8 Amazing Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet
By now you’ve almost certainly heard of probiotics, and why we need them regularly in order to get and stay healthy. Probiotics are an essential part of maintaining a healthy digestive and immune system and so much more. A healthy gut means a healthy body and mind. The trillions of bacteria residing in your gut depend on a healthy and balanced diet rich in probiotics to flourish and to keep the damaging pathogenic bacteria in the gut at bay.
Since a large part of the immune system resides in the gut, maintaining proper gut health with beneficial probiotics it is key to all kinds of immune related issues from improving skin and sleep to supporting joint health and more. Consuming a diet high in probiotics turns out to be one of the best ways to support overall health and wellness. This means bulking up your diet with the right amount of fermented and probiotic-rich foods that contain live beneficial organisms to help support a healthy microbiome.
Here are some of the top eight probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet. Give it a try for two months and if possible keep a journal of your health symptoms over that time. That way you can pinpoint the ways that a healthy and balanced microbiome improves digestion, immune function, and skin.
8 Top Foods For Improved Digestion, Immunity, and Skin Health
#1 Saltwater Brined Olives: If you’re an olive fan, this one’s for you. Saltwater brined olives can be a great way to get some added probiotics into your diet, and they make for a healthy snack or a great healthy fat to add to your salads as well.
#2 Pickles: Pass the pickles please! These are a great addition to your probiotic diet. The key here is to make sure that they are brined in saltwater to allow the beneficial bacteria to be present by the time you enjoy them. If you’re a pickle fan, keep snacking on them because they are doing your gut some good. If you’re not, consider giving them another try!
#3 Non-GMO Tempeh: Tempeh is fermented soybean that contains healthy bacteria for gut health, and is a much healthier addition to your diet than traditional tofu. Try enjoying tempeh (non-GMO of course) sautéed with some coconut aminos, or stir-fry it in a little coconut oil and enjoy over a bed of kale.
#4 Kefir: Kefir is a cultured dairy product that has more of a liquid consistency than traditional yogurt. It contains more probiotics than yogurt, and is really easy to add to a probiotic diet. If you tolerate dairy, you can drink kefir plain, or blend it into a smoothie.
#5 Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is one of the most talked about fermented vegetables that makes for a great addition to a probiotic diet. Stick to high-quality sauerkraut that you can purchase at a health food store or make your own. Bubbies brand makes a great sauerkraut, and you can even get ones that have added herbs and spices. If you like the taste, you can enjoy it plain, or add it on top of a veggie burger for an added probiotic boost.
#6 Kimchi: This traditional Korean probiotic-rich food is made from fermented vegetables, including cabbage and radishes. It’s super flavorful as it also contains lots of spices like chili powder and ginger. It’s rich in probiotics, and if you like your food to have a bit of a kick, this is a delicious addition to any healthy diet. Try adding to rice and other dishes.
#7 Miso: Miso is a Japanese fermented food that comes from fermented soybeans and is commonly used to make miso soup. It’s a great probiotic source, and if you like the flavor, it can be a great healthy addition to your probiotic diet at any meal, even breakfast!
#8 Kombucha: If you’re into fizzy beverages, consider giving kombucha a try. It’s rich in probiotics and makes a great swap for sugary beverages like soda and juice. It’s not something you will want to consume daily, but once or twice a week is a great way to add in a probiotic boost.
When is the Best Time to Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods?
Now that you know about these wonderful healthy probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet, now let’s look at the best time to consume them.
When you are first starting to add these foods to your diet, it’s best to go slow because as your gut bacteria repopulates with healthy bacteria, you may experience some initial gas and bloating. This is a normal part of the process as some of those pathogenic bacteria may be dying off and pushed out. So to avoid all day discomfort during this stage, you may want to consider enjoying your probiotic-rich foods at night, so the good bacteria can go to work while you are sleeping.
After you have been on a probiotic-rich food diet for a while, you can start enjoying them as a regular part of your diet without worrying about timing too much. You can add things like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and pickles to your meals for an added probiotic-boost, and sip on some kombucha once or twice a week for a probiotic-rich healthy treat.
You can also try starting your day with a probiotic-rich meal to support your digestive system right from the start of your day. Try making a smoothie with kefir, blueberries, a frozen banana, chia seeds, and a drizzle of raw honey. It’s a delicious way to start your day and feed all the beneficial bacteria before you head out the door to work. As an added morning bonus it also gets the bowels moving, a great way to prevent uncomfortable constipation and get regular.
And remember, for added probiotic support, along with the necessary prebiotics, (which is what feeds the probiotics), supplement with a hearty plant-based probiotic supplement like Smarter Gut Health.
The Bottom Line
We are learning more and more each day how essential probiotic-rich foods are to a healthy diet, and eating them regularly is a great way to support better digestion, boost your immune system, support healthy-looking skin and truly put yourself on a path to optimal health!