Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. In addition to taking a probiotic supplements, you can also eat probiotic foods that are a host to these live bacterium.
We all know of the great health benefits of taking probiotics, however, not all of us know how to take advantage of these health benefits. Below is a list which outlines the best probiotic foods for you to add to your diet. We would also recommend buying the organic version of all these probiotic-rich foods.
Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet (Suggested By Dr. Edward F. Group)
One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra forms of probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurt is made equally. Many popular brands are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors and are way too close to being a nutritional equivalent of sugary, fatty ice cream.
Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a good, organic version at your local health food shop.
Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.
4. Dark Chocolate
Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.
This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract. They also offer the most amount of energetic return, per ounce, for the human system.
6. Miso Soup
Miso is one the main-stays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria. Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense and believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system.
Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Try making your own home-made pickles in the sun.
A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. A great source of vitamin B12, this vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.
An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.
10. Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your well-being and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those that have had problems with candida.
- 1 can coconut milk of choice – Native Forest brand recommended, no BPAs, or Natural Value, no gums or thickeners (recommended for GAPS/SCD)
- culture of choice – Custom Probiotics (recommended for GAPS/SCD), Cultures for Health Vegetal Dairy-Free starter, or HMF Superpowder are all good, available online. Look for dairy free.
Pour a little coconut milk into a pint sized mason jar. Mix in culture of choice – a smidgeon of the Custom Probiotic, a quarter tsp of the HMF powder. Add the rest of the coconut milk. Cap tightly. Shake well. For Cultures for Health Vegetal Dairy-free starter, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Keep warm in a yogurt warmer, in an oven with the light or pilot on, in a dehydrator set at about 95 – 100 degrees, or wrapped in a heating pad set on low. Shake occasionally. Yogurt will be mild after one day, a little more tart after two.
Alternate method – mix in culture of choice as described above and shake well. Leave at room temperature for 4 days, shaking occasionally. This method will result in a thicker product, with a slightly fizzy flavor.
Yogurt is widely known as one of the most nutritious forms of food on the planet and has been linked to strengthening bones by being an excellent source of calcium and includes beneficial bacteria that can even help with yeast infections. A fun way to make a yogurt snack that is not only nutritious, but also tastes fantastic is to craft your own yogurt! While this may sound daunting at first, making home made yogurt is fairly easy and can be a great way to get the kids involved with the cooking.
Why Make Your Own Yogurt?
When you make your own yogurt, you will be assured that it is crafted with only natural ingredients. This means that your yogurt will be completely free of sugar, gluten, or other artificial ingredients. Another factor is the potential health benefits of eating yogurt which can help aid with the digestion process, prevent diarrhea, and even help improve one’s immune system.
How To Make Home Made Yogurt
Step 1: Decide What Type of Milk To Use
In our experience using either low fat milk, goat milk, or soy milk will yield the best results when crafting home made yogurt.
Step 2: Boil The Milk
The next step is to heat the milk to about 150-180 degree F.
Step 3: Let the Milk Cool Down
After the milk is heated then it is cooled down to about 100-103 degrees Fahrenheit (38-40 degrees Celsius).
Step 4: Add The Yogurt Starter
Custom Probiotics provides a yogurt starter powder that can be used for crafting your own yogurt. Add half a scoop of the powder for each two quarts to one gallon of milk.
Step 5: Mix The Ingredients
You can now begin to mix the ingredients for about a minute.
Step 6: Craft The Yogurt
After the ingredients are well mixed, you can now make the yogurt. You can now use your favorite yogurt maker.
Let the yogurt heat at 100 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38-40 Celsius) for 8 to 24 hours. After this is completed, put the yogurt into your refrigerator for at least five hours . That’s It!
Bonus Step: Be Creative!
After you get the hang of making your own yogurt please feel free to start being creative! Go ahead and add a few extra ingredients and see how the final product tastes.
By making your own yogurt at home with the use of our yogurt starter, you will be able to impress your friends and family by providing a healthy and delicious treat.