Types of Probiotics
1. Lactobacillus; it's the most common bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods. Helps ease diarrhea and lactose intolerant (cannot digest sugar in dairy products) cases.
2. Saccharomyces boulardii; yeast in probioticss that help in fighting digestive problems and diarrhea.
3. Bifidobacterium; found in dairy products and helps ease irritable bowel syndrome.
Below is some super nutritious probiotics to add to your diet;
Yogurt is the most common recognized probiotic food. It contains live culture that help in food digestion and general health. Friendly bacteria like bifidobacteria or lactic acid ferment the milk to make yogurt.
- Eating yogurt is super healthy because it improves bone health.
- Yogurt is good for children. It helps reduce diarrhea brought about by antibiotics and alleviates irritable bowel syndrome.
- It is favorable for people with high blood pressure.
- People with lactose intolerance are not left out either. This is because the bacteria turns the lactose into lactic acid.
But, not all yogurt contain live culture, because the processing destroys them. So, when you go to the grocery store make sure you look out for 'natural yogurt'. It does not contain sugar or additives.
Tempeh is soybean cakes that go through fermentation. Tempeh was first made in Indonesia, and then spread across the world.
It is a high- protein meat substitute eaten raw, boiled, marinated, baked, sautéed or even grilled. The flavor is earthy and comparable to mushrooms.
The fermentation process works wonders because;
- Soybeans contain a high amount of an anti nutrient called phytic acid. This is a plant compound that interferes with the absorption of nutrients in the body.
- But, the fermentation process reduces the phytic acid. It also boosts the quantity of minerals the body can take in from tempeh.
- Animal foods like fish, dairy, meat and eggs are rich in vitamin B12.
- The fermentation process of soybeans produces vitamin B12. Thus making tempeh a great source of probiotics.
Kefir is an exceptional mixture of milk (cows, sheep or goats) and kefir grains. Kefir grains are rich in yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
Even though kefir is like yogurt there are some notable differences.
Yogurt is thick and creamy while for kefir flows like water.
- Kefir has more tart than yogurt. This because of the fermentation process and yeast presence.
- Kefir has a higher percentage of probiotics and lower in lactose as compared to yogurt. Thus making it the better option for the lactose intolerant people.
- Kefir has health benefits. It protects against infections, improves bone health and ease digestive process.
Even though the word sounds intimidating and complicated. Sauerkraut is fine chopped cabbage fermented in lactic acid bacteria. It is a traditional popular European food.
Sauerkraut is a side dish which adds a tart flavor and good texture to certain foods. It is a nutrient powerhouse in that;
- It is rich in lactic acid bacteria.
- It contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These are antioxidants known for formation of macular pigmentation. It handles good eye health and sun block for the skin.
- It contains minerals like manganese, iron and sodium
- Sauerkraut is rich in fiber, Vitamin C and digestive enzymes.
Natto is a staple Japanese food. The soybean is fermented like tempeh. Natto has an outstanding probiotic known as Bacillus subtilis. This probiotic is good for cardiovascular health. It also boosts the immune system and improve digestion .
Natto is also rich in proteins and vitamin K 12 which is essential for bone health. Studies show that it may help prevent osteoporosis in women. Nattokinase is an anti-inflammatory enzyme. It is full of proteins and it prevents blood clots.
6. Traditional Buttermilk
This is at times called cultured buttermilk and is one of the top most probiotic food in India. Traditional buttermilk is the liquid left over after making butter. This drink is common in India, Pakistan and Nepal.
Only this cultured buttermilk is rich in probiotics. The Western version of traditional buttermilk does not contain probiotics. Look out for varieties that contain live cultures in the grocery store.
Miso comes from fermenting soybean, brown rice or barley. This traditional Japanese food is rich in probiotics. Like tempeh and natto, Miso falls in the same family of fermented soybeans.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables. Mix cabbages with spices and herbs like radishes, ginger, red pepper, onions, salt to add flavor.
Fermentation process takes three to 14 days. It's both tasty and nutritious, keeping the good bacteria in the digestive system.
Probiotics Side Effects
Upon introduction of probiotics in the diet some people may experience side effects. This includes; diarrhea, bloating, nausea, gas, upset stomach or even allergies. Consult your doctor or nutritionist on the way forward.
People who eat special diets need to watch out. They include pre-existing medical conditions, immune system problems, pregnant. They should consult their doctors or nutritionists before consuming probiotic foods.
Probiotics are good bacteria found in your digestive system. They are in charge of nutrient absorption and immune health.
Adding probiotics in your diet should not be costly. Don't buy expensive supplements or pills. As a matter of fact, theremanyerous foods rich in probiotics at our disposal. These foods are full of flavor and tasty which makes it easier to enjoy healthy balanced diets.
Note that not all fermented foods contain probiotics. Foods like; beer, soy sauce, and wine do not have live microorganisms. This is because they undergo extra processing like baking, pasteurization or filtering. This processes completely eliminates the probiotics.