Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. Mainly found in fermented foods, known health benefits of probiotics include aiding weight loss and weight management, supporting immune, heart and digestive health as well as many more.
Below is a list of probiotic foods that can improve your health.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from apples. It is known to promote digestion and support a healthy immune system. Apple cider vinegar helps soothe dry throats, remove body sludge toxins, maintain healthy skin and promote youthful, healthy bodies.
Apple Cider Vinegar can be added to dressings and used for pickling vegetables. Consumption in moderation is recommended.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage, made from live cultures. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and contains Vitamin K2, D, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium required for bone health. Kefir boosts immunity and is known to improve allergies, skin and digestive health. Kefir is consumed as a drink and can be added to smoothies.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented salted vegetables, mainly cabbage and various seasonings. Kimchi is known prevent diabetes and gastric ulcers as well as reduce food cravings and severe symptoms of food allergies. It contains anti-aging properties, antioxidants aiding in the prevention of cancer and improves immunity and digestive health. These health benefits are due to the essential nutrients found in kimchi consisting of fibre, amino acids and minerals such as calcium, selenium and iron as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamins B1 and B2. Kimchi is best eaten cold as a side dish.
Kombucha is a fermented tea, made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It contains essential nutrients which improve the digestive system and strengthen immune health. Other benefits of drinking kombucha include liver and heart disease prevention, managing diabetes and improving mental health. It also has antibacterial properties and is beneficial for heart health.
Kombucha is consumed as a beverage and can be found in most stores. It is important to check the sugar content before purchasing.
Miso is a paste made of soybean. Full of essential nutrients miso aids in strengthening of the immune system and reducing the risk of some cancers. It is high in antioxidants protecting against free radicals and known to improve digestion and lower cholesterol. Miso is rich in calcium, iron, protein and potassium and a good source of B vitamins, Vitamins E, K and folic acid. It is commonly used in a soup however can be added to marinades, broths, dips and sauces.
Olives are small fruit that grow on trees. A powerful antioxidant, Olives are high in Vitamin E and mono-unsaturated fats that not only increase good cholesterol but also aid cancer prevention. High in fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, olives are known to benefit heart health and brain function as well as prevent infection.
Olives and olive oil can be added to all meal types and can be roasted, baked, grilled, fried and consumed raw.
Pickles are cucumbers that are soaked in a brine or vinegar and left to ferment, this process is called pickling. Pickles are a rich source of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals aiding in digestive, liver and stomach health.
It is important to find a product without any additives such as sugar or white vinegar and not to over consume, as pickles are high in salt.
Pickles can be eaten on their own as a snack or added to most meals including salads, sandwiches, dips and soups as they can be eaten raw or cooked.
Sauerkraut is made by fermenting cabbage. It has many health benefits which include improving immunity, high blood pressure and digestive disorders. Sauerkraut aids in the prevention of infections and inflammation as well as boosting energy levels and mental health . These benefits are attributed to the essential nutrients it richly contains including fibre, Vitamins A, C, K and calcium. Sauerkraut can be eaten on its own, as a side dish, in a salad, soup or stew.
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermenting soybeans, with cultures into a cake form. It is a high source of protein, vitamins and dietary fibre aiding bone health and lowering cholesterol. Tempeh is rich in antioxidants known to reduce the development of chronic illness and absorption of free radicals.
Tempeh is best seasoned or marinated before being added to meals. It can be baked, grilled, sautéed or steamed.
Yoghurt is made by fermenting milk with a yoghurt culture. It provides benefits to promote immune, digestive and heart health. It is high in protein, B vitamins, Vitamin D and calcium essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Coconut yoghurt is a non-dairy form of yoghurt. Whilst it has the same benefits as plain yoghurt it is dairy-free therefore suitable for persons suffering from lactose intolerance.
Both plain and coconut yoghurt can be used in smoothies, sauces, marinades, dressings, desserts, as a topping or enjoyed on its own.