Probiotics is one of the safest and most natural ways to improve your health. It’s easy because all you need to do is to eat specific foods that boost the beneficial bacteria are already inside you. It’s safe because there are very few side effects noted with the use of probiotics. Like exercise, probiotics can be used to produce long-term health benefits.
Now, while it is true that there is a dizzying array of supplements on the market, all these supplements are just one big option for people who want to start off right.
Your first choice should be probiotic food because even medical practitioners advocate it. Supplements have their uses, but don’t think that the only way you can try probiotics is by buying probiotic pills or capsules.
Below are some food items that you might want to try. All of the foods listed below are probioti,c meaning these foods have naturally occurring beneficial bacteria.
- Yogurt products – Supermarkets always contain a dazzling array of yogurt products. Which one should you choose? First off, if you want to be really healthy, choose plain, unflavored yogurts.
That will cut your choices significantly because most yogurts are artificially flavored. Next, look for a yogurt brand with live microorganisms. Most yogurts have lactobacilli added. Note that you need live microorganisms and not heat-killed bacteria.
- Aged cheese products – Cheese has naturally occurring beneficial bacteria because it was derived from milk. Cultured yeast and some bacteria are added to certain cheeses to complete the process of fermentation.
Soft, dripping cheese on macaroni dishes do not count! You will just pile on the calories if you eat that kind of cheese. You need blue cheese and other hard, aged cheeses if you want the probiotic advantage.
- Probiotic milk products – In Australia, people usually drink probiotic milk products from Dannon. In Japan and in some other countries in Asia, the Yakult brand is popular. Wherever you may be right now, try to find a brand of probiotic milk that contains live bacteria.
Again, you don’t want heat-killed bacteria. You need living, thriving bacteria. These milk products are usually sold in very small containers. You need around 2 billion to 4 billion live bacteria if you want to counter health problems such as diarrhea.
- Kefir – Kefir is one of the oldest probiotic concoctions. Kefir is produced by adding a yeast culture to milk. The yeast consumes the sugar in the milk, which makes the milk a little sour.
Yeast crystals are then produced afterward. These crystals can be used to start the cycle anew. The best thing about kefir is that you can actually make your own at home. All you need is a few pouches of kefir culture and some sugar water or raw milk. Raw milk is your best choice because centuries ago, raw goat’s milk was used to produce kefir.
- Miso – In Japan, miso soup is a dinner staple. Miso is a yeast-based seasoning that can be used in soups and stews. Cook the miso at a low temperature so you don’t kill the beneficial bacteria. You can find miso in most groceries and supermarkets. If you can’t find fresh miso, try finding pre-mixed miso packets.