We hear about probiotic foods ... and good bacteria that help out your gut ... but what ARE those foods and where do you find them?
[I'm talking about this today on my radio show, Saturdays at noon. You can listen live by clicking here.]
Yogurt is one of the main foods that people think of when they think of probiotics. Make sure that the yogurt that you buy specifies that it contains live cultures. Some yogurts do not.
Buttermilk is another food that contains large amounts of beneficial bacteria. Many people like its tangy flavor. Those who do not like either the flavor or the texture might want to consider adding buttermilk to smoothies with fresh fruit.
Kefir is a drink made of milk fermented with kefir grains. The milk can be cow's, goat's, or sheep's milk and once mixed with the grain is allowed to ferment overnight. The result is a very sour drink often mixed with fruit or other sweeteners and is full of nutritious probiotics.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that has the chewy texture of meat. Unlike tofu, tempeh uses whole soybeans that are allowed to ferment. A type of beneficial mold forms which binds the soy together. Tempeh can be used in many vegetarian dishes as a high quality protein and is one of the few vegetarian sources of vitamin B12.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning that is produced by fermenting various beans or grains. It is used in soups, sauces, and spreads. Miso can be characterized by many things, including the bean or grain it is made from, the flavor, or the color. Popular types of miso include:
- Shiromiso, also called white miso
- Kuromiso, also called black miso
- Akamiso, also called red miso
Sauerkraut is fermented or pickled cabbage. Fresh cabbage is generally cut and then allowed to ferment in a brine for a period of time. During this time probiotic bacteria are formed.
The odor of kim chi is unforgettable. It is fermented cabbage, somewhat like sauerkraut but much more pungent. It can be made a number of ways, but is normally quite spicy. In Korea kim chi is used as a side dish or a relish.
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