The delicate balance of our body requires care and attention on our part: it is necessary to help it carry out its basic functions also through nutrition.
This is why probiotic foods are very important in our diet.
But what are they and what benefits do they bring to the body? Clarify these points also helps to better understand if we use them enough in the kitchen or if we assimilate them without knowing what they are and what effect they have on us.
We therefore want to deepen the topic, specifying the types of probiotics to buy and where to find them easily to stock up at home.
Probiotics and the intestine: because they are good for you
Our state of health is strongly conditioned by the intestinal bacterial flora. For this reason, doctors vehemently state that the microbiota must be monitored constantly, so that it can perform its functions smoothly.
In fact, we know that it protects us from harmful microorganisms that could damage the intestinal walls, protects the immune system and also performs important functions related to metabolism.
In short, it is essential for our well-being. How can we help him stay healthy at all times? The solution is in probiotics, born precisely to ensure a healthy balance.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be taken through supplements or more simply in certain foods. Using it regularly ensures multiple benefits, ranging from intestinal health to psycho-emotional health, fighting stress, tiredness and debilitating states up to even strengthening the immune system.
Their effectiveness has made them indispensable in food diets and has led to the emergence of many products that contain natural probiotics.
What are probiotic foods?
How many of you know about probiotic foods? And how many have different types at home?
We are sure that many would not be able to answer these questions, given that some probiotic foods have become part of our usual shopping without us really realizing it.
But we're here for this: to raise awareness and better understand which one to choose among the various proposals on the market. Of course, it's also about making your own choices based on personal taste.
The foods that we can properly define probiotics are:
- apple cider vinegar;
For a balanced diet each of us should regularly consume one or more foods on this list to never miss the probiotic intake necessary for microbiota health.
Did you know that they are also very useful in slimming processes? Another reason to integrate them into your menus.
Probiotic foods: our picks
Although in general terms we have listed the foods rich in probiotics, we also want to give you some more advice on some of them, which are among the most popular for their effectiveness and goodness.
Even the palate deserves our attention and therefore let's give it something tasty and naturally healthy.
We have chosen four products for you: Kombucha, yogurt, Tempeh, Kimchi.
Nicknamed "elixir of life" the Kombucha is a fermented tea-based drink that brings many benefits to our body, thanks to the quantity of probiotics it contains.
Let us not be deceived by its oriental origins: today it is a more western product than ever, because it has entered our culture and our homes to stay there for a very long time. It is made using green or black tea infusions, with the addition of sugars and scoby, a symbiotic colony made up of bacteria and yeasts which activates the fermentation.
What is Kombucha for? Naturally to quench your thirst, given that it is an energy drink that can be consumed within meals or during breaks or aperitifs with friends.
But that's not all: it has antioxidant and detoxifying properties, facilitates digestive processes, strengthens the immune system and improves metabolism.
According to oriental legends it is also capable of slowing down aging and preventing the formation of wrinkles.
In the refrigerated counter we often see different varieties of yoghurt. By definition it is said that yogurt is an excellent probiotic: but does it apply to all the types we have in front of us?
Absolutely not! Indeed, you have to pay attention to the chosen jar if you are looking for a probiotic food. For clarity, it probiotic yogurt is the one that contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (read the label carefully to avoid taking the wrong product!)
Yogurt can be made with goat or sheep's milk, it doesn't matter, but what matters is that it is free of additives, colorings and sugars, like natural yogurt. Furthermore, it is important that it is fresh because it means that its microorganisms are alive and therefore healthy for the body.
A yogurt, even with a probiotic label, which has expired or which has been open for a few days does not have the qualities sought in a probiotic food.
Of Indonesian origin and rich in nutritional properties is Tempeh: probiotic food made with fermented soybeans. Also called "soy meat" it has a shape that is very reminiscent of a meat pie, but it is strictly vegetable, therefore ideal for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Its benefits? It guarantees the human body a high quantity of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, but it also contains many fibers and vitamins. It is an easily digestible product which, in order not to lose its properties, must be eaten raw (although in this case it has a slightly bitter taste), boiled or steamed, but frying should be avoided.
To cook it at home, you can find excellent recipes online that enhance its taste and do not reduce its probiotic load.
Continuing on the subject of vegetable and healthy products, let's talk about Kimchi. It is a fermented dish from Korea, rich in probiotics. In addition to live microorganisms, it also contains many nutrients such as fiber and vitamins.
Similar to sauerkraut, it is one of the probiotic foods imported from the East that we love most on our tables for its particular and slightly pungent flavor, but also and above all for the benefits it gives to the microbiota. It facilitates digestion, has antioxidant properties, reduces inflammation and also promotes weight loss because it has very few calories.
But be careful when you buy it at the supermarket: the addition of additives and preservatives make the benefits for the body null and void.
Where to buy probiotic foods
Being able to find probiotic products is not at all difficult, indeed we can say that by now they are practically everywhere. However, this does not mean that we must not make sure that the product on the market is really rich in live microorganisms. Reading nutritional labels therefore becomes almost an obligation to bring home a true ally for rebalancing our intestines.
At the supermarket you will find the refrigerated counter full of probiotic foods, from yogurt to fresh cheeses. Yet moving around the various departments you will notice that the probiotic component is almost everywhere.
In the drinks department, for example, you will find Kombucha. Esselunga or Crai, whatever market you're shopping at, try looking for it and you'll see that more and more stores deal with this increasingly popular variety of fermented tea.
Foods with high probiotic content are also sold online. Above all, the more particular types imported from abroad can be found more easily. You can do a search in large stores such as Amazon or in authorized resellers who specialize in certain types of products on the web.
Let's stay with the example of Kombucha. If you can't find it in the retailer near your home, you can buy it in the online marketplaces which will not only have wide availability but also many varieties of the same product, with mixed tastes to also try new flavors.
As for vegan foods, such as the aforementioned tempeh, you can also go to dedicated shops and find products that are always fresh and genuine, with lots of probiotics.