Studies show that a healthy microbiome is a crucial component of overall wellness. It can minimize the risk of an array of ailments including arthritis, heart disease, inflammation, dementia and even cancer. It also helps burn fat to maintain healthy body weight.
However, to maintain this ecosystem of microbes, most of which reside in the gut, you have to eat healthily. Anything containing probiotics or good bacteria can help replenish this crucial source of health. That said, here are some foods that can help maintain ideal gut health.
This dairy product is the king of good bacteria. You can take a fruit induced blend, but ensure you do not go beyond 15 grams of sugar per serving. Exceeding this limit will only feed the harmful bacteria in your gut with the sugar they like.
This fermented milk drink, just like yogurt, is rich in probiotics. It’s also almost lactose-free making it ideal for the lactose intolerant. Also, kefir has anywhere from 8 to 11 grams of protein per gram and has very few calories, making it an ideal addition to any diet.
Dairy is not the only ideal source of good bacteria. This paste is made from aged and fermented soybeans and is available in an array of flavors and colors. Miso paste is a low-calorie food which is an excellent, savory and earthy way to ensure proper gut health. It’s also full of fiber, protein and Vitamin K. It’s ideal for glazing chicken and fish before cooking, mixing into tri-fry and even adding it a liquid to make miso broth. However, you may want to know that it’s relatively high in sodium.
Tangy, fizzy and with a hint of vinegar, kombucha is one of the most trendy health drinks. Kombucha tea is naturally carbonated by floating particulate substance which is actually the bacteria and yeast that makes probiotics. It’s better to buy it than make it yourself as it is quite hard and can make you sick. You may want to stick to one 12 oz bottle on a daily basis as the fermentation process produces some alcohol.
This variety of fermented soybeans comes in a cake like form and gives a tangier and nuttier alternative to tofu. It can be used in stir-fries, sandwiches and even grilled or marinated on its own. Apart from probiotics, it contains about 15 grams of protein per half cup and is an excellent iron source. It can also help in reducing cholesterol, just like most soy products.