Probiotic foods for good skin and healthy gut
Probiotic foods are natural sources of ‘good bacteria’ that contribute to a healthy gut (and good skin) by supporting digestive health, building immunity and warding-off bad bacteria.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that thrive in and around our body. They keep our microbiome in balance (largely made up of bacteria) and our immune system (about two-thirds of it lives in the gut) strong. In addition to their gut benefits, probiotics are said to boost glow and overall skin health.
We dig gut health-boosting foods for that pretty inside out glow. Probiotic supplements are quite popular but you can even get some of it from fermented foods. Look below for our list of foods naturally rich in probiotics.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that can improve your health. It is made from milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.
Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. It is made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains are not cereal grains, but rather cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast that look a bit like cauliflower.
While yogurt is probably the best known probiotic food in the Western diet, kefir is actually a better source. Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, making it a diverse and potent probiotic.
Cucumbers are pickled in a solution of salt and water. They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour.
Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria which may improve digestive health.
Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea drink. This popular tea is fermented by a friendly colony of bacteria and yeast. It is consumed in many parts of the world, especially Asia.
The term buttermilk actually refers to a range of fermented dairy drinks. However, there are two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.
Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter. Only this version contains probiotics, and it is sometimes called “grandma’s probiotic.” It is mainly consumed in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Cultured buttermilk, commonly found in American supermarkets, generally does not have any probiotic benefits.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is one of the oldest traditional foods and is popular in many countries, especially in Europe. Traditionally sauerkraut, was made by the process of dry curing cabbage with salt. The resulting mixture was left to ferment anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Sauerkraut is often used on top of sausages or as a side dish. It has a sour, salty taste and can be stored for months in an airtight container.
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy product that is made from fermented soybeans. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.
In addition to soybeans, tempeh may also be made from other bean varieties, wheat or a mixture of soybeans and wheat
Miso is a fermented soybean paste and a popular Japanese seasoning. It is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a type of fungus called koji.
Miso can also be made by mixing soybeans with other ingredients, such as barley, rice and rye.
Natto is another fermented soybean product, like tempeh and miso. It contains a bacterial strain called Bacillus subtilis.
Natto is a staple in Japanese kitchens. It is typically mixed with rice and served with breakfast.
Kimchi is a fermented, spicy Korean side dish. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient, but it can also be made from other vegetables. It is flavored with a mix of seasonings, such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallion and salt.
Kimchi contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchi, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health.