What are probiotics? In simple terms, probiotic food is something that has live and active bacterial cultures in it. When you hear the word "bacteria," you probably think of bad things, like E. coli or something that gives you a cold, but we're talking about the good germs! Probiotics are necessary for your digestive and immune systems.
Foods get this healthy bacteria from being fermented. Fermentation is the process of breaking down carbs into acid. When shopping, make sure your fermented foods haven't been pasteurized however, because pasteurization will kill the probiotic germs.
1. Yogurt: There can be tens of millions of bacteria in one serving of yogurt. Some brands have more probiotic bacteria than others, so make sure to look for it on the nutrition label.
2. Kimchi: This is a spicy and sour Korean side dish that's created from fermenting cabbage, cucumber or radishes. It's made mostly from pickled veggies, so it's low in calories but high in fiber.
3. Kombucha: This slightly sweet and fizzy drink is made from fermenting black tea with a bacteria called scoby. It's a huge source of probiotics, so drink up!
>> Read more: The Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
4. Kefir: Originating in Turkey, kefir is a milky drink that is often thought to have more probiotics than yogurt. It has a tangy taste that may not appeal to everyone, but it's a great swap for milk in smoothies!
5. Sauerkraut: On top of a hot dog or as a side dish, this cuisine is created from fermented cabbage. When purchasing sauerkraut, check to see if it's been pasteurized, because if it has, it's lost its probiotics. Unpasteurized food may be harmful to pregnant women, so check with a doctor first.
6. Miso soup: Miso is made from fermented rye, rice, bean or barley and can make a great soup! Just as a tablespoon to hot water and you've got a quick and tasty soup.
7. Tempeh: Fermented from soy beans, this is made in a block and usually used by vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute. It's got more calories than tofu, but it's also got more protein, fiber and probiotic potential!
>> Read more: Probiotics and Weight Loss