Probiotics should be a part of regular part of your diet. While you can consume supplements to achieve the right probiotic balance, there are plenty of naturally probiotic-rich foods out there that can help you naturally regulate this gut bacteria.
What are probiotics?
Friendly gut bacteria. They tiny living bacteria that live in your gut, keep you healthy and support daily bodily functions. These little microbes won’t harm you; they do precisely the opposite. Probiotics boost your immune system, help you digest food and encourage a healthy gut environment.
Are probiotics safe during pregnancy?
Probiotics that occur naturally in food and food supplements are safe to consume during pregnancy. However, if you are ill or suffering complications in your pregnancy, always consult your health professional before making changes to your diet.
Which foods are rich in probiotics?
Green bananas aren’t everyone’s favourite, but if you reach for the fruit before it’s ripe, you’re doing yourself a favour probiotic-wise. The green ones provide fibre, vitamins and minerals, as well as great gut bacteria.
This refreshing drink is basically sweet black tea that has been fermented. You’ll be able to pick this up in the supermarket, or you can ferment it yourself. Here’s a ‘how to’ we recommend.
While bread itself isn’t a source of probiotics, the sourdough variety is. The yeast in sourdough fills the bread with lactobacillus which works wonders in the gut. Sourdough is also much more filling that other breads, so you’ll feel much fuller for longer.
Miso is a thick, salty Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans which is used for flavouring. Make a simple soup with scallions and seaweed. Don’t overindulge in miso though as it is high in sodium.
Image credit: Epicurious
This shredded, fermented cabbage aids the growth of probiotics in the gut. Often packaged sauerkraut can be pasteurised which destroys healthy bacteria. Opt for raw varieties and have a crack at making your own. Mix chopped cabbage with salt, put it in a jar and leave for 20 days.
This rare Korean side dish provides a hefty dose of probiotic. Made up of fermented cabbage, cucumber and radish, this dish is highly beneficial to your immune system as well as your digestive system.
Not all pickles contain probiotics, so ensure you choose the ones that have been pickled in brine rather than vinegar. Vinegar prevents all bacteria, including the gut-friendly stuff, but salt water will provide a healthy dose of probiotics. The pickle juice is packed with healthy electrolytes too.
It may be the bringer of bad breath, but it also has some remarkable gut-bacteria boosting properties too. Raw garlic provides the largest dose of probiotic but cooked garlic works well too.
This Eastern European drink is a combination of fermented rye and barley. It’s pretty sour and not to everyone’s taste, but it’s fantastic for cleaning the liver and blood.
Made from fermented soybeans, this traditional Japanese dish is packed with probiotics. It can also benefit your cardiovascular health and aid digestion. Best eaten with rice.