Some of the best probiotic foods are considered to be yogurt, buttermilk, and fermented cabbage. Probiotic foods are foods that contain types of live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Priobiotic bacteria are believed to help promote good digestion and overall good health.
Dairy products such as buttermilk and yogurt are rich in probiotics. Other possible dairy sources for probiotics include cottage cheese and cheeses that are made from yogurt. In addition, some food manufacturers make cheese snacks that have been enhanced with probiotic bacteria. Not all yogurt and cheese products contain live bacteria, and the packaging should be labeled accordingly.
Probiotic foods that are simple to add to your diet include a fermented powder called kefir. Kefir grains can be mixed with milk to make smoothies and other drinks. It should ideally be mixed with milk and allowed to ferment for at least a day. The result is sour-tasting milk, somewhat like buttermilk.
Fermentation is a process that is primarily used to preserve foods. There are typically two different ways to achieve fermentation. Fermentation done with vinegar is more popular with commercial food manufacturers because the process can be more easily controlled. For the fermenting process to result in live bacteria, it requires acid fermentation, which is typically achieved by allowing the foods to reach a certain level of decay. When purchasing foods for their probiotic benefit, it is probably a good idea to be sure the label says it contains live bacteria.
The bacteria found in probiotic foods are considered “good” bacteria, and they help destroy the types of bacteria that cause food to spoil. When fermented foods are consumed, the “good” bacteria work in much the same way in the human digestive tract. They will help destroy types of bacteria that are harmful, such as those that lead to diarrhea and upset stomach. Some fermented probiotic foods that can easily be included in diets are ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.
Some people choose to enhance their diets with probiotics foods by fermenting their own vegetables and fruit. This can be done by washing and cutting the food into small pieces, then pounding it a bit to release juices. The food should then be salted and transferred to a well-sealed container, and refrigerated for about four days. Most foods will ferment within that time frame, though the higher the fiber content, the longer it may take for it to ferment.