Microbiome Nutraceutical Superfoods

Top 5 Probiotic Foods

Yogurts

Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. It contains mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacterial. Aside from that, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are commonly used as starters for milk fermentation in yogurt production.

 

Regular consumption of yogurts have been shown to improve bone health and reduce high blood pressure. The consumption of yogurt in observational studies is associated with a reduced risk of weight gain and obesity. 

 

Additionally, yogurt may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. This is due to the presence of bacterial lactase that help to digest lactose. The acidic condition of small intestine and a slower gastrointestinal transit time allow the bacterial lactase to be active and digesting lactose from yogurt sufficiently to prevent symptoms in lactose-intolerant people. The bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which gives the yogurt tastes sour.

Yogurt is accessible and convenient to consume by different age group, which makes yogurt consumption a feasible approach to enhance nutritional status. 

Make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures as some bacteria may be killed during the manufacturing process.

I, myself usually have one yogurt either with my breakfast or lunch everyday. 

Yogurt is abundant in calcium, zinc, B vitamins and it may be supplemented with vitamin D. It is a good source of protein. 

Have a yogurt after a morning run or working out in the gym.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink originated in the Balkans, in Eastern Europe, and in the Caucasus. The word kefir allegedly comes from the Turkish word keyif, which means “feeling good” after eating.  

It is made by adding “kefir grains” to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains are cultures mix of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Sometimes, Bifidobacterium sp., Lactobacillus sp. and probiotic yeast (Saccharomyces boulardii) may be used as adjunct cultures when blended with kefir grains. Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and yeast, making it a diverse and very potent probiotic. 

Like yogurt, kefir is generally well tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant. 

The health benefits of kefir include; 

  • Reduction of lactose intolerance symptoms
  • Stimulation of the immune system
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Cancer prevention due to its antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. 
  • Prevent infection from other pathogenic bacteria

Kefir acts against the pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Helicobacter, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, Listeria monocytogenes, Streptococcus pyrogenes

In addition, kefir also effective in preventing fungal overgrowth. Kefir showed good efficacy in inhibiting spore formation and aflatoxin B1 produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, which is a toxic compound formed either in the field or during food storage1

 

Saurkraut

Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is popular traditional foods in Europe. Sauerkraut is usually served with sausages or as a side dish. It has a sour, salty taste and can be stored for months in an airtight container. In addition to its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut is rich in fiber as well as vitamins C, B and K. It contains iron and manganese. 

Sauerkraut also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in the cabbage, which are important for eye health. Probiotics in Sauerkraut may help to lower uric acid in gout’s sufferers2. Make sure to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut, as pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditional fermented food made from soaked and cooked soybeans inoculated with a mold. After fermentation has occurred, the soybeans are bound together into a compact cake by dense cottony mycelium.  Tempeh’s flavor is described as nutty, earthy or similar to a mushroom. It usually eaten deep-fried, steamed or roasted.

Tempeh is originally from Malaysia but has become popular worldwide as a high-protein meat substitute. Fermentation lowers the amount of phytic acid, which may increase the amount of minerals your body is able to absorb from tempeh. Fermentation also produces some vitamin B12, a nutrient that soybeans do not contain.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a fermented, spicy Korean side dish. The main ingredients used in making Kimchi include Chinese cabbage (beachu), radish, green onion, red pepper powder, garlic, ginger, and fermented seafood (jeotgal). 

The major raw materials (cabbage or radish) are salted after prebrining, blended with various spices (red pepper, garlic, green onion, ginger, etc.) and other minor ingredients (seasonings, salted sea foods, fruits and vegetables, cereals, fish, and meats, etc.), and then fermented at low temperature (2–5°C).

 

Kimchi contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchii, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health.

I personally prefer kimchi compared to Sauerkraut because Kimchi taste better in my opinion due to the spices and chilli used. 

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