In recent times, much has been said about probiotics in nearly every branch of health and nutrition. While modern medicine has long known about the relationship between a healthy bacterial count and good digestion, other health benefits are only now just being discovered. One such benefit is the boost that good bacteria can give to your immune system; many now believe that the ideal balance of 85% good bacteria to 15% bad bacteria is essential for long-term health and strong immunity. While you can supplement your bacteria count with probiotics in the form of pills, the following foods and beverages are also rich in the good bacteria that will lead to optimum health.
This German dish, made up of fermented cabbage and salt, is probably one of the best known of the fermented vegetables and is especially popular in dishes like Reuben sandwiches or as a topping for hot dogs. Before the age of refrigeration, fermented vegetable dishes like this were popular because it was an excellent method of food preservation. However, it was also incredibly healthy. The bacteria in these foods produces lactic acid which alters the acidity in the intestines. This, in turn, can help keep bad bacteria and yeast in check.
Up until recently, many people had not heard of this fermented drink which can be based on milk, water, grains or coconut water. However, people are now becoming aware of it as a probiotic-rich beverage, a dairy-based version of which is now available not only in health food stores but in neighborhood supermarkets. Imbibing this will providegood bacteria to promote digestive health. It also provides beneficial yeast thathelp to detoxify the liver and strengthen immunity.
Like Kefir, kombucha is a beverage rich in probiotic bacteria. It is made from tea which has been fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacterian and yeast (SCOBY) and it provides a variety of bacterial acids and enzymes which promote the health of theliver, joints, immune system and digestion. Up until recently it was not widely known in the West but now is available at most health food stores.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples and has infinitely more health benefits than that of white vinegar — it has been shown to be rich in enzymes, probiotics and amino acids that will aid digestion and stimulate the immune system. It works nicely as a vinagrette mixed up with olive oil and used to dress a salad, although some people will drink it diluted over ice.
While there is nothing wrong with probiotic supplementation with pills, it is also good to know that this can also be done through the diet. The four foods discussed above are all rich in the good bacteria that is only now starting to come into its own as a means to strong immunity, good digestion and overall optimum health.
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