5 Probiotic Foods Your Body Needs Now
Written by: Brandi Monasco
You always hear that you should “listen to your gut.” In all reality, it technically means to listen to your intuition, but it can also mean that you should “listen” to your gut about digestion.
Your gut is literally the center of your mental and physical health. It is responsible for processing the food that you eat, producing nutrients and fighting disease. It is also filled with thousands of bacteria, both good and bad.
Having a healthy gut means that your mind, as well as the rest of your body, is healthy and working at optimal levels. Having a not-so-healthy gut could mean diseases, illnesses and other ailments.
To keep your gut healthy, you need probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut and help aid in digestion. They are responsible for supporting your immune system, helping prevent obesity by improving your metabolism and relieving depression.
There is a wide variety of forms that probiotics can be found in such as tablets and powders. However, the best way to get probiotics is through the natural way, through the foods you eat.
Here are a few foods that contain probiotics that your gut needs.
- Dark Chocolate. Not only does dark chocolate contain probiotics, but it also contains antioxidants. When you are looking for the perfect bar of dark chocolate, make sure that you choose organic chocolate, preferably with a high percentage of cacao. Choosing a chocolate in a higher percentage of cacao means that it’s more of actual chocolate that hasn’t been refined.
- Kombucha. Kombucha is fizzy, sweet liquid that forms when sweet black tea is fermented with a mushroom-like colony of bacteria called “scoby.” Kombucha contains high amounts of probiotics. It is also said that kombucha can increase your energy and enhance your well-being. Kombucha can be made at home, but if you prefer not to risk making it yourself, there are also pre-made kombucha drinks available.
- Bananas. This isn’t so surprising as bananas have many health benefits. However, bananas also help with aiding in digestion. They feed on the “good” bacteria that is already in your body, allowing them to thrive and multiply, creating even more “good” bacteria. Bananas also contain high amounts of fiber, which help to improve your colon.
- Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is made up of cabbage and sometimes other vegetables that have been fermented with specific bacteria. It is rich in vitamins B, A, E and C and can even help in reducing allergy symptoms.
- Kimchi. Kimchi is the Asian form of pickled sauerkraut. Kimchi is extremely spicy and can be sour due to the fermented cabbage. It is a staple meal in Korea and is widely connected to the low rates of digestive disorders in the Asian culture. There has also been research that has shown that kimchi is linked with immune system regulation.
Probiotics not only provide optimal gut health and give your gut added “good” bacteria, but there are plenty of other health benefits as well. They aid in both remedying gastrointestinal distress as well as boosting your immune system.
If you’re not fond of sauerkraut or spicy kimchi, you can always reach for a banana or a piece of dark chocolate. What’s your favorite way of getting those probiotics? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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