Probiotic foods are not only those added with live microorganisms but also how we will see fermented foods. We see below the main ones:
Yogurt is certainly the most known and consumed probiotic food, it is obtained from the acid fermentation of milk made by Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus .
Yogurt can be made from cow’s / goat’s milk or vegetable “milks” such as soy or coconut. From the many varieties that are on the market, two things are important from a nutritional point of view, it is preferable to always choose natural white yogurt or without additives, dyes and sugars (which on the contrary could favor the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria) and that the yogurt is relatively fresh, so as to still contain a good quantity of vital bacteria.
It is supposed to originate from the Caucasus. Drink based on goat’s milk or fermented vaccine, obtained by culture medium; it has a sour, refreshing, effervescent taste (due to the presence of carbon dioxide, the final product of fermentation).
Rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, kefir also contains Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. It contains beneficial bacteria different from those of yogurt.
While yogurt contains beneficial “temporary” bacteria (which keep the digestive system clean and feed the flora that resides there), kefir bacteria can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt seems unable to do. Some bacterial strains found in kefir are Lactobacillus caucasus , Acetobacter species , Streptococcus .
Unlike yogurt, kefir also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces and Torula , which help to control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body ( 1 ).
Known and consumed all over the world, sauerkraut is a classic of German cuisine and is produced by the fermentation of cabbage.
The fermentation process is carried out by lactic microorganisms already present in the raw cabbage which are also responsible for the probiotic action of this food that transforms the cabbage into “sauerkraut “, more easily digestible.
Compared to raw cabbage, they are richer in B vitamins but also in sodium, since salt is added to the production process.
To ensure shelf life, after the fermentation process, sauerkraut is subjected to pasteurisation or sterilization which unfortunately drastically reduces the amount of live probiotic microorganisms. It should therefore be ensured that the sauerkraut is not pasteurized.
- Fermented vegetables
Fermented vegetables are one of the best sources of probiotics available. A single portion is equal to a whole bottle of probiotic. They contain 10 billion units forming a colony of bacteria.
It is possible to self-produce fermented vegetables at home, in addition to cabbage (you should make sure that 80% of vegetables are made from fermented cabbage) you can add radishes, celery, carrots , beets and turnips. To get more tasty vegetables, add a little garlic and ginger .
A classic of oriental cuisine. It is the main food of Japanese food. They consume it daily in the form of soup. The miso is a fermented dough that is usually obtained from the fermentation of cooked yellow soy operated by mold and bacteria.
Currently, other legumes and cereals are used for the production of miso which is characterized not only by the presence of probiotics but also by a good content of amino acids, B vitamins and minerals.
We recommend cooking at a temperature not exceeding 72 ° C, as high temperatures could destroy the bacteria. It is quite tasty and alkalizing. Miso has the property of helping the intestine to remove scale and reactivate peristalsis.
Miso is a food suitable for those who do not eat gluten and for vegans.
- The Kombucha
Still little known in Italy, kombucha is a drink consumed since ancient times in China very similar to tea and also called ” elixir of long life “.
Fermented beverage based on green tea and sweet black tea that contains a mix of bacteria and yeasts responsible for the fermentative and obviously probiotic action. Promotes digestion and has many other virtues including probiotic ( 2 ).
Food that is obtained from the fermentation of soy, thanks to the action of two molds that degrade proteins and oligosaccharides making it a more digestible food and give compactness and solidity to the product.
Traditional Indonesian food is defined as ” super food” because it provides the human body with high biological profile proteins, minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, fibers, vitamins especially B12.
Very well known especially among those who follow a vegan and vegetarian diet. Excellent probiotic food also suitable for coeliacs. Fermentation guarantees maximum digestibility.
The very particular taste is reminiscent of the undergrowth (mushrooms and nuts). It must always be cooked to eliminate the bitter taste, the advice is to steam it for a few minutes. It is suitable as a meat substitute in various dishes.
Make sure you only buy organic tempeh to avoid GMO soy.
