Do You Include Probotic and Prebiotic Foods In Your Diet?

You have bacteria living in your digestive tract.

Sounds gross, I know, but actually it’s good. They’re friendly bacteria, or ‘probiotics’ that help keep bad bacteria and yeast from growing in your gut. Common strains include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Friendly bacteria also help make vitamin K, which is essential for normal blood clotting, plus they’re important for immune system function

These little probiotic guys are good, and you want lots of them, so how do you get more of these friendly bacteria to grow and flourish? One option is to take dietary supplements, but I think the better way is to eat plenty of foods that contain probiotics.

It’s also important to take care of your bacterial friends — to feed them, basically. You can do that by eating foods that contain fibers called fructo-oligocasccharides (FOS). You can’t digest these fibers, but they promote probiotic growth in your intestinal tract.

Learn which foods will help keep your friendly gut bacteria happy and healthy.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Prebiotics and Probiotics: The Dynamic Duo.” Accessed Jul 20, 2015. http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-the-dynamic-duo.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before taking dietary supplements or making any major dietary changes.

Yogurt
Yogurt is probably the best-known dietary source of probiotics, but it’s also good for you for other reasons — yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, protein and potassium.  Plain yogurt with fresh fruit, a little honey, and some nuts is perfect as a dessert or snack.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 01256, Yogurt, Greek, plain, nonfat.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/216.
Kefir is a usually made from fermented milk so it’s similar to yogurt so it’s also high in calcium and protein. Kefir can also be made with other liquids, so check the label for nutrition information. Nutrition Information for Kefir

Kimchi is made from fermented vegetables, usually napa cabbage. It has a wonderful spicy flavor. Kimchi is an excellent source of probiotics plus it’s high in fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and antioxidants typically found in cruciferous vegetables.Nutrition Information for Kimchi

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11970, Cabbage, napa, cooked.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3613.

Tempeh is made from cooked and fermented soy. It has a delicious nutty flavor and is used in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Besides the probiotics, tempeh is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese.
Nutrition Information for Tempeh Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 01256, Yogurt, Greek, plain, nonfat.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/216.

Aged Cheese

Eating aged cheeses such as cheddar and gouda will provide you with probiotics plus calcium and protein. The cheese needs to age — fresh cheese, such as mozzarella and feta, doesn’t contain probiotics.

Nutrition Information for Cheddar Cheese

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 01009, Cheese, cheddar.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/9

Artichokes are high in prebiotic fiber that probiotic bacteria need to thrive. They’re also high in magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, and low in calories.Nutrition Information for Artichokes

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11008, Artichokes, (globe or french), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2858.

Bananas are high in prebiotic fiber that supports probiotic growth, plus they offer plenty of manganese, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B-6.Nutrition Information for Bananas

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 09040, Bananas, raw.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2208.

Onion
Onions will keep the bacteria in your gut happy and they’re low in calories. Onions are also high in manganese, vitamin C, and potassium. Shallots, which are similar in flavor, are also probiotic.Nutrition Information for OnionsSource: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11282, Onions, raw.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3065.

Leeks have a flavor similar to onions, and they’re also high in the fibers that support friendly bacteria. Leeks are also low in calories and high in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, iron and magnesium.Nutrition Information for Leeks

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11246, Leeks, (bulb and lower leaf-portion), raw.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3031.

Garlic

Garlic not only adds flavor to a variety of savory dishes, it also supports probiotic growth. Garlic also has other a number of additional health benefits.Nutrition Information for Garlic

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11215, Garlic, raw.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3003.

Asparagus is rich in fiber, including fiber that supports probiotic bacteria. Asparagus is also high in just about every vitamin and mineral, plus it’s super low in calories.Nutrition Information for Asparagus

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. “Basic Report: 11012, Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained.” Accessed July 20, 2015. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2862.

Learn More About Probiotics –  Like to learn about probiotics and your health? Visit About.com

About the writer – Shereen Lehman is a writer, instructor, and nutritionist, and she’s been the About.com nutrition expert since 2004. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. She is a member of the editorial board for Natural Medicines, an organization that systematically reviews scientific evidence on complementary and alternative medicine. In 2013, Shereen was named to Sharecare’s Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Nutrition.

————–

For the Healing Place Medfield’s free report “Proven Alternative Ways to Heal Common Chronic Digestive Problems: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Keep You From Healingclick here.


Leave a Reply