In our previous posts, we’ve discussed What the Heck Gut Flora Is, how our Birth Plays a Vital Role in our Longterm Digestive Health, and How it Can All Get Out of Balance. In this post, I’ll illustrate 10 easy ways you can increase your probiotic flora through food - a simple and affordable solution to long term digestive health. I’ll also throw in a few suggestions for intestinal lining help, too.
Foods naturally rich in a variety of strains of probiotics – aka the “good bacteria” – include:
- Yogurt – whole milk is best and from local dairy farms if possible (tastes better too!)
- Kefir – another form of fermented milk, providing different different strains than yogurt , best sourced from organic raw milk (also think of sour cream or cultured cheeses as other sources of cultured dairy)
- Miso – or other fermented soybean products like Natto
- Lacto-fermented Foods (see our post on lacto-fermented vegetables)
- Lacto-fermented Tonics (the juice leftover from fermented vegetables)
- Water Kefir – similar to milk kefir, but dairy free
- Coconut Water Kefir ("kevita" brand offers one)
- Kvass, from Beets or Grain
- “Soured” Grains – like sourdough and soaked/sprouted porridge
Try eating the above live foods on a daily basis or with each meal. Before starting a regimen of probiotic supplements, it is best to consult with a practitioner, to decide which supplements are best for you. In my practice, I use probiotics regularly and view them as complementary to herbal formulas and nutrition.
My Favorite Supplements
- BioKult – a multi-strain, high-quality probiotic I recommend (they also make an infant formula for children under 10)
- Vital Proteins – a high quality gelatin product sourced from pastured cows. You can use this product to make gelatinous soups or fruit jellos (even marshmallows!) or just dissolve in hot tea as a tonic. They also make a Collage Peptides version which can be combined with any temperature liquid – the perfect protein powder to add to smoothies. Not only will it heal the gut, but it is incredibly important for hair, skin and nail health.
Try eating the above live foods on a daily basis or with each meal. Before starting a regimen of supplements, it is best to consult with a practitioner, to decide which are best for you. In my practice, I use probiotics and collagen peptides regularly and view them as complementary to nutrition and custom herbal support.
What are your favorite probiotic rich foods? Have you noticed a difference in your health once you began including these foods and/or taking supplements?