Probiotics are the live microorganisms found in bacteria, fungi or yeast. Probiotics are integral to maintaining your gastrointestinal tract and promoting overall gut health.
Within the digestive system, there are 10 times more bacteria than cells in the body. The health of our microflora, or internal ecosystem, is integral to almost anything else in our body. From allergies to ailments, maintaining proper gut health is a must if we want to give our bodies a fighting chance at turning around any health problems we face.
Including a diet rich in probiotics and prebiotics is the fastest way to boost your immune system, improve digestion and support mental health. Whilst probiotics can support the production of B12 and K vitamins, prebiotics promote the growth and function of good bacteria and prevent harmful or ‘bad’ bacteria from reeking havoc on the gut.
Unfortunately the modern diet is largely deficient in foods that are nutritionally balanced and high in the necessary minerals and vitamins. As such, it is important to include a diet rich in pro and prebiotics that boost and protect gut bacteria.
Here are five easy ways to add more probiotics to your diet.
Sauerkraut is a crunchy, sour and healthy condiment made entirely from cabbage and salt via the process of lactic acid fermentation and the aid of kindly bacteria. Not only are these bacteria good for your gut and immune system, sauerkraut is heaving with vitamins and minerals.
Kombucha is a delicious and refreshing way to promote gut health and support the growth of probiotics. If you are buying store-bought varieties than look out for the sugar content. A lot of the new formulations contain high amounts of sugar with different flavours. Once you purchase a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria) it is quite simple to make at home.
Kvass, like sauerkraut, is naturally fermented. The juice that is made from fermenting vegetables – such as beetroot, is rich in probiotics, promotes great gut health, alkalises the blood and aids in digestion and liver health.
For those who aren’t dairy-intolerant, incorporating a daily dose of fermented dairy can be incredibly beneficial.
Sometimes referred to as ‘cultured dairy’, fermented dairy contains powerful probiotics and enzymes which can aid in healing our gut.
Kefir in particular has around 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts which makes it a particularly rich and diverse probiotic source.
When looking for pickles in the store, read the ingredient list. The most beneficial pickles will come from a natural fermentation – that is, with a salt and water mixture as opposed to vinegar. Pickles are a fantastic way to aid digestion, increase good gut bacteria and promote probiotic activity.