthy. In addition, miso provides a lot of protein as well as B vitamins, iron, and calcium. Vegans, in particular, can benefit from this, because miso is a purely vegetable product.

The secondary plant substance genistein, which is also contained, is even considered an anti-aging active ingredient and is used in the cosmetics industry. The miso component dipicolinic acid, on the other hand, is said to help our body eliminate dangerous heavy metals. So far, however, there is no clear scientific evidence for this assumption.

5. Pickled Cucumbers

In addition to sauerkraut, gherkins, also salt gherkins, are known as fermented vegetables in some countries. The production works in a similar way to sauerkraut. Pickled cucumbers are fermented in water to which lactic acid bacteria, sugar, salt, and herbs have been added.

But only if cucumbers are preserved by lactic acid fermentation do they also contain the healthy, probiotic lactic acid bacteria. The intestines and our immune system are happy about this. In addition, pickled cucumbers are real slimmers: They only provide about 13 kilocalories per 100 grams and also contain virtually no fat.

Pickles from the supermarket usually do not contain any lactic acid bacteria

Pickles and gherkins, such as those found in the supermarket, are usually only mixed with vinegar and produced industrially without lactic acid fermentation. They are therefore not probiotic.

6. Kombucha

Top 10 Probiotic Foods That Are Super Healthy 

Kombucha is made from sweetened herbal, green or black tea, which is fermented using the so-called tea or kombucha fungus. The kombucha fungus contains a mixture of different bacteria and yeasts. During fermentation, the added sugar produces not only alcohol (0.1 to 2%) but also carbonic, acetic, lactic, and gluconic acid.

Homemade kombucha contains living microorganisms and therefore works in a similar way to other probiotic foods. Industrially produced kombucha is pasteurized (heated), which kills the healthy microorganisms. Experts see kombucha more as a soft drink. Because there is no scientific evidence for a health-promoting effect.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice and, in addition to lactic acid bacteria, contains a number of other healthy ingredients (e.g. vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, etc.). People used apple cider vinegar as early as the Middle Ages, for example, to kill germs.

Like all probiotic foods, fermented apple juice can strengthen the intestinal flora and thus digestion and the immune system. It is mainly used for detoxification cures and may also regulate blood sugar and blood lipid levels. So far, however, there have been no scientific studies proving these effects without a doubt.

Reach for apple cider vinegar made from whole organic apples

Apple cider vinegar that is unpasteurized and made from untreated, whole organic apples contains most of the nutrients and vital substances.

8. Cheese

Cheese is made from milk, the enzyme rennet, and a starter culture. The latter consists of a combination of different types of bacteria, depending on the type of cheese you want to produce. With the help of the lactic acid produced by the bacteria and the rennet, the milk is thickened and cream cheese and whey are formed. Depending on the type of cheese, further production steps follow. The subsequent maturing gives the cheese its firmness and typical taste.

Especially long-ripened varieties such as Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere, but also mozzarella contain living microorganisms. A helpful effect is attributed to them, for example in the case of gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. In addition, cheese provides a lot of calcium and protein and thus keeps bones and muscles healthy.

9. Tempeh

Originally from Indonesia, tempeh is traditionally made from steamed soybeans that are fermented using a special noble mold. The fermentation makes the soybeans easier to digest and allows lactic acid bacteria to multiply. Therefore, tempeh is one of the foods that have a probiotic effect. In addition to soybeans, wheat, barley, or lupine are also used to make tempeh.

Tempeh is a very good source of protein and also contains many nutrients and fiber. Vegans in particular can therefore benefit from the purely plant-based product. If you value the probiotic effect, it is best to use unpasteurized tempeh.

Because heating kills many healthy microorganisms. Untreated, tempeh will keep in the fridge for about two weeks, during which time it will continue to mature. If you can, you should also prefer the organic version. This guarantees that the tempeh is made from non-GMO soybeans.

10. Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean national dish that is served as an accompaniment to rice, fish, or other dishes. The basic ingredient is mainly Chinese cabbage, but also other vegetables and various spices such as chili powder. The whole thing is fermented with the help of lactic acid bacteria. Similar to other probiotic foods, fresh and unpasteurized kimchi can not only aid in digestion but also boost the immune system.

In addition, the Asian dish is said to have other health-promoting effects. Regular consumption of kimchi can help, among other things, to lose extra pounds and also regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Kimchi contains a lot of salt

People who have high blood pressure or an increased risk of developing stomach cancer should therefore only consume the lactic acid fermented food in moderation.

What are probiotic foods?

Probiotic foods contain special, living microorganisms (so-called probiotics), such as lactic acid bacteria or certain yeasts. These are particularly insensitive to digestive enzymes. Gastric and bile acids can thus reach the intestines in an active form via food. There they improve the natural composition of the body’s intestinal flora, support digestion, and prevent intestinal diseases. The immune system also benefits from it.

The prerequisite, however, is that the food consumed contains sufficient amounts of these microorganisms and that the diet as a whole is rich in fiber. It is also important for the health-promoting effect that probiotic foods are eaten regularly. Because the microorganisms do not settle permanently in the intestine.

“Probiotic foods contain microbes that have health effects. However, colloquially, the term also includes fermented or fortified foods that contain live microbes. Examples include raw sauerkraut, raw kimchi, unpasteurized miso, yogurt, etc. What exactly they do depends on the specific food and on the specific microorganisms they contain. In general, they can have a positive effect on the intestinal flora and thus on digestion.”

By the way: probiotics, whether in the form of yogurt, capsules, or powder, can also help with acute diarrhea and shorten the duration of the illness by around a day. Various studies have shown this. In terms of side effects, which are repeatedly reported, there was nothing to complain about with the probiotic products examined.

As a rule, probiotic foods are therefore well tolerated. Only in people with a severely weakened immune system or serious previous illnesses can it not be ruled out that the microorganisms sometimes trigger an infection.

What is certain is that you do not need expensive dietary supplements to eat probiotics.

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