You’ve probably heard the word “probiotics” thrown around quite a lot, particularly when it comes to looking after your health. In the simplest terms possible, probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your gut. They help your digestive system function properly, making it easier for you to digest food - and less likely that you’ll feel bloated or have an upset tummy.
If you suffer from IBS or just always feel quite inflated after meals, it’s probably down to a lack of probiotics. Particularly if you follow a vegan diet as a lot of the main probiotics sources come from non-plant-based products!
The easy solution is to take a probiotics supplement, but what if you wanted more natural ways of increasing the good bacteria in your gut? We’ve listed three popular sources below, all of which will help improve your gut health.
Kombucha is a fermented drink that was popularised in Asia but has spread all over the world. It’s made by fermenting different types of tea - usually green or black - creating a fizzy drink with flavours added.
One of the many health benefits of kombucha is its high probiotics content. When this drink is made, the fermentation process uses bacteria and yeast. As a result, good bacteria forms, which gives it a nice sour taste. It’ll feel like you’re drinking a normal fizzy drink, but you’re ingesting some good bacteria to help your gut!
When you think about probiotics, you probably think about yoghurt. It’s the ultimate food for friendly bacteria as it’s literally made by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. Both of these are common probiotics, meaning a small serving of yoghurt every day can help your tummy.
Be sure to look for yoghurt that has “live” cultures in it. It’ll usually be advertised this way and it basically means the probiotics are still alive and working. Some yoghurt will destroy the live bacteria as they’re processed, so this is something to keep an eye on.
Sauerkraut & Kimchi
We’ve grouped sauerkraut and kimchi together as they’re effectively the same thing but made in slightly different ways. Both are types of fermented cabbage dishes, with sauerkraut originating in Germany and Kimchi in Korea.
As a result, they have completely different tastes. Sauerkraut is more tangy and mild while kimchi is a lot spicier and more flavoursome. Either way, they are both made using a fermentation process which creates live culture and means the cabbage is full of good bacteria. This makes them excellent side dish options if you want to get more veggies on your plate while also ingesting extra probiotics. It also means they are two of the best ways for vegans to get more probiotics in their diets without taking supplements.
If you want to get your health under control, you need to look after your gut. A bad digestive system can lead to all sorts of problems that aren’t fun to deal with. Up your probiotics intake and you should see some changes within a few days or weeks. If the problems persist, be sure to see your doctor to get proper medical assistance.