5 Must-Try Ways for Vegans to Get Probiotics
When most people think of “probiotics”, yogurt and probiotic dairy products are usually the first that come to mind.
Now if you’re wondering what’s the big deal about including probiotic options in your diet, the key thing to remember is this: probiotics are “good” microorganisms that help your body keep the “bad” ones at bay while providing multiple benefits to your health.
So, for vegans and non-vegans alike, it is a great idea to include probiotics in your diet.
To help get you started, here are five vegan foods that are packed with probiotic goodness: Miso
Miso is a popular fermented soy paste consumed in Japan in the form of soup. But, it just so happens to also be probiotic and
vegan. The paste is made with a koji
starter that contains a fungus called Aspergillus oryzae
. Aside from its probiotic benefits, miso is also a rich source of protein and contains B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and phosphorus.
Another probiotic vegan option is sauerkraut. This delicious, fermented cabbage also contains vitamins C and K as well as potassium. Because sauerkraut is probiotic, consuming this vegan dish not only helps aid in good digestion but it also helps minimize digestion issues such as bloating and constipation
. Moreover, like other probiotics, sauerkraut can help support your immune system, and has an overall positive long-term effect on your overall health.
This popular probiotic Korean side dish is made by fermenting vegetables using a combination of salt, garlic, and spices such as red chili pepper. This fermentation process promotes the growth of lactobacilli (a type of beneficial bacteria) and helps to preserver the natural vitamins and nutrients in the vegetables. Note to you vegans, certain kimchi recipes call for the use of fish or shrimp sauce, so it’s important to check the ingredients to ensure that it really
is vegan. You can also elect to go for “milder” versions if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods. The health benefits aside, there’s a tasty reason why kimchi has become such a mainstay in any Korean meal: it’s a great compliment to any dish! If you haven’t tried mixing kimchi with steamed rice, you should definitely
give it a whirl!
Of course, no Mediterranean meal is ever quite complete without olives, right? You are probably already familiar with the antioxidant properties of olives. But did you know that (fermented) olives are also probiotic? As such, fermented olives are rich in Lactobacillus
making them a great way to help maintain a healthy balance of your gastrointestinal bacteria. However, do keep in mind that fermented olives also tend to be salty. So, if sodium intake is a concern, you may also want to eat them in moderation.
Tempeh is a fermented soy dish originating from Indonesia. It has a similar appearance to tofu, but has a firmer texture. But tempeh gets its probiotic “edge” because it is fermented. A 2013 study on intestinal bacteria published in the Polish Journal of Microbiology found that tempeh actually helped stimulate the growth of Bifidobacteria, a kind of “good” bacteria found in your gut that helps promote overall health. Moreover, tempeh consumption has other benefits such as lowering cholesterol and increasing bone density. Oh, and that’s not even counting the fact that tempeh is a good source of manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Eating right, and living healthily, does not have to be a chore. Probiotic food is a delightful way to promote health. But probiotic food isn’t limited to dairy. So, whether you’re a full-on vegan, or only vegan “part-time”, grab a spoon, and dig into these delectable probiotic treats that are sure to tantalize your taste buds, and boost your health!