Although you can get these tiny beneficial digestive bacteria through probiotic supplements, there are also many foods that contain natural probiotics, such as fermented foods. Many fermented foods are very healthy and nutrient-rich, and the live microorganisms they contain can act as probiotics.
” Yogurts are perhaps the most well-known probiotic food, although we are so used to drinking them that we are possibly unaware that this is a natural probiotic.”
Probiotic Foods are an essential ally for gut health and overall wellness. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh or kimchi. Their benefits include strengthening the immune system or symptomatic improvement in pathologies such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or cases of intestinal dysbiosis. Similarly, probiotic foods help us to reduce inflammatory processes and improve intestinal and general health.
What are Probiotic Foods?
Probiotic Foods are live microorganisms present in certain fermented foods that, when ingested in adequate amounts, provide benefits for intestinal and general health.
Probiotics should not be confused with Prebiotics. The latter are non-digestible compounds and substrate of the microorganisms present in our intestine, that is, of our intestinal microbiota.
Among the foods that contain probiotics we can highlight:
- Raw milk
- Raw cheese
General health benefits of Probiotic Foods
Improvement of intestinal microbiota
Probiotic Foods offer a host of general health benefits , and one of the most important is the improvement of the gut microbiota.
The intestinal microbiota is made up of the microorganisms that live in our intestine and perform vital functions in our body. This microbiota must be in balance without any microorganism growing more than it should. By consuming foods rich in probiotic foods, we are nourishing the microbiota and encouraging its growth and multiplication in a natural way, which helps to maintain the balance of this intestinal flora and prevents the development of pathogenic species.
Having a healthy intestinal microbiota means having a better digestive process, with lower intestinal permeability and greater protection against infections and diseases.
Strengthening of the immune system
Another of the most outstanding benefits of probiotic foods is the strengthening of the immune system. The microorganisms present in these foods contribute to the production of antibodies and strengthen the body’s defensive functions, promoting greater resistance to various diseases.
Beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are able to stimulate the body’s defenses, helping to prevent infections, allergies and even autoimmune diseases.
Symptomatic improvement in irritable bowel syndrome and other intestinal pathologies.
Probiotic Foods are also very beneficial in cases of digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitisor gastroesophageal reflux.
These microorganisms help reduce inflammation, relieve abdominal pain and improve intestinal function. In addition, they can also be beneficial in cases of diarrhea, constipation or flatulence.
With these tips, you can effectively enjoy the benefits of probiotic foods and promote overall body health.
What are the 11 best natural probiotics?
If you want to see a selection of the 11 best natural probiotics for your diet, click here
Frequently Asked Questions about Probiotic Foods
What is the best Probiotic Food?
There is no specific natural probiotic that is considered the “best” in all cases, as each probiotic has different strains and in turn has different health benefits.
However, there are several fermented foods and beverages that are known to be rich in probiotics beneficial to the gut. Some of these include:
- Yogurt: Yogurt made from milk fermented with live cultures contains beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
- Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that contains lactic acid bacteria, which can promote intestinal health.
- Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk or water-based beverage containing a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.
- Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, such as cabbage, and usually contains Lactobacillus and other bacterial strains.
- Miso: Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans and grains that may contain beneficial bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis.
- Tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soy-based food containing beneficial bacteria, such as Rhizopus oligosporus.
These fermented foods and beverages can provide a good source of probiotic foods. However, the amount and variety of probiotics may vary depending on the fermentation method and other factors.
If you are looking for a specific probiotic for a particular health problem, it is advisable to consult a health professional or a specialized nutritionist for appropriate recommendations.
Which fruit has the most probiotics?
Fruits are not generally known to be a rich source of probiotics, as probiotics are mainly found in fermented foods. However, some fruits may naturally contain certain prebiotic components that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The following are some fruits that may have probiotic properties:
- Bananas: Bananas contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are prebiotic fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
- Apples: Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that can act as food for beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
- Kiwi: Kiwi is a fruit rich in vitamin C and fiber, which can have a prebiotic effect and promote the growth of certain beneficial bacteria.
- Pomegranates: Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and contain polyphenols, which can help promote a healthy intestinal environment for beneficial bacteria.
