Plant-based probiotics are all the rage right now. From fake dairy products, to probiotic supplements, people are going crazy for these new food products.
But why is everyone so excited? Well, it turns out that animal-derived products like dairy milk, kefir and other dairy foods aren’t the only way to consume beneficial bacteria.
There are several plant-based probiotics that use a fermentation process to cultivate helpful bacteria.
But before we examine the best plant-based sources for healthy bacteria, what are their health benefits?
- Improved digestion and irritable bowel syndrome
- Increases energy
- Supports weight loss
- Supports healthy skin and conditions like psoriasis and eczema
With the right probiotic-rich food, your body will absorb beneficial bacteria that it can use to repair itself and improve its overall health. From weight loss to increased energy, probiotics have the power to help your body in a variety of ways.
But what are the best vegan probiotic foods to consume? In this blog, we’re going to explore some of the top vegan foods on the market that contain healthy bacteria.
Best Vegan Probiotics
The reason why sourdough bread is a probiotic food is because it is fermented, meaning that the bread is left out to culture. A study published in the journal Microbiome found that sourdough bread contains a probiotic strain called lactobacillus bacteria, which is considered a probiotic. This makes it healthier as the fermentation process increases the amount of probiotics contained.
Tempeh is a fermented food made from soybeans. It is a good source of vitamin B, vitamin C, manganese, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Tempeh is a rich source of probiotic bacteria and has a lot of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s also very easy to make at home.
Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage that has been used for centuries. It is a staple in Germany, Poland, and Russia. Sauerkraut is naturally high in probiotics, low in fat, is a good anti-allergen, and a good source of the vitamins B, A, E, and C.
Dark chocolate is a delicious source of probiotics. Studies have shown that it improves the gut health of people suffering from IBS and other gut conditions.
But not all dark chocolate is good for you. You want to make sure that it contains at least 75% cacao. The more cacao in the chocolate, the more flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids aid in antimicrobial functions and support the probioticmicroorganisms.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that has been used as a food supplement for centuries. It’s rich in nutrients and protein, and is often used to help with immune system health. It’s also known as a ‘superfood’ as it contains many nutrients that are hard to find in foods. One of these nutrients is a type of probiotic called ‘Spirulina Platensis’, which is a particularly effective probiotic that most vegans can benefit from.
Another tasty option for vegan probiotics are pickles. Yep, you read that right. Pickles are one of my favorite sources of probiotics for vegans and vegetarians. Just check the label on pickles or sauerkraut to see if it says “contains live cultures” or “probiotic.” If it says that, then you are good to go.
Miso is a delicious soybean paste that is usually made from fermented soybeans. Miso is high in protein and is rich in many vitamins and minerals.
Another fermented product of the Far East, this is a spicy and sour dish made from cabbage and commonly served as part of Korean meals. The probiotics in kimchi help combat aging, maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and strengthen the immune system.
Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish made by mixing various vegetables with a variety of seasonings, like red pepper powder, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and then storing it in a sealed jar for a few weeks to ferment. Kimchi is packed with vitamins and minerals and is high in fiber, making it a great food for anyone looking to consume probiotics.
Kombucha is a fermented tea with several health benefits. It’s known to increase energy, boost the immune system, support weight loss, and improve mood. It’s made with a combination of sweet tea and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). Kombucha contains B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Why vegan probiotics are essential to your health
If you follow a vegan lifestyle, it’s important to consume the foods on this list, or other probiotic supplements, for their health benefits. These foods are rich in the good bacteria, or live microorganisms, that help to break down food and stimulate the immune system.
If you struggle with digestive issues, it might mean that you are not getting an adequate amount of probiotic foods in your vegan diet. This can lead to a weakened immune system, skin problems, and even unhealthy weight gain.
You can avoid these issues by eating the foods on this list to help replace the bacteria that’s lost when you stop eating animal products.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the many vegan probiotics that are available. To get the most benefits from probiotics, you should try to switch up the foods you eat. It’s the diversity of microflora that will help you get the most out of your probiotics.