By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 20 May 2014)
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the gut. The findings from various studies suggest that they protect against or treat many different health problems. There are probiotic supplements available, but there are also plenty of foods that can boost the numbers of health-protective bacteria in your system. Food sources of probiotics include:
- Aged cheeses
- Almond milk
- Dark chocolate
- Miso soup
- Red wine
- Some soy beverages
- Some vinegar-based salad dressings
- Yogurt (choose one that says “contains active cultures” on the label)
Prebiotics, which contribute to the maintenance of an active population of good bacteria by providing food for helpful probiotics, include:
- Chicory root
- Dandelion greens
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Whole grains
*Cooking produce reduces prebiotic content, so eat fruits and vegetables raw, if possible.
You can also tip the balance in favor of healthy gut bacteria by avoiding sugary and starchy foods, particularly processed foods and refined carbohydrates (choose whole grains and vegetables instead of products made with white flour, and fresh over packaged foods).
This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical or nutritional advice from a qualified doctor or dietician.
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