You can tell by their name that superfoods are super for you! There are close to 100 superfoods with more being discovered every month and each one has unique benefits. Some are foods you can find easily in your supermarket while others are a little more exotic – spirulina for example “What is Spirulina“.
While each superfood is healthy and helpful, I believe that probiotic superfoods are amongst the best and most important.
Probiotics are bacteria that are essential for proper digestive health. Your digestive system is really the core or center of your wellbeing. Why? Because if your digestive system is unhealthy, the rest of you will be unhealthy too.
It doesn’t matter how good your diet is; if you cannot absorb and use the nutrients in your food, all those nutrients will end up going straight down the toilet!
If, however, your digestive system is in good health, you will be better able to absorb and utilize the nutrients in the food you eat.
You have billions of bacteria in your digestive system and it is these bacteria that keep you healthy but stress, too much sugar, antibiotics, or an otherwise unhealthy diet can kill off your bacteria and that leads to trouble.
Luckily, you can repopulate your bacteria with probiotic superfoods. Probiotic superfoods replace old or dead bacteria with new, healthy bacteria so your digestive system stays in tip-top condition, “How Probiotics Have Helped Me“.
Here are seven of the best probiotic superfoods around…
1. Yogurt – I’m not talking about sugary, sweetened fruit-flavored yogurt here but live, natural yogurt like plain Greek yogurt. Yogurt is naturally high in probiotic bacteria, particularly thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Eat yogurt with fresh fruit as a healthy breakfast or dessert or add it to your smoothies. My yogurt smoothies recipes.
2. Kefir – this yogurt drink is popular in Middle-eastern and Mediterranean countries and is made from fermented goat or cow’s milk. It has a sharp taste that might not be to everyone’s liking but it packs a big probiotic punch. A shot-sized glass or two is all you need and, like yogurt, you can add it to your smoothies (kefir smoothie recipe).
3. Sauerkraut – popular in Germany, sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage although sometimes other vegetables are used too. It’s a nice side dish served with meat and is high not only in probiotics but also vitamins A, B, C and E. Because it does not contain any dairy products, sauerkraut is suitable for people who cannot eat yogurt or kefir because of allergies.
4. Microalgae – chorella, spirulina, and blue-green algae contain a lot of superfood nutrients but are also very high in live probiotics. Unlikely to cause allergies, microalgae are arguably the most concentrated form of probiotics around.
5. Tempeh – made from fermented soya beans, tempeh is a good vegetarian alternative to meat, fish, and soya. It’s high in protein and can be used in a variety of dishes from stir-fries to stews to soups. It’s also low in salt so ideal if you are following a low sodium diet.
6. Kimchi – kimchi is an Asian form of sauerkraut and is a dish made from fermented vegetables and spices. It’s a very tasty dish often served with Korean foods. As well as being high in probiotics, kimchi contains beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2 but may be too spicy for some people’s tastes.
7. Pickles – pickled vegetables are fermented in vinegar so that can be stored for a long time but this also makes them high in gut-friendly probiotics. Any pickled vegetables contain probiotics but good choices include pickled onions, beetroot and gherkins. Choose pickles with no added sugar, flavors, or chemical preservatives or, better still, learn to make your own.
Whichever probiotic superfoods you choose, it’s good to know that you are doing something important and beneficial for your digestive health. If you want to be healthy, you should start by improving the health of your digestive system. If you do that, everything else will soon fall into place!