If you have ever heard of titles like “Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal” it may come to no surprise that there are foods out there that are excellent for our bodies, while other foods can be detrimental to our health. Probiotic foods are foods that improve our health, because they provide bacteria support to our bodies.
What Are Probiotic Foods?
Probiotic foods are foods that contain bacteria that provides a health benefit to the host. The most common benefits from eating probiotic foods are: better digestion, increased metabolism, and a healthy immune system.
What may be surprising is that we need certain bacteria in our digestive systems to assist us with the proper digestion of foods.
Here are five excellent probiotic foods that you should consider adding to your diet:
Yogurt is most known for being a probiotic food. One of the most largely recognized names in Yogurt is Dannon, which touts several Bifidobacterium in its yogurts, including: Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, and Bifidobacterium Lactis.
This family of Bifidus bacteria is commonly found in the large intestines of humans and most mammals.
Sauerkraut is popular among people that eat German foods. It is made from fermented cabbage and is rich in live bacteria cultures. Directly translating the word from German, sauerkraut literally means “sour cabbage.”
Sauerkraut contains lactic acid bacteria, including: Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.
Sauerkraut can be added to your diet if you simply start eating Reuben sandwiches, which are found at many sandwich shops.
Japanese and multi-cultural Asian restaurants have Miso soup on their menu. This soup is rich in probiotics, and is a popular broth to start a Japanese meal with. The beneficial bacteria lives in the Miso paste that is used to create Miso soup. Miso paste contains the beneficial bacteria Aspergillus oryzae, Bacillus subtillis, and Lactobacillus.
Japan’s National Cancer Center announced in 2003 that three or more bowls of Miso soup a day would reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer. In addition to the bacteria, Miso soup is high in amino acids – the building blocks to protein.
Pickles are found in almost every household, yet most people are unaware that they are considered a probiotic food. Pickles contain lactic acid bacteria, which actually eat the sugars in cucumbers, which bad bacteria feed on.
In addition to being a probiotic, eating one pickle spear provide 15-20% of one’s daily allowance of Vitamin K.
Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized Milk
Milk found in U.S. grocery stores has been pasteurized, with the intent of killing disease-causing pathogens. Modern equipment used in pasteurization can identify the bacteria present in milk. Such bacterium is the kind that lives on the skin of cows and found in cow feces. These are considered harmful bacteria, and can cause health problems for humans. However, some people advocate drinking raw milk because of it probiotics, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow grocery stores to sell raw milk. It can contain Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are common for causing foodborne illnesses.
Most enzymes in store-bought milk (bacteriocins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and nisin) survive the pasteurization process, but are broken down by stomach acid at the time of digestion.
Another way to get your recommended dosage of probiotics is through a probiotic supplement. Click here to see the best one we’ve found.