You’ve probably heard about the gut microbiome, or the billions of bacteria living in your digestive tract. You’ve probably also heard of probiotic supplements, which help inoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria that have shown promise for improving digestion, mood, and even metabolism. What you might not know is that plenty of foods contain these beneficial bacteria, too. In fact, there are probiotic foods out there are just as good as a supplement.
At Clean Plates, we like to take a food first approach to wellness and gut health, which is why we want you to know about the following probiotic-rich foods.
1. Yogurt from Coconut Cult Yogurt
This plant-based yogurt is made with coconut meat, coconut water, and a custom blend of 16 strains of probiotic, including L. Lactis and B. Bifidum, which are commonly found in supplements. All you need is a few spoonfuls a day to get a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria. The best part? They taste fantastic. Try the Mangos ‘N Cream flavor, which tastes like a mango-flavored key lime pie filling. If yogurt isn’t your thing, take Coconut Cult’s Gelato Probiotic Ice Cream for a spin. Each serving has 50 billion probiotics, which is more than most supplements.
2. Sauerkraut from Cleveland Kraut
Sauerkraut is one of the most underrated health foods. Think about it: It’s full of beneficial bacteria and you get the added benefits of cabbage and other veggies. Cleveland Kraut makes sauerkraut that has these benefits and more. Try their Roasted Garlic Kraut, which contains raw and roasted garlic (which have displayed powerful antimicrobial properties to help you fend off germs) and a touch of black better. Their krauts are packed with both pre- and probiotics that are the perfect way to boost your immune system all year long but especially in the winter months. You can add this kraut to salads or eat it right out of the bag.
3. Plant-Based Yogurt from Lavva
Looking for a probiotic-rich food you can eat on-the-go? Try these yogurt cups from Lavva. They’re made with coconut water, coconut cream, plantains, pili nuts, and cassava root and are sweetened with real fruit. They have absolutely no added colors, gums, or sugars—plus 50 billion probiotics in a single cup, which is more than most probiotic supplements. The best part? You can now find them in almost every airport in America, making them the best food to keep your gut in tip top shape while you’re traveling. Grab the pineapple flavor (it tastes like vacation in a cup) if you can find it.
4. Gut Shots from Farmhouse Culture
If you love the convenience of a probiotic supplements but still like the idea of getting your daily dose of bacteria in pill-form, the Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots are for you. They’re made from sauerkraut juice and are always organic, unpasteurized, and filled with multiple strains of probiotics.
They also contain other healthy ingredients, like garlic, ginger, and chili pepper, that your digestive tract will love. Just keep a bottle—I’d recommend the Ginger Beet flavor— in your fridge and take a swig or shot after your meals.
If you start your mornings with a smoothie, kefir is the perfect addition. It adds a delicious creamy texture, a tart flavor, and of course, plenty of probiotics. Not to mention, according to a study published in Frontiers in Microbiology, kefir can improve your cholesterol profile, support a healthier immune system, and decrease inflammation.
When you’re shopping, look for a product that’s organic with no sugar added. Green Valley Creamery’s products are completely lactose-free to be easier on the gut and contains 11 unique strains of probiotics.
At the end of the day, the best way to maintain your health is through a clean, balanced diet. These foods are healthy in their own right—but also just so happen to contain as many bacteria as most probiotics. Add them to your routine and see how you feel.
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