Probiotics are living microorganisms that restore your gut’s flora and slow the growth of bad bacteria. They can be dehydrated and ingested via supplements but they pack a more meaningful punch when you ingest them in their fully raw form. As a matter of fact, when you heat probiotics to 105 degrees Fahrenheit they begin to lose their power, so keep that in mind. Read through our probiotic food list where we’ll share some special details about our favorite ferments.
Top 8 Probiotic Food List
- Sauerkraut: You already know how we feel about this one. Sauerkraut is delicious, tart, and full of thriving probiotics. During the fermentation process, cabbage is thinly sliced, salted and sealed. Lactobacillus, a beneficial probiotic, grows and thrives in the delicious brine environment. Sauerkraut is a cultural staple of Eastern Europe and was originally created to preserve cabbage during the winter months. Currently, kraut has transformed into a gut-healing staple for anyone seeking entry into the fermented food world. We have plenty of raw, unpasteurized kraut options if you’d like give your taste buds a treat.
- Kimchi: A quintessential Korean side dish, kimchi came to be for similar reasons as sauerkraut – veggie preservation during frigid months. Both share cabbage and fermentation as their foundation, however, their flavor profiles couldn’t be more distinct. Sauerkraut is relatively mild in comparison to spicy and pungent kimchi, which contains the super-hot gochugaru pepper. Aside from its spice, heart-healthy gochugaru contain an active element called capsaicin, which is actually a common ingredient in topical pain creams!Now that you’re hooked on the health benefits of kimchi, branch out and try out a recipe for Kimchi deviled eggs. It’ll take a familiar family favorite and kick it up a notch.
- Yogurt: The National Yogurt Association (NYA) adds a “Live and Active Culture” seal to most yogurts containing probiotics to make it easier for you to identify at your local market. For the NYA to consider a yogurt probiotic it must contain 100 million cultures at the time of production. Aside from its gut-soothing benefits, yogurt contains plenty of calcium and protein too.It should be mentioned that even though yogurt with live cultures are a great part of a probiotic regimen, it usually does not contain enough microorganisms to completely overhaul a ragged gut. It’s best to pair yogurt with a few other staples on this probiotic food list.
Check out this recipe for an easy fermented yogurt dip that brings the flavor via garlic, dill, and more while soothing your gut with its cool, probiotic power.
- Kefir: Milk is already a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D – think of kefir as its amped up cousin. Originally from Eastern Europe and Russia, kefir is a fermented milk drink made using kefir grains and a culture of yeasts and bacteria. During the fermentation process, a team of probiotics grows that help to ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms such as bloating and sour stomach. Kefir contains around 30 strains of probiotics, some of which have the power to slow the growth of harmful bacteria such as e-coli and even salmonella. Other benefits of kefir include vitamin B12, phosphorus, and riboflavin, just to name a few. Of course there is more research to be done on the power of kefir, but it’s an excellent tool to have in your gut-healing arsenal.
- Kombucha: The catalyst in kombucha’s story is the SCOBY aka symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Pair the SCOBY with some caffeinated tea, a bit of sugar, and 1-2 weeks time to sit and ferment in a glass container and you’ll have a deliciously refreshing drink that is loaded with a bounty probiotics. These probiotics will detoxify your system, soothe your gut, aid digestion, and strengthen your immune system too.
The beauty of kombucha is how easy it is to make and customize. After the initial ferment, feel free to add fresh berries, herbs, and more to shift the flavor profile and add even more health benefits.
- Sriracha: This easy to squirt Thai creation is now a common find in most American restaurants. With chili peppers as the main headliner, sriracha has a nice helping of vitamin A and C. The heat from the chilies keeps your mucus membranes active, which lead to the creation of germ-fighting white blood cells.
To keep it real, traditional sriracha is barely fermented and doesn’t have much probiotic power. Luckily, we were so addicted that we decided to make our own sugar-free, fermented, and probiotic-rich version of the original. Read what else we have to say about sriracha here.
- Miso: This traditional Japanese paste is the result of fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Asergillus oryzae) along with rice, barley, seaweed or other ingredients. What you add in your initial miso ferment will dictate whether the flavor profile is salty, earthy, savory, or even fruity. Miso is teaming with vitamin A, B, K, and folic acid.
- Tempeh: Often described as cake-like, tempeh is a substance made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. The fermentation process helps to make the soy more digestible, countering problems folks tend to experience with soy, like reduced protein digestion and deficiencies in the uptake of amino acids.
Also unlike tofu, tempeh has a very firm texture and doesn't crumble easily. Check out a quick and easy recipe for a Tempeh BLT here!
Did you like our Probiotic Food List? Click here to dive deeper into our plant-based probiotic world.