Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to the human body, in particular the digestive system, and a good chunk of them thrive naturally in your gut.
But wait Nick, I thought if I had bacteria and yeast in my body it was bad?
Well, not all of them are bad, but the problem with most people these days is that their guts are being populated by the crappy bacteria and yeasts that make us sick. This is due mainly in part to antibiotics being taken for every little sniffle and the Typical American Diet., which is loaded with sugars and processed foods. These foods in turn will not feed the good ones and help the crappy ones thrive. So, how might I improve my gut you might ask? Well taking a high quality probiotic is the first place to start. Also, here are 6 foods you can eat contain probotics that will help to improve not only the good bacteria but also will boost your mental health, decrease inflammation and help you lose weight.
1. Yogurt: The famous probiotic-filled food is yogurt — in particular, Greek yogurts or those that are live-cultured or handmade. Brands like Activia, Yo-plait Original, Stonyfield, Siggi’s, Fage, or Chobani all contain varying amounts of probiotics.
2. Sauerkraut: Who knew? It turns out that sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, is a food highly dense in probiotics and a variety of other nutrients, like vitamin B, A, E, and C.
3. Miso Soup: Found in most traditional Japanese restaurants, is made from fermented rye, beans, rice, or barley.
4. Kombucha: or tea fermented with live bacteria and yeast, has been around for thousands of years. Although it may be more expensive than your regular cup o' tea, it contains a lot of healthy gut microbes that can improve your digestive processes.
5. Pickles: Like the other fermented products on this list, fermented cucumbers have their own probiotic and digestive benefits. While most pickles will contain probiotics, certain pickles made with vinegar and a heat-process may lack them. Follow this recipe to ferment your own, probiotic-filled, tasty and tangy pickles.
6. Soft Cheese: Good news for cheese lovers: A handful of soft cheeses are filled with probiotics that are good for your tummy, particularly those that are made from raw, unpasteurized cow or goat's milk. These include cheddar, feta, Gouda, provolone, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere, and caciocavallo. These soft cheeses, with their low acidity and large reserves of fat, keep the little microbes preserved in your digestive tract.