The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the digestive system, plays a significant role in maintaining the wellbeing of the human body. In fact, a recent article that was published on Huffington Post claimed that “all disease begins in the gut.” When the gastrointestinal tract is not well maintained and looked after, inflammation is often prone to develop. Inflammation, on the other hand, is known to be the cause of numerous physiological diseases. Within the gastrointestinal tract, inflammation may contribute to digestive issues, but outside of this system, inflammation contributes to asthma, arthritis, heart disease and more, as reported by Dr. Axe. For many people, simply following a probiotic diet, which refers to a diet that is high in probiotic foods, is the answer to maintaining a healthy gut and reducing the risk of inflammation throughout their body.
What are the Benefits of Probiotic Foods?
The gastrointestinal tract, which is a tube that expands from the mouth all the way down to the anus, is home to millions of microorganisms known as bacteria. While we often associate bacteria with negative health ailments, it is important to know that there are bacteria that are classified as “good”. These bacterium species are essential for good health and resides within the gut; thus, a healthy number contributes to an overall healthy body.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to maintain a good balance of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Not only do we need to ensure there are a lot of good bacteria thriving within our guts, but we also have to ensure that there is a diverse variety of good bacterium species since each species has their own functions and benefits to be taken into consideration.
With the utilization of a probiotic diet plan, a person gains the benefit of significantly improving their digestive health. While this is the most considerable benefit that probiotic foods have to offer, a healthy gut can also aid in reducing weight in overweight people. Healthline explains that probiotic foods are also beneficial for keeping the immune system in good shape and may also contribute to better mental health.
What Foods are High in Probiotics?
Now that we have considered the potential benefits a person can gain from simply including probiotic-rich foods in their diet, let’s take a closer look at a probiotic foods list that will help you determine which foods to include in your daily diet for the added benefits of a healthier gut and digestive system.
Cottage cheese is an excellent example of how probiotic foods can be truly delicious. There are many different uses for cottage cheese. While some people use cottage cheese as a dip for certain vegetables, others enjoy using this food in certain dishes, such as sauces for pasta dishes. SFGate reports that cottage cheese is high in amino acids and protein, as well as vitamin B12. Cottage cheese also contains calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients that are not only beneficial for the digestive system, but also for the human body’s overall wellbeing.
Sauerkraut is another beneficial probiotic food that can be turned into a delicious dish by simply adding some vegetables and spices. It is relatively easy to make your own sauerkraut, and this probiotic is also high in some essential nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin C, and iron. If you are wondering how many probiotics are in raw sauerkraut, Nourishing Plot reports that approximately 16 ounces of this probiotic food contain as many probiotics as eight bottles of probiotic supplements.
While not an actual food that can be eaten, Kombucha still makes an ideal entry in our probiotic foods list. This fermented beverage dates back to over 2000 years ago when it was used in ancient Chinese medicines. According to Food Renegade, it is believed that Kombucha also holds the key to the fight against cancer. Furthermore, the drink is beneficial for cardiovascular health and for improving digestive health.
Kimchi is classified as a staple food in Korea, often served as part of numerous Korean cuisines. The dish is traditionally made from vegetables that have been fermented. It is quite easy to make Kimchi at home, and only a few ingredients are needed. Health.com explains that Kimchi is high in essential vitamins, including C, B and They also explains that, depending on its contents, this probiotic food may also possess cancer-fighting properties.
Yogurt is one of the most popular probiotic foods and is often one of the first items to be recommended for a probiotic diet. Yogurt is also one of the more attractive, tastier varieties of foods when it comes to increasing the healthy bacteria in the human body’s gut. WebMD reports that yogurt is also high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12.
While similar to yogurt, kefir has some distinctive properties that set it aside, and often above, yogurt. This particular probiotic food is high in both yeast and gut-friendly bacteria. It is also an excellent choice for lactose intolerant people who are looking for ways to increase the diversity of their gut flora since Kefir contains lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that has the ability to consume lactose; thus, reducing the lactose content that this particular probiotic places within a person’s body.
Most cheeses are thought to be probiotic-rich foods, but the truth is, the probiotics are only able to survive in certain types of cheeses. Similar to cream cheese, mozzarella is one of the cheeses that do contain a higher concentration of gut-friendly bacteria. This particular cheese is very popular on certain pizzas but can be used a variety of other dishes as well.
Pickles are not only an excellent source of good bacteria to assist with cultivating the digestive tract with more gut-healthy bacterium species, but are also good for the human body’s health in general. According to Organic Facts, pickles contain potent antioxidants, combined with a range of important minerals and vitamins.
Natto is a fermented form of soybeans that are a traditional food in Japan. It is often served with karashi mustard and soy sauce. Some people also prefer to serve Natto with Japanese bunching onion. There are also many people who consume Natto as breakfast food. This probiotic food is rich in calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Additionally, Natto is an excellent source of protein.
“Is buttermilk high in probiotics?” This is a question that is often asked due to some reports claiming buttermilk to be an exceptionally powerful probiotic food, while others claim it not to be. Buttermilk is, in fact, a beneficial drink that is healthy for the human body, and this drink can increase healthy bacteria in the gut. But it is important to note that these health benefits can only be obtained from traditional buttermilk. Most buttermilk products at the local supermarket are not prepared in the “traditional” style.
Probiotics are important for diversifying the “good” bacterium species that thrive within the human body’s gastrointestinal tract. With a regular supply of probiotic foods, a person is able to obtain numerous benefits, ranging from gut-healthy advantages to benefits that stretch far beyond the scope of a healthy digestive system. Gaining an adequate supply of probiotics doesn’t have to be a hassle. Simply include some of the foods we have listed here in your probiotic diet and start enjoying the many benefits that a diet rich in healthy gut bacteria is able to offer you.