“Probiotic” is probably one of the more obscure terms when it comes to nutritional and dietary matters; but in brief, as the name implies, it’s pretty much the opposite of antibiotics. Probiotic foods contain live bacteria and yeast that flourish in the body. 

Deliberately introducing bacteria to one’s body is, of course, not typically something one associates with healthy practices; but the bacteria in probiotic foods is specially selected to be beneficial to the body – and in particular, to the digestive system, which is heavily dependent on the presence of “good” bacteria to function properly. As a result, a proper amount of probiotic foods in your diet is essential to appropriate, natural gut health. 

At Ageless Nutrition, we strongly believe in natural wellness remedies and keeping the body and mind healthy. These natural foods, combined with vitamins and supplements, are essential in maintaining a healthy stomach.

pickled red cabbage

Best Foods For Healthy Digestion

Below, we’ve gathered ten examples of some of the healthiest food sources of probiotics. 

1. Yogurt 

One of the most popular (and probably tastiest) sources of beneficial bacteria – after all, yogurt, as many nutrition fanatics know, is created by fermenting milk in lactic acids and bifidobacteria, both considered examples of “good” bacteria. 

2. Kefir

Though not widely known outside of Eastern Europe, where it originated, kefir is, for many conscientious eaters, a popular alternative to yogurt. Made by putting small clusters of yeast, called kefir grains, into milk, kefir is typically thinner than yogurt, and usually contains a more diverse variety of bacteria and yeast. 

3. Traditional Buttermilk

This one might be a little tricky to get right. Most buttermilk that you’re likely to find in the shops in the Western world is cultured, and thus contains no probiotic benefits. Search the right health food stores or farmers’ markets and you might find traditional buttermilk – which is the liquid left over from butter churning. This older variety of buttermilk is rich in probiotic benefits. 

4. Miso 

Widely recognized by those with tastes for far Eastern cuisine, miso is a seasoning favorite in Japan, made primarily with fermented soybeans. Typically used in soups and salads, miso, besides lending a distinct salty tang to food, is also an extremely high source of beneficial bacteria. 

5. Natto

A traditional Japanese dish, natto, much like miso, is created with fermented soybeans and is usually served with soy sauce and eaten with rice. This strongly flavored dish is highly probiotic for much the same reasons as natto, and is also rich in protein – indeed, its health benefits are sometimes considered a primary reason for Japan’s lengthy average life expectancy. 

6. Tempeh

Another fermented soybean dish, this one originating in Indonesia, tempeh, much like tofu, is frequently used as an alternative to meat in stir-fries and other dishes. Firm and flavourful, it is typically fermented for one or two days, making it a great source of both protein and “good” bacteria.” 

7. Pickles

Pickled cucumbers are fermented in such a way as to make them rich with lactic acids, making them highly probiotic-friendly. Do keep in mind, however, that they also tend to be high in sodium; and if possible, obtain them from local, organic sources. 

8. Sauerkraut

Similarly to pickles, the traditional German dish of sauerkraut is given its distinctive sour flavor by being fermented in lactic acids. This process gives it tremendous probiotic benefits and makes the sauerkraut rich in vitamins. 

9. Kimchi

Often compared to sauerkraut, this traditional Korean dish consists of salted, fermented vegetables – usually Chinese cabbage – combined with several seasonings. Typically left to ferment for several days, the resulting food is rich in beneficial lactic acid bacteria. 

10. Kombucha

An example of liquid probiotics, this traditional Japanese tea is created by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to sweetened black or green tea. This tart-tasting tea has existed for thousands of years and is an excellent source of both energy and probiotics.