Did you know that bacteria are also good for you? Of course, these aren’t the ones that cause health problems! In your gut live trillions of beneficial bacterial or probiotics strains that is involved in your digestive health. Unfortunately, poor lifestyle and dietary choices can put your gut in jeopardy by lowering the population of beneficial bacteria in your gut, making it easier for bad bacteria and pathogens to wreak havoc upon your digestive system.
Addressing poor eating habits is the first step to minimizing the damage to your gut flora. The next step is to find ways on how to replenish them. This is where probiotics supplements come in; you just have to make sure that they have at least 10 effective and viable strains. If you have the time, familiarize yourself with popular strains to make your search easier.
A natural way to replenish good bacteria lost is by increasing consumption of probiotic-rich foods or fermented foods. Apart from containing some of the best probiotics, cultured dishes also have additional nutrients. Here are some examples of fermented food you can try and even make at home:
1. Yogurt Despite it being a popular commodity, you should not completely trust commercial yogurt products sold in the market. They are often pasteurized and no longer contain beneficial strains. These may also contain synthetic ingredients and preservatives, which cancel out the benefits of probiotics. On the other hand, raw yogurt contains a strain called Lactobacillus acidophilus and nutrients like protein and calcium.
2. Kefir is similar to yogurt and is made from fermenting milk. It provides essential minerals and amino acids. Lactobacillus caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species are just some of the probiotics found in kefir. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B1, B12, and K.
3. Natto is made from culturing soybean and has a stringy texture. It is different from commercial soy, which contains anti-nutrients that may cause imbalance to many of your functions. Natto, on the other hand, contains the strain Bacillus subtilis, vitamin K2, and nattokinase.
4. Miso. This is another fermented soybean dish. Miso is a traditional food in Japan and is commonly served as a side dish. Like yogurt, it contains the beneficial Lactobacillus acidophilus strain.
5. Kimchi. This Korean delicacy is very common in health food stores. It is made of mainly fermented cabbage, along with other vegetables and seasonings. It contains the strain Lactobacillus kimchii and nutrients that include vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. It also contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as calcium and iron.
There are other fermented foods to try, but start with these popular ones. You may find that the flavor of these dishes is too strong for you. A solution for this is to include them as ingredients in other recipes.