Most people know that yogurt (at least the unsweetened kind with live cultures) is a healthy option, but few people consider the many other foods rich in beneficial bacteria or yeasts that help boost health. Here are 10 of my favorite probiotic-rich picks to add to your diet.
Some, but not most, cheeses offer probiotics, including: yogurt cheese (made from straining yogurt through a cheesecloth to thicken it) and some unpasteurized dairy-free cheeses made through the addition of probiotic cultures (see The Probiotic Promise for recipes and instructions). These probiotic-rich cheeses usually contain the cultures used to inoculate them so the health benefits can vary widely depending on the probiotic powder or capsule contents used.
An El Salvadorian condiment, curtido is like a cross between salsa and kimchi. Like kimchi, it is packed with a wide range of probiotic strains and has many of the same health benefits as kimchi (see below) thanks to similar strains and ingredients.
Kefir (pronounced ke-FEER) is similar to a drinkable form of yogurt but is much healthier thanks to having ten times more different types of probiotic strains than yogurt. It naturally contains B-vitamins that give an energy boost, aids digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The national dish of Korea is typically a fermented mixture of cabbage, chilis and garlic. Research at Georgia State University found that the probiotics, namely L. plantarum, found in Korea’s national food, confers protection against the flu by regulating the body’s innate immunity. . .