Fermented foods may not sound super-appealing, but they can actually be really great sources of probiotics - similar to what you find in yogurt – so today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on six foods that are naturally rich in probiotics.
Probiotics - also referred to as “good bacteria,” are live microorganisms with many health benefits:
- Boost immune system, improve digestive health, improve inflammatory conditions, possibly reduce risk of cancer.
Beyond yogurt: Yogurt gets much of the attention when it comes to probiotics, but many types of fermented foods can provide us with these ‘good’ bacteria.
To make it easy to add a variety of these beneficial microorganisms into our diets, here are six probiotic-rich foods that are naturally filled with live, active cultures:
Yogurt. Plain, lowfat Greek yogurt is preferred, but any yogurt with a pure, simple ingredient list that includes ‘live, active’ cultures is a good source of probiotics.
Buttermilk is a good source of probiotics, thanks to the live cultures added to ferment the milk sugars.
Kefir has different types of probiotics than yogurt. It’s made by fermenting milk with yeasts and bacteria referred to as kefir ‘grains.’
Plain, unflavored kefir is best in terms of sugar content. Try it straight from the bottle, or in place of milk over whole grain cereal or blended with fruit to make a smoothie.
Cultured cottage cheese. Nancy’s offers cultured cottage cheese that provides live cultures, including L. acidophilus and B. bifidum, as well as four strains of lactic cultures.
Kombucha. Yeasts and bacteria are fermented with sweetened tea to form a slightly carbonated, probiotic-rich beverage. Found in refrigerated section of grocery stores.
Sauerkraut. Look for sauerkraut that’s refrigerated and labeled as containing live cultures. Otherwise, it’s likely been heat treated, which destroys the live cultures.