It is important to keep in mind that the amounts of probiotics in fruits are limited compared to specific fermented foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut.
If you wish to increase your probiotic intake, it is recommended to consume fermented foods or to resort to specific probiotic supplements, as these will provide a more significant amount of beneficial bacteria for the gut.
Which nuts have probiotics?
Nuts are not a natural source of probiotics, as probiotics are mainly found in fermented foods. However, nuts can be a source of prebiotic fiber, which is a type of fiber that acts as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Some nuts that contain prebiotic fiber include:
- Almonds: Almonds contain a good amount of fiber, including prebiotic fiber that can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
- Nuts: Nuts are also a good source of fiber, including prebiotic fiber that can have beneficial effects on the gut.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are another nut option that contains prebiotic fiber and may contribute to gut microbiota balance.
It is important to keep in mind that the amount of prebiotic fiber in nuts can vary, and it is recommended to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. P
o obtain an adequate intake of probiotics, it is recommended to opt for fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut, which are richer in these beneficial bacteria.
What are Probiotic Foods and how do they work?
Probiotic Foods are live microorganisms found in certain fermented foods. Specifically, they are ‘good’ bacteria that help maintain the balance of the intestinal microbiota. These bacteria colonize the gut and produce beneficial substances.
Probiotic Foods help maintain the health of the digestive system, as well as strengthen the immune system and prevent infections.
Are Probiotic Foods different from probiotic supplements?
Yes, probiotic foods are different from probiotic supplements.
Probiotic Foods are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and kimchi, while supplements may contain laboratory-grown strains that are added to a bulking agent to prepare capsules or tablets.
The method of consumption is also different, as fermented foods are consumed as part of a healthy diet, while supplements are taken in the form of tablets, capsules or liquids.
How long does it take to notice benefits from consuming natural probiotic foods?
The time needed to notice the benefits of consuming natural probiotic foods varies from person to person. However, it is believed that significant changes in the gut microbiota may take about 6 weeks.
To maximize results, it is important to incorporate fermented foods into the diet on a regular basis.
Are there any contraindications for consuming Probiotic Foods?
In general, probiotic foods for most people. However, some people may experience side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea or bloating.
People with a compromised immune system or serious medical conditions should consult a physician before consuming probiotic foods. It is important to follow the consumption instructions of the products and not to exceed the recommended doses.
Recipes and tips for including probiotic foods in your diet
Probiotic foods have become a healthy and delicious trend in everyday eating. These live microorganisms are beneficial to the body and are found in fermented foodssuch as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh and many more.
Here are some recipes and suggestions for you to include probiotic foods in your diet.
- Yogurt and fruit breakfast. An easy and tasty way to include probiotics in your diet is with a yogurt and fruit breakfast. You can choose your favorite yogurt and add your favorite fruits to get a serving of probiotics and vitamins. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little honey or agave to sweeten.
- Kefir with nuts. Kefir is a fermented drink with multiple health benefits, so if you want to incorporate it into your diet, you can mix it with nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds for a complete and nutritious breakfast. Try different nuts to vary the flavor.
- Sauerkraut salad. Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage-based food that has multiple benefits for intestinal health. To include it in your diet in a simple way, you can add it as an ingredient in a green salad along with other vegetables and a citrus vinaigrette. This way, you will be getting an extra serving of probiotics and fiber in your daily diet.
- Tempeh with wok vegetables. Tempeh is a fermented soy-based product that is used as a meat substitute. If you want to incorporate it into your diet, try stir-frying it with your favorite vegetables in a wok with a little sesame oil and soy sauce for a complete meal rich in vegetable protein and probiotics.
- Smoothie with kombucha. If you like kombucha, a fun way to include it in your diet is in the form of a smoothie. Blend a cup of kombucha with fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, banana or spinach to create a smoothie rich in antioxidants and probiotics.
In addition, you can find a wide variety of recipes online to make your own fermented foods at home. This way, you can customize the flavors and textures according to your personal tastes and make sure they are fresh and healthy.
Dare to experiment and you will see how you will improve your intestinal health and strengthen your immune system!
Pharmacist – Complutense University – Madrid – Spain
Diploma in Ophthalmic Optics and Optometry – Univ. of Barcelona – Spain.
Other types of Probiotics