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Top 10 Best Probiotic Foods

Today, you can find many foods containing probiotics. As more and more people are looking for natural and non-medicinal ways to maintain their health, various companies started producing probiotic foods – from yogurt and chocolate bars to powders and tablets.

Although probiotics have been around for several years, lately they have become especially popular. The experts from Canada Health&Care Mall have prepared a detailed guide on probiotics that will tell you what probiotics are, how they are beneficial for your health, the best probiotic options to consume, and various probiotic supplements.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are a special class of microorganisms, microbes, and bacteria that positively affect the microflora and the human immune system. They live in the gastrointestinal tract and are linked directly to your immune system. Most often it’s bacteria but it can also be other organisms, such as yeast.

Most probiotic bacteria are of two kinds:

  • Lactobacillus
  • Bifidobacterium

Although one must know that there are many other kinds of probiotic bacteria. Each genus of bacteria contains a significant number of species, while each species has different strains. This is important to remember because various strains are used for different organs of your body. For example, the Shirota strain boosts the immune system and helps move food through the intestine. The Bulgaricus strain is useful for patients unable to digest the lactose contained in milk and most dairy products. Thus, not all probiotics are the same and not all of them work in the same way.

All varieties of probiotics are either in a dry or liquid form.

  • Dry probiotics include lyophilized (dried) microorganisms. It can be a powder, capsules, or tablets. Getting into your body, these bacteria come out of the anabiosis and begin to act after a few hours.
  • Liquid probiotics are microorganisms in their original, not lyophilized form. Such bacteria begin to act in the human body immediately. Being in a physiologically active state, such microorganisms absorb the nutrient medium, in which they are found, and as a result, produce metabolites – the products of the metabolism compounds that are necessary for your body.

To enhance the effect, liquid probiotics should be taken together with water-soluble vitamins, micro- and macroelements, amino acids, etc.

Probiotics can be found not only in the form of powders, capsules, tablets, yogurts, and other dairy products. The stores also offer a wide selection of probiotics in the form of muesli, bars, juices, and even chocolate.

Why Are Probiotics Beneficial for Your Health?

The main goal of taking probiotics is to restore the disturbed balance of microorganisms inhabiting the mucous membranes, that is, treating and preventing all kinds of dysbiosis and related diseases.

In particular, as evidenced by scientific clinical tests, the use of probiotics contributes to the following:

  • Increases the immune system
  • Prevents various infectious diseases
  • Protects the walls of the intestines from bacteria harmful to humans
  • Strengthens the mucous layer in the intestine
  • Destruction and elimination of toxins
  • Prevention of dysbiosis development against antibiotic therapy
  • Synthesis of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, PP, K, C, and H in the body
  • Assimilation of vitamins D, E, micro- and macroelements (iron, calcium, iodine, selenium, etc.)
  • The splitting and assimilation of up to 90% of proteins and carbohydrates entering the body with food
  • Production of acetic, lactic, formic, propionic, and butyric acids, which promotes the synthesis of creatinine and ATP and, accordingly, the accumulation and release of energy necessary for the muscles

10 Best Probiotic Foods to Consume

1. Yogurt is the source of the best probiotics

Yogurt is a good source of some of the best probiotics – lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which maintain a healthy balance in the intestines. Studies show that these probiotics can alleviate lactose intolerance in some people. They can also treat diarrhea and other digestive disorders. For therapeutic effect, choose yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidum. It is desirable to have yogurt without any flavor additives (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), if you do not like the taste of plain yogurt, it is better to sweeten it with fresh fruits, raisins, or honey.

2. Sauerkraut improves digestion

Sauerkraut contains such probiotics as Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, and also lactobacilli. You should consume unpasteurized sauerkraut because pasteurization kills useful bacteria. Sauerkraut, as well as a similar but spicy Korean kimchi dish, contain many vitamins that can help prevent infection.

3. Miso soup for enhancing digestion

Miso soup has been used for many centuries in Asian cultures as a form of probiotics to boost the immune system. The soup is recommended by Japanese doctors to improve digestion. The soup is made from rye, beans, rice, or barley fermented under the influence of a fungus. You can cook such soup at home every day from a miso paste that you can get in the store. The miso soup rich in probiotics contains more than 160 strains of beneficial bacteria.

4. Soft kinds of cheese help the immune system

Studies show that strains of lactobacilli in some soft fermented cheeses, such as Gouda, are tough enough to survive in the intestines. In addition, cheese contains probiotics, which boost the immune system.

5. Kefir is a drink rich in probiotics

In addition to the fact that kefir, thanks to probiotics, regulates the intestinal microflora, it also has an antibacterial and antifungal effect, which means it protects the body from the activity of harmful bacteria and fungi. In addition, kefir is rich in vitamins B12 and K2, essential amino acids, calcium, and magnesium.

6. Tempeh bread is a rich source of probiotics

Tempeh is baked bread made of fermented soybeans. They are a natural antibiotic that fights harmful bacteria and allows the development of useful bacteria. In addition, tempeh is very rich in protein.

7. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is one of the most useful sour-milk products. It is rich in probiotics because it is prepared with the use of beneficial strains of bacteria. In addition, cottage cheese is the leader in the content of milk protein – casein. 300 g of cottage cheese is the daily dose of protein necessary for the human body.

8. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is skimmed cream, a byproduct, which is obtained by the production of butter from cow’s milk. Buttermilk has a low-fat content (up to 1.5%) and therefore is ideal for those who want to lose weight. In addition, buttermilk is rich in calcium, which helps prevent osteoporosis and guarantees hard bones and healthy teeth. Buttermilk contains milk-acid bacteria in large quantities.

9. Dark chocolate

Chocolate contains four times more probiotics than any other dairy product. If it is a quality dark chocolate, it will boost your health and help you get rid of harmful bacteria.

10. Bryndza

Real, unpasteurized, bryndza made of sheep milk is one of the leaders in the content of probiotic bacteria. In addition, it protects the body from the formation of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels.

Probiotic Supplements as an Alternative to Foods

In addition to being in food, probiotics are also available as food supplements in the form of capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. Although such supplements are not as good as probiotic foods, they are convenient to use. However, specialists from Happy Family Store recommend consulting a doctor before taking any probiotic supplements especially if you are sick or have problems with the immune system.