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7 Probiotics that Boost Your Health, Besides Yogurt

 Can you name two probiotics other than yogurt? If you can't think of another item that is rich in protein then this post is for you. Probiotic stands for promotion (pro) of life (biotic). We all have tiny organisms living inside us. These organisms, which are also known as microorganisms are so numerous, they actually outnumber the human cells in our body. Probiotics are one such bacteria that is important for us. While bacteria are infamous for causing diseases, probiotics are essential for our body to carry out the gastrointestinal functions smoothly. 
 
What do probiotics do?
probiotic foods

Probiotics can be of benefit to a number of health issues. It can ward off infections, improve the immune system, fight obesity and improve women's health. Research has found that probiotics can effectively treat common gastrointestinal problems, in particular, antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). Multiple types of probiotics are found in fermented foods. They have also earned themselves a great reputation in fighting against constipation.

There are instances where probiotic therapy is prescribed to effectively treat Crohn's disease, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, bladder concerns, vaginal infections, ulcers, issues related to the colon and eczema in children. So, if you have restricted yourself to plain or flavored yogurt for your daily dose of probiotics, you should look into more options. You will be surprised to know that there are in fact, quite a few. Here are 7 probiotic options you can feast on:

1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has a number of sweet health benefits. In addition to being a rich source of antioxidants and fiber, dark chocolate is a great probiotic in itself. When you eat dark chocolate, the good bacteria in the gut eat it and feed on them, so they grow. Eventually, they produce anti-inflammatory compounds. To reap further benefits, you can dip some fruit in dark chocolate. 

2. Fermented Cheese
probiotic foods

While cheese is a fermented product, not all types of cheese contain probiotics. To be sure you're getting your dose, check the labels for live cultures in the cheese. Cheeses rich in probiotics include cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, Swiss, and cottage cheese. According to the Journal of Applied Microbiology, the good bacteria in these cheeses survive the manufacturing and aging process. 

3. Kombucha

This tea is packed with probiotics. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is loaded with good bacteria and is either a black or green tea that is often referred to as mushroom tea. It is packed with loads of health benefits, predominantly those that ensure a proper functioning of the digestive and immune systems, reduce inflammation and help in weight loss. 

4. Apple Cider Vinegar
probiotic foods

This is a little tricky. Since apple cider has a variety of uses, it tends to be found in every household. It is therefore easy to get your hands on this probiotic-rich drink. The apple components are great for the gut bacteria. However, you shouldn't consume this directly. It is best diluted with water or added to food. 

5. Pickles

Pickles are low in calories, high in sodium and potassium and are the perfect healthy snack to munch on. Pickled cucumbers are excellent for gut health just be sure to choose sour pickles and not the ones that are doused with vinegar. A solution made of sea salt and water is the perfect environment for good bacteria to grow. 

6. Kefir
probiotic foods

Kefir is a probiotic milk drink that is made by adding kefir grains to milk. It is quite popular in the world of health and tastes great when added to milkshakes and smoothies. It is delicious for ingesting some probiotics. 

7. Miso

Japanese cuisine is rich in fermented source of cancer fighting-probiotics. Miso is a seasoning used in most Japanese dishes. It is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and probiotics. The next time you visit a restaurant for sushi, order a bowl of miso soup to keep cerebral and myocardial infarctions at bay. 

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