5 Probiotic Foods To Boost Your Immune System And Fight Infections
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Did you know that your gut is host to over 500 bacterial species that occupy a big part of the gastro intestinal tract, and when put together, the total micro-organisms can weigh about 3 to 4 pounds!?
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in various fermented foods. They are essential to our basic human nutrition and can provide many benefits in building and boosting our immune system. They are necessary for processing the nutrients from the food we eat.
Think of probiotics like your very own army that guards your health. When probiotics are abundant in your gut, it is harder for the harmful micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites or other pathogens) to get a foothold in your body and cause an illness.
Probiotics are essential to basic human nutrition. Consuming more foods that contain probiotics can add healthy bacteria in your gut, improve your digestion and boost your metabolism. Ensuring you have enough healthy bacteria in your system can also help improve your immune system and lower your cholesterol.
Whether you want to boost your immune system, fight infections, lose weight, or ward off the common cold, probiotics is so necessary in your diet. The most common probiotic foods include yogurt and acidophilus milk, but these are not your only options.
Read more about the health benefits of fermented foods.
Here are five other probiotic foods that could be your answer to start building up your immune system.
Miso is a common ingredient in various Japanese dishes, with miso soup being the most popular. You can make your own fresh miso paste and use it in sauces, soups, and even in marinades when cooking chicken, pork, or beef. It contains probiotics that will add healthy bacteria to your system.
Typically, miso is a mixture of brown rice, soy bean, and barley. This mixture is then fermented using fungus. The resulting paste can then be used in various meals.
Kefir is another healthy probiotic foods and has stronger bacterial strains compared to yogurt.
It is a milk-based food that cleanses your digestive tract, while restoring healthy bacteria. Choose coconut-milk kefir if you can.
Kefir has a taste that is similar to a dairy smoothie. You can drink kefir without additional ingredients or add it in your smoothies or eat how you would yogurt.
It is an excellent source of vitamin B12.
Kombucha is made from yeast and wild bacteria and sold as a tea.
It has a fizzy taste and can help to improve your digestion, lower your cholesterol levels, and improve joint mobility.
It is a refreshing drink that can also provide a boost of energy, while improving your immune system so that you can fight the common cold and infections.
4. Sourdough bread
Instead of using wheat bread or white bread for your sandwiches, start using sourdough bread. A sourdough starter, containing probiotics, is used to make sourdough bread. It contains a large amount of yeast cultures and healthy bacteria from the bread flour due to a long fermentation process. If you like to eat bread, choose sourdough bread instead of refined flour bread.
Sauerkraut is a German word that simply means “sour white cabbage”. Raw cabbage by itself is nutrient-densed and beneficial for healing many gut disorders.
The process of fermentation increases the bioavailability of the nutrients in the cabbage rendering it much more nutritious and beneficial to the gut and is also used to fight cancer.
Raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic micro-organisms that are the agents of fermentation.
The process of fermenting sauerkraut is similar to that of making pickles, where no heat is applied. It is a delicious addition to your meals as condiments. Try it and heal your gut at the same time!
Probiotics will help restore the right amount of bacteria in your digestive system. This can be especially helpful if you have used antibiotics. When you have an infection and take antibiotics, the antibiotics destroy all bacteria – good and bad.
Yogurt and cheese are not your only choices, when it comes to probiotics. If you want to protect your body from the common cold and infections, include some of these probiotics in your diet.
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