10 Probiotic-Rich Foods for a Healthier Gut: A Doctor's Guide

by Ms. Edwina Raj

Our digestive health is critical to our general health. It is often said that a healthy gut equals a healthy body, and this is accurate. Intake of probiotic-rich foods is one of the most important variables for encouraging gut health. 

Probiotics are live microbes and yeasts that are good for our digestion. They work by re-establishing the natural balance of gut bacteria, which can be interrupted by factors such as poor diet, stress, or antibiotics. Positive microorganisms have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including better digestion, immunity, and even mental health. Different varieties of probiotics provide distinct benefits, such as Lactobacillus for lactose digestion and Bifidobacterium for irritable bowel syndrome relief (IBS). Probiotics must be distinguished from prebiotics, which are non - digestible fibres that aid in the development of beneficial gut bacteria.

10 Probiotic-Rich Foods for a Healthier Gut

  1.  Yoghurt - For a clear reason, yoghurt is one of the most prevalent probiotic foods. It contains beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which help with digestion and immunity. When shopping for yoghurt, look for assortments with live and active cultures and no added sugars. Consume yoghurt as a smoothie, add it to breakfast bowls, or use it as a base for creamy salad dressings.
  2. Kefir - Kefir is a fermented milk drink with a high probiotic content. It has an extensive number of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that help to improve gut health. Kefir ingestion regularly has been linked to improved digestion and reduced inflammation. You can experiment with various kefir flavours, such as plain, fruit-infused, or even plant-based options for those with lactose intolerance.
  3. Sauerkraut - Sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage dish, is a probiotic-rich gut-friendly food. It contains a lot of Lactobacillus bacteria, which aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. Making your sauerkraut is a simple process, and introducing it into meals as a zesty topping or side dish is a delightful way to improve gut health.
  4. Kimchi - Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable medley from Korea. It's high in which have been associated with better digestion and immune support. Kimchi can be eaten on its own, mixed into rice bowls, or used to make delectable Korean-inspired dishes.
  5. Tempeh - Tempeh, a fermented soybean protein source, isn't just nutritional but also high in probiotics. Its nutty flavour and solid texture make it an adaptable component in a variety of dishes. Tempeh's probiotics make a significant contribution to better gut health and digestion. For a scrumptious gut-friendly protein option, marinate and grill tempeh.
  6. Miso - Miso, a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans, barley, or rice, gives dishes a distinct umami flavour. It's high in probiotics and has a slew of health benefits, including better digestion and a stronger immune system. Miso adds a delicious twist to soups, marinades, and even salad dressings.
  7. Pickles - Pickles are not only a great snack, but they are also high in probiotics. Fermented vegetables in particular, comprise live bacteria that support digestive health. Separately fermented pickles from vinegar-based pickles, as the latter may not provide the same probiotic benefits. Pickles can be eaten as a low-calorie snack or as a tangy addition to sandwiches and wraps.
  8. Greek Yogurt - Greek yoghurt is a strained version of normal yoghurt, making it denser and creamier. Its probiotic content is also concentrated as a result of this process, which makes it a great choice for gut health. Greek yoghurt has additional advantages, such as high protein and calcium content. Use Greek yoghurt in place of sour cream in savoury dishes, or enjoy its creamy joy with honey and fresh fruits.
  9. Traditional Buttermilk - Not to be confused with the butter-flavoured drink, typically cultured buttermilk is a probiotic powerhouse. It is a by product of butter production that contains a wide range of beneficial bacteria. Buttermilk helps to soothe the digestive tract and promotes good gut health. Reinstitute this forgotten gem into your diet through refreshing beverages, pancakes, and other baked goods.
  10. Fermented foods like idli / dosa / dhokla / pangtha baath is also beneficial in improving your gut health. 

Additional Tips for Gut Health 

While eating probiotic-rich foods is important, there are other factors to consider for ideal gut health. Consider consulting a nutritionist about probiotic supplements if you have particular digestive issues or concerns. Combining probiotic foods with prebiotics, such as fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, aids in the nourishment of beneficial gut bacteria. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep can also assist with maintaining a balanced and healthy gut. However one should not go overboard rather consult a qualified dietitian to understand this better.

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