Eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics can help support a healthy immune system, help the body synthesize vitamins B and K (increasing energy and decreasing the effects of stress on the body), support healthy skin, and assist in mineral absorption, just to name a few of the many benefits.
So, what can you do to get more of these “good guys” into your day? Here’s some great tips and information on how to do just that!
Probiotic Foods - Groceries with the Good Guys
Yogurt is perhaps the most widely-known and most popular of the probiotic rich foods. This creamy, milk-based probiotic food provides the beneficials streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus – if container is labeled “live and active cultures”. Choose plain yogurt varieties to avoid a sugar overload.
Some of the most common cultured vegetables, if prepared properly, are both delicious and supportive to your gut health. Sauerkraut and kimchi, pickles, and olives round out the top of the most popular fermented vegetables. These vegetables have been cultured for centuries around the globe, and are a delicious addition to your beneficial diet, providing lactobacillus bulgaricus and organic acids that encourage the growth of good bacteria.
Be sure to choose naturally fermented versions of these foods; shelf stable, canned varietes will likely be preserved using vinegar and heat, offering little to no beneficial probiotics.
Dating back at least 2,000 years, with origins in China and Japan, the fermented black tea known as kombucha offers the probiotic strains Acetobacter xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum. Due to it’s recent rise in popularity, kombucha is relatively easy to find in the supermarket refrigerated beverages section.
Miso, or miso paste, the flavorful, fermented soybean paste often found in Japanese recipes, is full of both probiotics and prebiotics. As with any other probiotic, be sure your miso is traditionally prepared – and when using it, be sure to add it to hot, but not boiling, liquids to preserve the greatest amount of benefit.
Prebiotic Foods - Food FOR the Good Guys
Prebiotics are essentially fibrous foods that are indigestible. As they pass through the large intestine, they provide a food source for the probiotics already present in the gut. You probably already consume some prebiotic foods – here’s a list of some of the most popular prebiotics you should aim to include plenty of in your diet:
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Flax seed
- Dandelion Greens
Recipes for Health with Probiotic and Prebiotic Benefits
While everyone loves a good list, actually applying these foods to your daily diet may seem a little overwhelming. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Along with this list of beneficials, remember there are also foods that should be avoided, or at least eaten in moderation, for optimum gut health. Just as probiotics feed on prebiotics, not-so-good bacteria and yeasts feed on an overabundance of sugars and meat products. Create a good balance by focusing on consuming plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods while avoiding eating too much sugar and meat.
While eating probiotic and prebiotic foods is beneficial, there's no guarantee to the amount of probiotic included in each serving. If you have recently been on an antibiotic, find yourself getting colds and illnesses regularly, suffer from intestinal troubles, or really just want to ensure you are getting a high quality, diverse, highly-concentrated dose of probiotics and prebiotics, supplementation is the answer. Valosun offers a variety of pharmaceutical grade probiotics for any need – from developing infants to hard-working athletes and everyone in between.