A healthy gut is essential for optimum health and a strong immune system. Probiotic supplements have been used by many holistic health believers for years and probitoc foods have been used in traditional cultures for centuries. Recently, probiotics have become widely accepted as an important dietary need by mainstream physicians and medical professionals because of its healing properties.
The friendly bacteria found in probiotic supplements and foods can help to treat and prevent a wide array of ailments. Probiotics aid in the healing process of many digestive disorders like irritable bowl syndrome, chronic diarrhea or constipation, colitis, or chron's disease. Many health problems occur from inflammation in the body, like cancer, celiac disease, arthritis and asthma which can be calmed with probitics. In addition the strength of the immune system in the body depends on the health of the intestinal tract. If the gut is not functioning properly and is not absorbing nutrients from food then the immune system is compromised.
Eating a wide variety of probiotic foods is important because each food contains a different strain of bacteria that is needed in the gut. By eating a variety of foods you will ensure that you are supplied with all the necessary strains. Each strain has a very specific job within the intestines which makes it important to consume a good variety.
There are fermented foods from many different cultures around the world that have been eaten by many generations. Incorporating these foods into your diet will provide all the amazing health benefits of probiotics and are also less expensive then buying probiotics in pill form. Many of these foods can be made at home with a little patience. See this post on yogurt making at home: Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt in a Slow Cooker. Some of these probiotic foods include:
- Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage (Europe and America)
- Kimchi – pickled cabbage (Korea)
- Kombucha – fermented tea (China, Japan, Russia)
- Sour Pickles – fermented cucumber (Europe)
- Fermented Vegetables (Europe)
- Yogurt – fermented milk and non-dairy milk
- Natto – fermented soybeans (Japan)
- Miso – fermented soybean, barley, brown rice (Japan)
- Tempeh – fermented soybeans (Indonesia)
- Kefir – fermented milk (Europe)
Making fermented foods at home is a lot of fun. It took me a while to perfect it but I make my coconut milk yogurt very often at home and I also enjoy making homemade sauerkraut. If you are new to these foods I would suggest buying some of them first and trying it to see how you like them and find your favorites and then try to make them yourself for better quality and freshness.
Do you make your own probiotic foods? What are your favorite recipes?