Probiotic Foods You Should Eat for Better Immune System
Probiotic is a word that is often mentioned in the health conscious circles. Probiotics are bacteria or yeast that are useful for our body and improve our whole health. They stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes and ensure that our digestive system functions properly.
Probiotics have the ability to make your immune system strong. They can fight against bacteria that cause diarrhoea and are beneficial for the treatment of various types of ailments. Including probiotic in your daily diet ensures that you have a good and healthy digestive system. But you should add it gradually in your diet, and increase the amount slowly.
You get probiotic foods and supplements in the market, but consuming natural food items rich in probiotic is a better option. Natural probiotic-rich foods do not cause you much side effects and are more effective. Here are some of the probiotic foods that you can consume to make your immune system strong.
Best Probiotic Foods:
Apples are known to be rich in dietary fibre. It is not proven by researchers whether apples are actually rich sources of probiotic or not. But consuming an apple a day can provide your body with good bacteria. This helps in producing short chained fatty acids and also in providing a favourable pH balance in the body, so that microorganisms that are beneficial for your body can grow well. So you can say that the age old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, is true.
Dark chocolate is another food item that is rich in probiotic. Consuming dark chocolate helps in providing you a healthy digestive system. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which can fight against free radicals and prevent oxidation of cells. So, you can consume dark chocolates without feeling guilty and enjoy its benefits. However, make sure that you have it in limited amounts. Eating too much of dark chocolates can lead to other issues like weight gain and so on.
This is a probiotic drink that has been in use for centuries. It also has many other health benefits. To make this tea, you have to ferment sweet black tea with kombucha mushrooms, containing a culture of bacteria and yeast. This probiotic drink can increase your immunity power and also provide you with energy that helps in keeping you healthy and fit. You can also lose weight by consuming this drink. However, it may not suit every one. So be careful and make sure that it suits you.
Kefir is very similar to yogurt. It is thick and creamy and is a beverage that contains both bacteria and yeast. This makes this drink a rich source of probiotic cultures. Kefir offers you more probiotic than other fermented dairy products. Usually it is made with milk. But you can also make it with other liquids like coconut milk and even water. It is considered as the richest source of probiotic. Moreover, it is also free from lactose. This makes it suitable for those who are sensitive or allergic to lactose.
Miso is prepared by fermenting soy, beans, rye, barley or rice. You can use it in the preparation of soups and for seasoning dishes. It is rich in lactobacillus acidophilus. You get the required amount of probiotic with one serving of miso. It is also good for regulating digestion. Japanese people use miso as medicine. You can make tasty and nutritious rice soup by adding one spoon of miso to one glass of hot water. Miso is also said to be beneficial for protecting your body from the effects of environmental pollution and limits the effects of carcinogens in the body.
Plants found in the ocean, like chorella, spirulina and blue-green algae are referred to as microalgae. They are rich in probiotic and have the ability to increase the amount of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus in the digestive tract. These probiotic also provide you energy.
We make pickles by fermenting vegetables and some certain types of fruits. They are packed with probiotic. You can easily make pickles at home. You also get it from the grocery shops, but they may not contain the natural enzyme needed for your body. Often they get lost during the process of preparation. Fermented vegetables are rich sources of probiotic. All you need to pickle vegetables and fruits at home are salt, water and some oil.
Sauerkraut and kimchi:
You can prepare sauerkraut by shredding cabbage and fermenting it in brine. Although cabbage is commonly used for its preparation, you can also use other vegetable for its preparation. Sauerkraut contains lactobacilli plantarum, which can boost your immune system. It has the ability to reduce the growth of ‘bad yeast’ in the body. Sauerkraut is one of the richest sources of probiotic that is not a dairy product. You can have it as a side dish or add it to salads.
Kimchi is a side dish known in Korea. It is an Asian form of Sauerkraut. Here Kimchi is fermented along with pickled cabbage. This makes it very spicy and sour. It is also rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. Kimchi is also one of the best probiotic foods that you can have.
Soy milk is packed with probiotics. It is also rich in protein and is free from lactose. So, people who are lactose intolerant can drink it.
Yogurt is rich in probiotic. It contains lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, which are powerful strains of probiotic. If you are buying packed, commercial yogurt, check the label and make sure that it contains ‘live and active cultures’. Homemade yogurt is healthier than the packed ones. They are rich in live cultures of useful bacteria.
Olive, tempeh, cheese and dhokla are also good sources of probiotic. Idli dosa and other south Indian dishes are also found to be rich in probiotic. They are low in fat and healthy for the body. So, include some of the food items mentioned above in your daily diet to remain healthy and fit.