Amazing Probiotic Foods to Restore Healthy Gut Flora

Amazing Probiotic Foods to Restore Healthy Gut Flora

One of the most fascinating areas of research that exists today is the balance of gut flora. An imbalance in gut flora has been linked to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses that one would never have thought had anything to do with the gut, according to a growing body of research.

The beneficial bacteria in the diet gradually disappear when probiotics are absent, to be replaced by potentially pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria linked to any of the numerous disorders caused by gut flora.

But if the gut flora imbalance becomes too severe, a range of diseases can result.

The disease caused by an imbalance of gut flora are covered extensively here, but below is a summary of the diseases with research sources attached.
  • Immune system
  • Infant Colic
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Brain development
  • Obesity
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Brain function and morphology
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Althzeimers
  • Metabolism
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Liver disease

I bet you didn’t think your gut bacteria were that important! Everything from obesity to brain function now seems to be related to changes in gut flora. This list if nothing else should make you think very carefully about you gut bacteria. Probiotics are only half the answer to restore healthy gut flora with prebiotics the other half.


Although there are many probiotic supplements on the market, you can get sufficient amounts of probiotics from the food you eat. In fact, chances are good that you already consume many foods with probiotics. But if you are not sure, below are the best probiotics that you can eat and if you combine them with prebiotics, you will be well on your way to restoring your healthy gut flora.


Probiotic Foods to Restore Healthy Gut Flora

1. Yogurt

Yogurt has many health benefits and is one of the best options if you are seeking to restore healthy gut flora by incorporating more probiotics into your diet. To get full probiotic benefits, look for yogurt with live cultures. Yogurt made from goat’s milk is even higher in probiotics than yogurt made from cow’s milk. Many yogurts contain multiple probiotics, including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis.

If you are trying to improve your child’s gut health, yogurt is the only probiotic that kids seem to like.

While homemade yogurt is best, it’s not always practical. One of the best widely available options for yogurt is Activia, a brand from Dannon. Beware: Many popular yogurts contain corn syrup and artificial flavors. Be sure to thoughtfully read the list of ingredients on any commercially purchased yogurt.


2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented dairy product, similar to yogurt. It is typically made from goat’s milk fermented with kefir grains, a combination of bacteria and yeast. Kefir is high in both lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, and it also has the benefit of being antioxidant rich. Kefir, unlike yogurt, is usually consumed by drinking. It also contains high levels of vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium and folate.


 3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, made from fermented cabbage, is often hailed as a superfood. Certainly, sauerkraut is a good source for probiotics because it contains a number of live cultures resulting from the fermentation process. Some research suggests that sauerkraut may help alleviate some symptoms resulting from allergies. It is also high in vitamins A, B, C and K.


4. Kimchi

Similar to cabbage, kimchi is very spicy, fermented cabbage. In traditional Korean cuisine, kimchi is served as a side dish accompanying many meals. It has all the benefits of sauerkraut but also contains calcium, iron and potassium. Kimchi is one of the best choices for probiotic foods.


5. Miso Paste

Miso is made from fermented beans, rye, barley or rice. It has traditionally been a cornerstone in Japanese healing. People on macrobiotic diets use it to regulate digestion. Miso contains lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria and is easily made into a health-promoting broth by simply mixing miso paste with hot water. Cubes of tempeh may be added for a double dose of probiotic goodness. Miso is particularly rich in a number of nutrients. Research suggests that miso may mitigate some effects of environmental pollution and reduce the effects of carcinogens in the body, effectively helping to fight cancer.


 6. Pickles

In the Western world, we often use the term “pickle” to refer to pickled cucumbers, but any pickled vegetable is a good choice for probiotics. Pickles are a fermented food, naturally containing “good” bacteria, while the brine used to pickle vegetables feeds these bacteria, especially when the brine is at the right concentration of salt.


 7. Green Olives

Like pickles, green olives are typically prepared in brine, which ferments them. This process of fermentation means that they too have beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus pentosus.


 8. Tempeh

Tempeh is similar to tofu, except tempeh is created through a process of fermentation. Like tofu, it is high in protein and often used as a meat substitute. It is low in sodium and is a good source of vitamin B12. Tempeh, because it is fermented, offers many probiotic benefits as well.


 9. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugars and other flavors. Because it is fermented, kombucha is another excellent source of probiotics, as it contains both yeast and “good” bacteria. Some studies suggest that kombucha may even support weight loss.


10. Green Peas

Green, or English, peas contain Leuconostoc mesenteroides, a probiotic found in many fermented foods. They work to stimulate immune responses. Canned peas aren’t the best choice, but fresh green peas are great.

11. Bonus: Chocolate

Ok, so chocolate is not technically a probiotic food. However, dark chocolate works as a carrier for probiotics by helping probiotics survive in the digestive tract. Go ahead then and enjoy high-quality dark chocolate in moderation!


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