Top 10 Probiotic Foods & Why You Need Them

Good bugs and bad bugs for your stomach.

HUH?!

I know, right? Dr. Mark Hyman stymied me when I heard him say that 60% of the body’s immune system is in your gut.

So, lets put it this way, if you feed your body a bunch of garbage, your immune system can technically dropping – which ultimately leaves your body susceptible to any bacteria.

Have you ever seen (especially me being here in Thailand) those people who constantly get sick? On top of that, have you seen what those particular people eat?  My guess that it’s a processed diet.

Moreover, it could be said that between 30-40 million Americans are constipated.  It also amounted up toe 1.2 trillion dollars back in 2010 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/digitalrules/2010/06/21/americas-1-2-trillion-constipation-problem/#5950b62c3c83)

However, with all of that being said, it’s time to get the good bugs back into your stomach. In my last blog I talked about avocados, almonds, olive oil and other things to unclog your digestive system and get you going routinely. Today, lets talk about probiotic foods, which is what Dr. Mark Hyman talks about A LOT in terms of helping you with your digestive system.

1. Yogurt

One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra forms of probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurt is made equally. Many popular brands are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and artificial flavors and are way too close to being a nutritional equivalent of sugary, fatty ice cream.

2. Kefir

Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a good, organic version at your local health food shop.

3. Sauerkraut

Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.

4. Dark Chocolate

Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy.

5. Microalgae

This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. Remember I talked about a specific plant from the ocean that would help your digestive system?

6. Miso Soup

Probiotic Foods - Miso

Miso is one the main-stays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

7. Pickles

Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Try making your own home-made pickles in the sun.  On the other hand, I would just steer clear of pickles – but it is an option.  The last option.

8. Tempeh

A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. A great source of vitamin B12, this vegetarian food can be sauteed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.  Low-sodium diets are my absolute favorite, so please follow my instructions very carefully or do more research on how to make Tempeh.

9. Kimchi

An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.  However, check the sodium content.  Here in Thailand, kimchi is stacked with artificial trash and sodium.  There’s plenty of GOOD out there.

10. Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a form of fermented tea. that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your well being and maybe even help you lose weight.

Tomorrow morning (Bangkok time) I’ll be going live about this blog, so if you’re not already tuning into my podcast, here’s my iTunes link down below!

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