3 Probiotic-Rich Foods Dietitians Say You Should Put on Your Plate Every Day for a Healthier Gut

From digestive upset to poor mental health to weight gain, an unhealthy gut can lead to a whole host of issues in your body, which is why it’s so important to fuel yourself with gut-healthy foods that can keep everything in perfect condition. It turns out that one of the most beneficial food types to consider when it comes to digestive health is probiotic-rich options.

To learn more about this, we spoke to health expert Sheri Kasper, RDN, LDN of Cleveland kitchen. She told us exactly what probiotics are and how they can keep your gut happy and healthy, and even told us about three of the best probiotic-rich foods. Find all his ideas below!

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What are probiotics and how do they improve gut health?

Kasper explains that “our body contains many types of bacteria, some that help and some that cause harm.” The good bacteria that keep our gut microbiome healthy and neutralize the effects of harmful bacteria are called probiotics. “This balance is important for overall health and specifically for things like good digestion, immune function, and even brain health,” she says.

Probiotics do so much for your gut! Kasper tells us that they are “responsible for many key functions, such as making vitamins and strengthening the intestinal wall.” Unfortunately, certain things can decrease the natural probiotics in our body. “Probiotics are found naturally in our gut, but several factors, such as antibiotic use and poor diet, can interfere with probiotics and cause bad bacteria to outnumber good bacteria. product and bad bacteria thrive, your health can be affected in many ways,” says Kasper, citing weight maintenance, heart health, and digestive health as some of the aspects of our overall health that can be affected. “There’s even a potential link between gut disorders and brain conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease,” she warns.

For this reason, adding probiotics to your daily diet is a great way to not only stay on track throughout your weight loss journey, but also maintain optimal health all around. Below are some of Kasper’s top picks that you can eat on a regular basis:

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1. Kimchi/sauerkraut

First on Kasper’s list is kimchi or sauerkraut. These are forms of fermented vegetables; sauerkraut is a German dish made from finely cut cabbage, while kimchi originated in Korea and can be made from a range of vegetables, such as cabbage and radish. “The key is to look for krauts and kimchi in the refrigerated section that are labeled raw and unpasteurized,” Kasper notes, warning that “heat kills probiotics, so pasteurized sauerkraut won’t provide the same health benefits.” intestinal than a raw product”. I understood! For this same reason, you should make sure to eat these foods as a side or garnish (Kasper recommends adding them to a sandwich, cereal bowl, or taco) rather than cooking them in a dish to ensure get all their guts healthy. advantages.

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2. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the most popular and versatile probiotic-rich foods. It may already be part of your regular diet! However, in order to get the most out of the live bacteria in yogurt, you need to keep an eye out for the right types. “Look for brands that are labeled ‘contain live and active cultures’ and have as little added sugar as possible,” advises Kasper. As for how to whip up a delicious breakfast or snack with this food, she gives some advice: “I recommend using plain yogurt and garnishing with fresh fruit, a little honey and cinnamon to flavor and control added sugars. Yum!

3. Kombucha

If you haven’t jumped on the kombucha bandwagon, take this as a sign to give it a shot! This fermented tea has many health benefits, including better gut health. Just like with yogurt, Kasper says choosing the right variety is essential for optimal results. “There are a lot of kombuchas on the market today, but be sure to choose a brand that has minimal added sugar,” she says. “It’s also important to note that while most kombuchas are kept cold to protect the probiotics, there is technology available to make shelf-stable kombuchas that still contain live probiotics. Be sure to read carefully kombucha labels!”

Overall, the diet that works best for your body should be individualized, but if you’re looking to improve your gut microbiome and get your digestive health on track, these foods are great places to start. However, Kasper also says that you should prioritize the foods you love. “You are much more likely to eat healthy foods regularly if you like them! ” she says. “For example, if you don’t like yogurt but you like pickles, eat pickles!” Fortunately, we love everything.

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