- Apple vinegar
Lactic acid bacteria form during fermentation. In addition to the health benefits of the intestine, apple cider vinegar is also a good remedy for colds and inflammation.
It must however be a natural product, which is recognized by the dull golden brown color and by small visible particles that remain in suspension or on the bottom ( 3 ).
- Cucumbers and other pickled vegetables
They are valid only if the vegetables were produced by fermentation in water and salt and not simply mixed with vinegar.
Pickled cucumbers provide many benefits, they contain abundant amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid and minerals like manganese, magnesium and potassium. In addition, they also contain Lignani, substances of natural origin that help us maintain a healthy heart and strengthen the immune system.
Kimchi is a well-known Korean fermented vegetable dish. Depending on which vegetable is used and the region and the season in which it is made, more than 300 different varieties of kimchi can be found.
Unfortunately, the kimchi that is on the market is full of additives, preservatives and artificial flavors that make the beneficial bacteria present originally present no longer present. Much better to produce a high quality kimchi in your own home as you do with sauerkraut and fermented vegetables.
Prepared at home or purchased in organic shops, and then properly preserved, kimchi offers an incredible amount of nutrients such as: fiber, lactobacilli and lactic acid, vitamins A and C, capsaicin, allicin and indole-3-carbinol and of course high levels of probiotics.
Natto is a popular Japanese dish made from fermented soy beans. It contains the powerful probiotic Bacillus subtilis , which has proven to be effective in strengthening the immune system, the intestinal and urinary tract, supporting cardiovascular health and improving vitamin K intake (important in blood clotting). It also participates in bone calcification thus counteracting osteoporosis.
In addition, it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called super nattocchinase to prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer.
It looks like a tangle of jelly-shaped beans, sticky but elusive in the mouth during chewing.
Typical Indian drink made from water, yogurt, mint, mango, banana, cinnamon or cardamom. It is eaten cold to accompany spicy dishes. Drink rich in beneficial properties for maintaining general well-being. Contains enzymes, lactic ferments, minerals (especially calcium), riboflavin, group B vitamins (especially B12 ) and other valuable substances for both adults and children.
Probiotic food to all effects that promotes the growth of useful intestinal bacteria by reducing the harmful ones.
Umeboshi are plums soaked in salt and used as a filling for ” onigiri” , the traditional triangular rice balls of Japanese cuisine.
Russian drink with little alcohol and very similar to kombucha, which is obtained from the fermentation of some cereals (such as rye or barley), fruit or berries.
Kvass uses probiotics such as Lactobacilli and is known for its detoxifying properties of the liver with a slightly acid taste.
A national drink of Turkey, but widespread throughout the Middle East, it is prepared by stretching the yogurt with the addition of water and salt. With a sour aftertaste it is perfect for quenching your thirst and cooling off.
The importance of probotics
In addition to promoting intestinal well-being, probiotic foods support digestion and provide numerous health benefits in general, which is also very important for children and their development.
Integration and advice
A suggestion to facilitate the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora is to use supplements able to favor the proliferation of bifidobacteria, the most important bacteria contained in the fatty intestine. A product like LD Proactiv 50 which, thanks to a probiotic action based on lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, satisfies all the characteristics necessary to support the intestine.
They are usually recommended during or after an antibiotic therapy to rebalance the intestine. But also in all those situations where there is unjustified fatigue, easy to get sick (fragile immune system) and where there are digestive difficulties and inflammation of the oral cavity. Furthermore, the administration of probiotics is useful and effective in the treatment of candida, in the case of a disordered diet, in case of stress and psychophysical tensions. But not only, also in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases (such as vitiligo); the use of probiotics can be a good help to add to the common therapy.
I specify that there is no absolute probiotic at all. This is because each of us has a proper intestinal balance. However, in probiotics we distinguish the following bacterial strains: Bifidobatter i and Lactobacilli (which are easily found in most fermented foods); the best known is L ‘ Acidophilus , which is very effective when used after antibiotic therapy and to rebalance the ph in case of candidiasis.