7 Natural Sources of Probiotics [Backed by Science]

November 22, 2021

Here are natural food sources of probiotics that you can consume to maintain your gut health.

Probiotics are live culture microorganisms that are packed with nutrients and are the source of distinct health benefits. These bacteria perform important tasks like digestion, vitamin production, and keeping away harmful bacteria. Probiotics are associated with fermentation as it is mainly present in fermented food products. It is the combination of different bacteria and ones already present in the gut. The bacteria evident in probiotics are Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, and Lactobacillus.

Natural sources of probiotics

7 Natural Sources of Probiotics [Backed by Science]


    How Necessary Are Probiotics?


    Probiotics aid good bacteria to keep away the bad bacteria from causing illness. It helps to keep up the balance of the bacterial community in the gut. Probiotics aids in boosting the immune levels in the body. They are known to prevent diverse severe health conditions like:

    • Periodontal diseases
    • Weak Bones
    • Hay fever
    • Sepsis
    • Constipation
    • Inflammations
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea

    How Does It Work?


    Probiotics are not always helpful. They need to survive through the acidic environment of the stomach to do the job. All the strains of bacteria cannot reach the final destination. Analyzing which bacterial strain you are taking from the probiotics determines its effectiveness. 

    The bacteria present in probiotics after entering the gut helps good bacteria to keep away the negative influence of bad bacteria. Probiotics are vitamin-rich and have fatty acid chains that are best suited for your health.

    Sources of Probiotics That Have Greater Health Influence


    Dietary and fermented food is the main sources of probiotics. They are healthy and can be included in daily diet.

    1. Cheese


    Cheese is an exceptional reservoir of probiotics, and it keeps on improving in its probiotic content as it ages. It has digestive benefits, and the good bacteria present in the cheese can survive the gut environment. 

    All cheeses are not probiotic-rich, the fermented cheese is the best quality probiotic. Probiotic-packed cheese includes Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar, Cottage Cheese, Provolone, Gruyere, and Edam.

    2. Kimchi


    Kimchi comes traditionally from Korea, packed with nutrients and probiotics. It is prepared by fermenting cabbages with added spice, garlic, onion, sugar, and other vegetables. It is excellent for constipation, aging, common cold, and weight loss. It is often served with rice or noodles and can easily be prepared at home.

    3. Kombucha


    Kombucha is a fermented drink made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It has a tangy taste and can be added to green tea. It has caffeine and is filled with probiotic properties. The kombucha readily available in the market can contain a high amount of sugar, which should be avoided.

    4. Miso


    Miso paste is prepared by fermenting soybeans and adding fungus koji. The paste can be added directly to meats, vegetables, and soups. Along with being a taste enhancer, it has abundant health benefits. Miso originally comes from Japan and Chinese cuisines. There are varieties of healthy miso, including aka miso, Mugi miso, Shinshu miso, and Shiro miso. It helps reduce inflammation, cardiovascular problems risks and supports immunity.

    5. Sauerkraut


    The cabbage fermented with lactobacillus is known as sauerkraut. Raw and unpasteurized are always the best sauerkraut with probiotic qualities. Try to avoid pasteurized sauerkraut as it is deficient in good bacteria and has no benefits.

    6. Tempeh


    The fermented soybeans are known as tempeh. It is rich in riboflavin, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. Besides maintaining the biological flora in the body, it also helps improve bone density, lowers cholesterol levels, and decreases oxidative stress (source: Healthcanal.com).

    7. Kefir


    Kefir is a cousin to yogurt but is tangy and thinner. It is made from dairy milk mixed with kefir grains. It contains several lactobacilli bacteria that assist bacteria in the gut. It is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Folate, and Phosphorus. It may help by assisting you in weight loss and lower down blood cholesterol levels.

    The Potential Side Effects of Probiotics


    There are certain things to be noted about probiotics. Few are listed below.

    • Probiotics are good but not always and not for everyone. It depends entirely on how your body reacts and the health conditions that you may be suffering from.
    • There is no solid evidence or research done to prove the side effects of probiotics.
    • People with severe illnesses should avoid taking it.
    • Side effects may appear in the form of infections.

    Epilogue


    The live bacterial cultures that are beneficial for gut health are known as probiotics. The microflora inside our gut is constantly fighting to keep you healthy. The balance between good and bad bacteria is important, and an imbalance can result in diseases. 

    Gut health has a very essential role in deciding your health conditions. Good gut health represents good health. Probiotics do good for your gut and the microflora inside you, trying to maintain the balance. It impacts health with improved immunity, inflammation, weight loss, good skin, and cardiovascular health.

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