What are probiotic foods?
(Pre + bios = promote life)
Probiotic foods are those containing living microorganisms (probiotics) which, when consumed in sufficient quantities, can prove to be beneficial to our health as they help maintain good bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal tract.
The most common types of probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Their beneficial benefits to our health are:
- Prevention and better treatment of gastrointestinal diseases
(inflammatory bowel disease-IBD, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, colitis, ulcers, infections, constipation).
- Enhancement of the immune system (allergies, urogenital infections, low immunity, inflammation, food poisoning, after antibiotics’ use).
- Improvement of intestinal function (digestion, absorption of nutrients).
- Improving many parameters (cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, atopic diseases, oral health, etc.).
- Better metabolism (absorption of trace elements, vitamin production, lipid metabolism and so on).
- Anti-cancer action.
- Dealing with lactose intolerance.
How they work
Probiotic bacteria that make up our intestinal flora are responsible for the fermentation of various substances from our food or stomach fluids, producing beneficial byproducts for the body, in contrast to the non-beneficial bacteria which are toxin producing.
Why to consume probiotic foods
The beneficial bacteria contained in the fermented foods, have multiple benefits for our organism:
- They produce antimicrobial substances.
- They compete with pathogenic bacteria.
- They improve the immune system.
- They promote digestion and nourishment in the body.
That’s why it’s important to consume them at every meal.
One tablespoon of pickles or miso with every meal provides us with enough beneficial probiotic bacteria for good health. We mainly recommend plant origin probiotic foods to avoid any side effects from animal foods or if we follow a vegan diet.
Vegetal probiotic foods are:
- Pickles (without vinegar): Enhance digestion due to their lactobacteria. They are easily made with root or above ground vegetables such as: carrots, turnips, parsnips, daikon, cucumber, cauliflower, and onion and so on
- Pickled cabbage-Sauerkraut (without sugar): rich in vitamin C, A, E, lactobacilli.
- Miso (naturally fermented): a probiotic Superfood, rich in enzymes, lactobacteria, proteins, minerals, traces elements, isoflavones and so on.
- Soy sauce and Tamari (naturally fermented): contains a large number of lactobacilli, enzymes, proteins, lots of antioxidants, trace elements and so on.
- Tempeh: the Vegan opponent of meat, that beats it on nutritional basis.
- Natto: 1 million active bacteria per 10 gr of product.