Your body is home to trillions of tiny living creatures (aka bacteria) – and that’s actually a good thing. These healthy probiotic bacteria—particularly those in your gut—may improve digestion, boost immunity and—according to some preliminary studies — they may even help you maintain a healthy weight. Probiotics have physiologic functions that can affect food intake, appetite, and body weight.
One of the most effective ways to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut is to eat fermented foods — they provide a healthy dose of probiotics. Read on to learn what foods have probiotics.
Add these fermented foods to your diet.
Yogurt labeled with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal guarantees 100 million probiotic cultures per gram (about 17 billion cultures in a 6-ounce cup) at the time of manufacturing. Even yogurts without this seal usually contain some probiotics.
Kefir is another probiotic-packed food. It is a fermented product made from cow, goat, or sheep milk. It has a tangy flavor similar to yogurt however kefir is liquid making it perfect for blending in a smoothie. Kefir is cultured up to eight times more than yogurt so it develops more of the good bacteria. It can even have up to twelve different types of bacteria and is a good source of protein and calcium as well.
Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, barley, or brown rice. It has a savory nutty (umami) flavor which makes it a great addition to soups, marinades, and vinaigrettes. It is high in sodium but a little goes a long way. It is actually the high salt content that protects the good bacteria from contamination.
Tempeh is another fermented soybean product that is created by adding a tempeh starter – which is a mix of live mold. When it sits for a day or two, it becomes a cake-like product. It contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete source of vegetarian protein.
Sauerkraut is made from just cabbage and salt. When placed in an airtight container, millions of good probiotic bacteria are produced. These bacteria live on the cabbage and convert the natural plant sugars to lactic acid which aids in digestion and helps the absorption of nutrients in the gut. These probiotics are also what gives sauerkraut its sour taste. Be sure to choose only refrigerated sauerkraut. Canned sauerkraut has been pasteurized and this kills the probiotics.
Kimchi is the spicy Korean version of sauerkraut and the refrigerated varieties are the best. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store near pickles and sauerkraut.
PS…Do you need help creating a better eating plan so you can get to your personal best weight and optimal health? CALL ME.
I help chronic dieters with busy schedules find simple ways to eat better so they can achieve their personal best weight and maintain it with ease, have more energy and better health, enjoy eating again, and stop dieting once and for all.