Probiotics are microorganisms that exist naturally in our digestive system, they help in food digestion and fight inflammation. They are the healthy bacteria that us with several health benefits to our hearts skins and brain.
There are several types and classes of probiotics, but the most common ones are;
Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria)
Saccharomyces boulardii, a kind of yeast.
Besides getting it from pills, probiotics can also be gotten from food items, especially fermented foods. Below is a list of foods you could get probiotics from;
Some types of cheese
Yoghurt is the number one source of probiotics. It is made out of milk fermented by natural, healthy bacteria, mainly bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. Yoghurt is very healthy for consumption as it is an excellent source of calcium and protein that are very healthy for our bones. It has also been said that yoghurt has some blood pressure lowering properties. Also those who are lactose intolerant, have very little to worry about yoghurt because during fermentation, some lactose is turned into lactic acid.
But then, not all yoghurts are healthy, some types of yoghurt lose all its healthy bacteria during fermentation.
Pickled vegetables are a great source of probiotics when fermented. Almost all vegetables can be fermented but the most common ones are;
Carrots, green beans, cauliflower,cucumber.
Pickles may not be good for people with high blood pressure due to its high sodium content
This is kin of bread is made from water flour that has been left to ferment for a few days, this is called fermented starter culture. This process fortifies the bread with lactobacillus, it is a healthy bacteria that allows the bread to rise without any additive. Though not all sourdough breads are rich in lactobacillus.
Some type of cheese
Even though all cheeses are fermented, not all are rich in probiotics. Cheese has a lot of protein, vitamin and minerals calcium and selenium.
There’s an endless list of foods that contain probiotics, it is simply up to you and i to make a choice of the type we would love to consume, nevertheless, not all fermented foods are packed with probiotics, this is because foods and many others go through extra and prolonged processing that kill this healthy bacteria. Chocolate, beer and wine are some of these foods.
Benefits of Probiotics
Some of the health benefits of consuming probiotic foods include;
Minimized risk of cancer