Living things require food in order to support life. When you have a meal, it not only provides more energy to your body but also keeps your body organs functioning. Microorganisms that live in your body aid the body in breaking down the ingested foods with an aim of aiding the body absorb the nutrients in the food. However, not all microorganisms serve to avail these benefits. Some are toxic to the body and lead to illnesses or the non-normal functioning of the body organs that they inhabit. Some of the microorganisms include bacteria. There is good and bad bacteria present in the body. The good bacteria, also termed as probiotics aid the body in keeping a healthy gut system among other key benefits. Despite this, there also exists bad bacteria which co – exists with the good to serve different functions. There is a balance or ration in which they are expected to observe for optimal performance. Beverly Bird identifies the ratio as 80 / 20 with the good or beneficial bacteria being the majority. To gain these beneficial bacteria, you need to ingest them and build their population in the body. This can be done by intake of foods that are rich in them or the use of supplements that increase their population. The most natural way to increase them is to consume the foods that are rich in probiotics.
What is a probiotic food?
The beneficial bacteria that occurs in foods serve to allow a natural way of getting good bacteria populated in the body. Foods that avail these bacteria in their naturally occurring forms are termed as probiotic food. Based on their ability to sustain living good bacterial microorganisms and at the same time provide other nutritional value, they are probiotic. The good bacteria in them gets into the body the moment you take such meals. They later proceed to colonize the gut when the conditions are favorable. Consuming foods with these benefits is highly encouraged.
What Foods have Probiotics in High amounts?(Foods High In Probiotics)
To achieve this role, probiotic foods vary in probiotics prevalence. This is either based on their natural richness or the methods of preparation and storage conditions that they are exposed to. Yoghurt is one of the foods rich in probiotics. As David T Derrer, MD,notes, it is the most familiar source for probiotics. However, the natural yogurt avails this benefit. A common challenge in sourcing for the right yogurt is the fact that there are many varied types. To get one that best meets the need, it is vital to observe or verify that it came from goat’s or sheep that were grass fed. The yogurt should also be organic.
Sauerkraut is another food that has probiotics in high amounts. How it is prepared matters a lot in the benefits that it can yield. Notable is that the inclusion of a fermentation process. This process leads to the nurturing of the live good bacterial for ingestion. In its preparation, you should choose the materials to use wisely so that the microorganisms are able to survive for longer under favorable storage conditions. When bought, choose the unpasteurized one since the pasteurization process results in the killing of active good bacteria. Japanese soup called Miso Soup is equally a good source of probiotics. It is a fermented form of soybean paste. It is reported to contain more than 160 bacteria strains. This soup is also credited to have protective antioxidants.
Kvass is a drink which also has high probiotic amounts. It is naturally fermented and has many other health boosting properties. This drink can be served jointly with a mix of salad dressings. Beetroots are used in its preparation to give a better environment for probiotics inhibition and at the same time provide critical health benefits. Water Kefir, also termed as soda is another drink that has probiotics in good quantities. It is made by using a colony of beneficial yeast and bacteria, which is naturally sourced. Water kefir culture is used to create the colony. As an ingredient, they act as a symbiotic colony where beneficial bacteria is able to create probiotics and enzymes which are used to break down natural sugar. Traditionally it was used by shepherds of Eurasia after they found out that the milk they carried formed bubbly beverages as it fermented. Similar to other probiotic rich foods, this drink , after its prepared is kept under a tight lid for a number of days before it is drank or refrigerated. In addition to probiotics, certain strains of yeast are found present in kefir which are also beneficial to the body. This duration allows the probiotics to multiply so that on ingestion, they provide the necessary numbers. It can be flavored to match or modify taste. Ginger Ale can be made at home and equally avail probiotics for the body. It is made from fresh ginger wild bacteria and natural sugars. This combination provides an environment for the creation of a bacteria colony. Since it also has ginger, it provides a fair amount of other associated health benefits along with probiotics. Cheese too can act as a carrier for probiotics. Research finds that there are certain strains of probiotics which are present in fermented soft cheeses. Gouda are typically some that are found alongside. Goat’s milk , A2 cous and sheep’s cheeses are considered to provide probiotics of varisou strains. These include bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophoilus.. Similarly, the soft cheese made from these sources should not be pasteurized for maximum benefits.
Try tempeh is equally a good sources of probiotics. Made from fermented soybeans , it provides a natural source of probiotics commonly described by its flavor as smoky. Poi, a staple food in Hawaii is another source of probiotics that can be a good natural source. It is make by mashing cooked taro plant to a state where it’s consistency is liquid to dough like. It is considered to contribute some quantity of probiotics but suffers the limitation that there is no easy way of mass producing it. Nat, a dish in Japan which is quite popular is also rich in probiotics. In its wake, it consists of fermented soybeans and has bacillus subtilis stain of probiotics. This strain is noted in boosting the immune system and at the same time enhance cardiovascular health. There is ongoing research on its ability to provide nattokinase, which is an enzyme, noted to fight cancer.
Other good Sources of Probiotics other than food
Milk that has been fermented with bacterial also acts as a good source of probiotics. It is a good addition to a diet and can be drunk either just as normal milk or as regularly as probiotic supplements. Probiotic supplements also avail a good source for probiotics. These are supplements either prepared or presented to be taken orally. When you take the supplements, observing the guidelines availed by the manufacturer would give a chance for the maximum potency of the live bacteria. The body would benefit from this. The supplements are in various forms and mainly in capsules, tables powder or liquid form. They do not provide the extra nutrients that foods provide but they are convenient in the specific supply of probiotic strains that they are manufactured to avail.
What is the Best Source of Probiotics?
While there is a lot of consensus on the benefits of the use of probiotics, there has not been a lot of debate or research on the sources that are best. However, the quantities that are potentially available in the sources identified would act as a guide on which has higher content. The naturally occurring ones such as in foods such as kvass, would be deemed favourable since the ingestion is almost not conscious and the number would depend on the frequency of intake. However, there exists supplements in the commercial market that have more prevalence and their consumption, of course with good storage would yield equivalent or even greater numbers for gut colonization. This tilts the balance to the choice being non-conclusive but with the note that, both the supplements and the foods would jointly avail the required amounts.