You’ve seen us sing praise for probiotics. Unfortunately, you might not like yogurt – the most popular source of probiotics in the American diet.
Yogurt commercials and packaging might make you think that they are the only source, which isn’t great if you don’t like (or can’t stomach) yogurt. But the truth is that probiotics exist in several fermented foods.
Probiotics are live bacteria on foods that are associated with health benefits ranging from better digestion to improved mood. They may also play a role in inflammation and immune response.
Although they are recognized to have health benefits, there is no daily recommended intake for probiotics like there is for vitamins and minerals. Further, there is little understanding about how many, or what types, you should eat.
At this point, the suggestion is simply to include some in your diet every day.
So, where can you find them? More places than you think. Probiotics are available in a variety of tastes and textures that should satisfy most pallets.
Kefir: A yogurt-like drink that is thinner than yogurt with a slightly more tart flavor. It can be a great base for smoothies and is also available in non-dairy options like coconut milk.
Kimchi: Kimchi is fermented cabbage that has some crunch, spice, and a reddish hue. It’s made with a mix of garlic, chili peppers, salt, and vinegar, and can be served alone or over rice or noodles.
Kombucha: Kombucha is a popular fermented tea that has a fizzy texture and a tangy tart taste. You can get it almost everywhere; just watch out for options with added sugars.
Pickles: Yep, the classic American side can also have probiotics. The secret is to make sure they are brined in water and sea salt instead of vinegar.
Miso: Miso is highly popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s made from soybeans fermented with brown rice and has a salty taste. It can be used as a dip or topping, while it also lends itself well to marinades.