How To Add Probiotics To Your Diet

Probiotic yogurt

  I firmly believe that beautiful skin is a sign of a healthy body, and that a lot of skin problems are connected to digestive problems. A lot of us have a very imbalanced gut flora -- too much of the bad bacteria and yeast and not enough of the good ones, which is caused by antibiotics, a diet rich in sugar and processed food, alcohol, stress and age.
   One thing that we can do to restore the gut flora is eat food that contains probiotics. Probiotics are cultures of bacteria and yeasts that help with digestion and keep the population of the bad bacteria and yeast down. There are lots of different kinds of foods that contain probiotics -- most countries have their traditional probiotics.
  Adding probiotics to your diet is super easy and tasty! I always drink some in the morning on an empty stomach, and add them to my food a couple of times a week. You can make them or buy them (check the labels to make sure you are buying them with live cultures and not a pasteurised / cooked version. Your best bet are health food shops.) Here are some great probiotics you should try:

Water Kefir (Tibicos) and Kombucha

  These are on top of my list because they each contain several different bacteria and yeasts. Both also make excellent toners, and the scoby can be used as a mask -- the Alpha Hydroxy Acids brighten the skin. Commercial kombucha is usually not ripe and contain too much sugar (and are often not alive anymore), but it's pretty easy to brew it at home. I love water kefir more, when brewed perfectly it tastes dry and fizzy, almost like soda, and I love adding strawberries or peaches to it.


   Tasty, fermented cabbage, also a great source of vitamin C. I always crave it in the winter and add it to my salads. There is also Sauerkraut juice available in German health food stores, which tastes exactly like sauerkraut. It's the traditional German hangover remedy.


  It's full of Lactobacillus reuteri. It tastes really vile but I wanted to mentioned it because a friend with neurodermitis says it helps her with her condition (she drinks it and applies it externally).

Apple Cider Vinegar

  Make sure you are buying the unfiltered "alive" one, there should be some brown stuff, drink a spoonful with water in the morning. It's not exactly a probiotic, but it supports the good bacteria in your gut.


   Different kinds have different bacteria cultures, that is why there are so many different tasting yoghurts all over the world!

Home-made ferments

   You can have a lot of fun fermenting stuff at home -- it's easy, inexpensive, and a lot of fun. It's also a great way to preserve a bigger amount of produce -- you can ferment most vegetables and many kinds of fruit! Ferments are made by adding starter, salt and water to the produce. If there is vinegar inside it's not a ferment but a pickle, and it doesn't contain the enzymes and probiotics that a ferment does.

Sourdough products

   Some kinds of bread and even pizza contain sourdough. It's not the same as regular yeast from the store!

  Most of the probiotic-containing foods that are popular in the western world are diary-based. Other parts of the world have their own probiotic foods, often non-diary, like tempeh or togwa. Then there are probiotic supplements which can be really helpful if you have just completed a course of antibiotics.

Do you like to eat fermented stuff? Any other sauerkraut lovers out there?

Photo credit: Foodiesfeed

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