Anyone interested in the latest in health and nutrition research cannot have failed to have read a lot about probiotics in recent years. Scientists are beginning to realize that these beneficial bacteria, which largely populate the small intestines of the human digestive tract, bring with them a myriad of health benefits. For starters, of course, they help to improve digestion and can even be beneficial for those with serious digestive problems like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. And they also help to strengthen the immune system and help the body to fight off infection and disease. Read on to find out about the top probiotics foods that everyone should have in their diet to help maintain their health.
No surprises here! Yogurt is one of the best-known probiotic foods and can give some incredible health benefits. It is best to look for yogurt that is unsweetened, made from goat’s milk and to which other live strains of bacteria (such as lactobacillus, thermophillus or acidophilus have been added. (1)
Kefir is a drink which tastes similar to yogurt and is made from fermented dairy and grains. It is not only incredibly rich in bifidus bacteria, it is also a good source of protein, calcium and essentially fatty acids (especially if it is made from grass-fed dairy). (2)
This fermented cabbage dish is a staple in Eastern Europe – and best known in American for its place in Reuben sandwiches or atop hot dogs. This dish is not only probiotic-rich but also gives the body plenty of vitamins A, B, C and E. (3)
Probiotics give dark chocolate even more health benefits than it has already – and it is a delicious way to add them to the diet! Dark chocolate also provides the body with high amounts of magnesium, a nutrient which an estimated 80% of Americans do not have in sufficient quantities. (4)
Miso soup, made from a variety of fermented grains, is a staple of the Japanese diet and is as delicious as it is healthy. It provides the body with readily available probiotics and healthy ingredients like spinach or soy can be added to increase its benefits to the body. (5)
Because of its association with hot dogs and hamburgers, many people think of pickles almost as a junk food. But because they are fermented, pickles can be another great – and easily accessible – source of probiotics to strengthen immunity and improve digestion. (6)
The foods mentioned above are available at health food or specialty stores – and increasingly, they are also available at mainstream grocery stores as well. They represent different and delicious ways that the average person can ensure that their diet is probiotic-rich — and this kind of diet can have a big impact on the long-term health of the body.
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