What Foods Have Probiotics?


Quick Answer

Probiotics are found in fermented foods, such as cultured dairy products, fermented vegetables and fermented beverages. If purchased from a store, it is better for the foods to be raw and unpasteurized, since the pasteurization process kills the very bacteria that make these products beneficial.

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Full Answer

Dairy products containing probiotics include cultured buttermilk, yogurt, fermented cottage cheese and kefir. Nondairy alternatives include both coconut and soy kefir and yogurt. Fermented beverages include kombucha, kvass and rejuvelac. Popular fermented vegetables, which can either be bought or made, are fermented carrots, green beans, cabbage, radishes, soybeans and the Korean dish kimchi.

Fermentation is a natural process that makes foods last longer. During the fermentation process, bacteria and other microorganisms break down starches and sugars within foods, a process that results in the formation of helpful organisms and enzymes.

Probiotics and enzymes are believed to aid digestion, balance the microscopic organisms in the intestinal system, battle disease-producing microorganisms, enhance the immune system, decrease the population of harmful bacteria, and facilitate the production of vitamins and nutrients.

Advantages of getting probiotics from fermented foods rather than supplements include having a greater variety of probiotics instead of specific probiotics that are isolated in a lab. Fermented foods also tend to be more affordable than probiotic formulations.

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