7 Probiotic-Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet

Probiotics are good gut bacteria found in the gut. Foods rich in probiotics increase nutrient absorption, improve bowel movement and minimize the risk of colon and rectal cancer.

They also contribute to better immunity and weight loss. They are widely used for the treatment and prevention of diarrhea. Probiotic bacteria can be found in fermented foods and drinks. They are also available as supplements in the form of instant probiotic drinks, capsules, and powder packets. Foods rich in fermented probiotics are common to all cultures and have been around for a long time.


Best Foods Rich in Probiotics

The following seven foods are often used as digestive aids in all cultures. They are rich in beneficial bacteria for the intestine:

1) Yogurt

Fruit yogurt is an amazing combination (Image via Unsplash/Daniel Cabriles)
Fruit yogurt is an amazing combination (Image via Unsplash/Daniel Cabriles)

Yogurt is the most popular probiotic-rich food, and it’s versatile. It can be eaten with oatmeal, fruits and other food items. Yogurt is made from milk after fermentation with probiotics.

Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus) and bifidobacteria are mainly responsible for the fermentation of yogurt. Several other bacteria have also been found to aid in the process.

Yogurt can help relieve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Yogurt is low in lactose and therefore safe for people with lactose intolerance. However, it is recommended to choose unsweetened yogurts rather than yogurts with added sugar.


2) Kimchi

Kimchi is a popular fermented and probiotic-rich food, a spicy Korean side dish made from cabbage. Other vegetables are often added to enhance the texture. A mixture of seasonings such as red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger are used to enhance the flavor.

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Kimchi mainly contains Lactobacillus kimchii as a functional bacteria along with other strains. It is also rich in non-heme iron, vitamin K and riboflavin. In Korea, it is often used to improve digestive health.


3) Buttermilk

Buttermilk is popular in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.  (Image via Unsplash/Mario Raj)
Buttermilk is popular in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. (Image via Unsplash/Mario Raj)

Buttermilk is a traditional Indian drink. It is made from milk and contains live cultures, so avoid heating it to keep the bacteria alive.

Buttermilk tastes best fresh and with spices. Buttermilk is low in fat and calories. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorus.


4) Kombucha

Kombucha is a sweet and sour fermented drink made from tea. Sugar and yeast are added to it to start the fermentation process. The liquid is initially fermented for a week during which several bacteria grow in the drink.

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These bacteria include lactic acid bacteria, which can act as probiotics and produce B vitamins. It is a popular and refreshing drink in East Asia. Foods rich in probiotics are popular in Asian countries.


5) Tempeh

Tempeh is a probiotic-rich food that originated in Indonesia and is now popular in the vegan lifestyle. It is made by fermenting soybeans. Soy is rich in phytic acid, which is an anti-nutritional factor and blocks the absorption of nutrients such as iron and zinc.

Fermentation reduces the amount of phytic acid, increasing the nutritional value of soy. The bacteria also produce vitamin B12, which adds to the nutritional value of foods. Vegetarians and vegans can get their fair share of vitamin B12 from this food since they cannot consume animal foods.


6) Kefir

Once native to the North Caucasus region, kefir is a type of fermented milk drink made by fermenting kefir grains.

It can also be made water-based for vegans. It is dense in several nutrients and rich in good probiotic bacteria. Milk increases the nutritional value of the drink.


7) Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is also made from cabbage like kimchi. He is originally from Eastern Europe. It has a sour and salty taste and is fermented using lactic acid bacteria.

Sauerkraut is rich in dietary fiber as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, iron and sodium. It is rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants fight free radicals and are beneficial for eye health. Sauerkraut is one of the probiotic-rich foods often used as a side dish or in sandwiches.


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Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria that prevent constipation, flatulence, and indigestion. Foods rich in probiotics are also known to help with weight loss.

Many fermented foods contain these probiotic bacteria, which can be easily incorporated into the diet. They can be easily prepared at home and eaten as a digestive aid. These probiotic foods have been used for centuries in different cultures. Including these foods may contribute to better gut health.

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