Adding probiotics to your diet may offer many health benefits. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Other sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and more.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. These beneficial bacteria provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. They may:
Some evidence suggests they may even give you
Consuming probiotics in supplement form is one popular way to get them, but you can also get them from fermented foods.
Here is a list of 11 probiotic foods that are super healthy.
Health benefits associated with eating yogurt
- improved bone, heart, and gastrointestinal health
- reduced risk of diabetes
- reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
- improved weight management
Additionally, yogurt may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. This is because the bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which is also what gives yogurt its sour taste.
But keep in mind that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. Processing can sometimes kill the live bacteria. For this reason, make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures.
Also, be on the lookout for high amounts of added sugar, even if it’s labeled “low fat” or “fat-free.”
Probiotic yogurt is associated with a number of health benefits and may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Make sure to choose yogurt that has active or live cultures.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. It’s made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.
Kefir grains are not cereal grains but rather cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that look a bit like cauliflower.
The word “kefir” is thought to come from the Turkish word “
Indeed, kefir has been linked to various
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, making it a more diverse and potent probiotic source compared to yogurt.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink. It’s a better source of probiotics than yogurt, and people with lactose intolerance can often drink kefir with no problems.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It’s a traditional food popular in many countries, especially Eastern Europe.
Sauerkraut has a sour, salty taste. People often use it on top of sausages or as a side dish. You can store it for months in an airtight container.
Make sure to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria.
Sauerkraut is finely cut, fermented cabbage. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Make sure to choose unpasteurized brands that contain live bacteria.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that forms a firm patty. Originally from Indonesia, tempeh has become popular worldwide as a high protein meat substitute. People describe its flavor as nutty, earthy, or similar to that of a mushroom.
The fermentation process has some surprising effects on its nutritional profile.
Soybeans are typically high in phytic acid, a plant compound that impairs the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that serves as a popular, high protein substitute for meat. It contains a decent amount of vitamin B12, a nutrient found mainly in animal products.
Kimchi is a fermented, spicy Korean side dish. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient, but it can also be made from other vegetables.
It contains the bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii and other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health.
Kimchi is a spicy Korean side dish, usually made from fermented cabbage. Its lactic acid bacteria may benefit digestive health.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning. It is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a fungus called koji.
Miso can also be made by mixing soybeans with other ingredients, such as barley, rice, and rye. People most often use this paste in miso soup, a popular breakfast food in Japan.
Miso is typically salty. You can buy it in many varieties, such as white, yellow, red, and brown.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste and a popular Japanese seasoning. It is rich in several important nutrients and may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and some cancers.
Still, because kombucha is fermented with bacteria and yeast, it likely does have health benefits related to its probiotic properties.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. Some people claim it has a wide range of health benefits, but more research is needed.
Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been preserved in a solution of salt and water.
They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour.
Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria, which may improve digestive health. They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.
Keep in mind that pickles also tend to be high in sodium.
It’s important to note that pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics.
Pickles are cucumbers that have been preserved in salty water and fermented. They are low in calories and high in vitamin K. However, pickles made with vinegar do not have probiotic effects.
The term “buttermilk” actually refers to a range of fermented dairy drinks. There are two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.
Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter. Only this version contains probiotics. Some call it “Grandma’s probiotic.”
Traditional buttermilk is mainly consumed in India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Cultured buttermilk, commonly found in American supermarkets, generally does not have any probiotic benefits.
Buttermilk is low in fat and calories but contains several essential vitamins and minerals, such as:
Traditional buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink mainly consumed in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Cultured buttermilk, found in American supermarkets, generally does not have any probiotic benefits.
Natto is another fermented soybean product, like tempeh and miso. It contains a bacterial strain called Bacillus subtilis.
Natto is a staple in Japanese kitchens. People typically mix it with rice and serve it with breakfast. It has a distinctive smell, slippery texture, and strong flavor.
Natto is rich in protein and vitamin K2, which is important for bone and cardiovascular health. For example, a 2020 Japanese study found that regularly consuming natto reduced the risk of osteoporosis fractures in women postmenopause.
Natto is a fermented soy product that is a staple in Japanese kitchens. It contains a high amount of vitamin K2, which may improve bone density and heart health.
Although most types of cheese are fermented, it doesn’t mean that all of them contain probiotics. That’s why it’s important to look for the words “live cultures” or “active cultures” on the food labels.
Semi-hard cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, or gouda, as well as cottage cheese, may contain higher levels of probiotics than other types of cheese that are aged for longer periods of time. Cheesemakers are exploring
Cheese is highly nutritious and an excellent source of protein. It’s also rich in important vitamins and minerals,
Moderate consumption of dairy products such as cheese may even lower your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
Only some types of cheese — including cheddar, mozzarella, and Gouda — contain probiotics. Cheese is very nutritious and may benefit heart and bone health.
There are many very healthy probiotic foods you can eat.
This includes numerous varieties of fermented soybeans, dairy, and vegetables. Of those, 11 are mentioned here — but there are many more out there.
If you can’t or won’t eat any of these foods, you can also take a probiotic supplement. Be sure to check with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplement.
Probiotics, from both foods and supplements, can have powerful effects on your health.