Regular and daily consumption of probiotics is an important component of the Clean Cuisine lifestyle.
However, the average person does not have a good handle on which foods are rich in probiotics. For example, whenever Andy suggests to one of his patients that they should be eating probiotic-rich foods almost inevitably the first thing they ask is, “So does this mean I should I eat a lot of yogurt?” No, is the short answer.
Although yogurt may be the most familiar and popular source of probiotics (thanks to multi-million dollar marketing campaigns), that does not make yogurt the best source of probiotics. For multiple reasons we discuss in our Clean Cuisine book, dairy is not a health food…and neither is yogurt. Additionally, dairy foods such as yogurt and kefir are not the best choice of probiotics from a stability or bioavailability standpoint.
Below is a list of non-dairy fermented superfoods loaded with probiotics. Aim to eat (or drink) one non-dairy fermented food a day.
- Traditional miso served in Japanese restaurants is an excellent vegan source of probiotics made from fermented soybeans, barley, or rice. For the healthiest miso, look for a brand that is unpasteurized (we like Miso Master). It is easy to find unpasteurized miso in the refrigerated section of natural foods stores or in Asian markets. By the way, a mild miso such as Miso Masters Chickpea Miso diluted in water makes a great substitute for vegetable broth in soup recipes.
- Pickled carrots, beets, and cucumbers are rich in probiotics and very tasty too.
- Kombucha is a tart and tangy fizzy and detoxifying beverage made from fermented tea and a great vegan source of probiotics as well as antioxidants and B vitamins. We think it’s a bit risky to make your own kombucha unless you really know what you are doing; we like GT’s brand instead of home brews. Read more about the benefits of Kombucha HERE.
- Fermented vegetables such as raw sauerkraut or kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics. Please note, raw sauerkraut is not the stuff squatting unrefrigerated in the can on the supermarket shelf; you’ll find raw sauerkraut (and kimchi) only in the refrigerated section of your natural foods or health foods store. Fermented vegetables such as raw sauerkraut and kimchi are delicious Clean Cuisine condiments when eaten alone or paired with savory dishes. And you would be amazed at how many different ways you can work kimchi into your diet! For inspiration and delicious recipe ideas check out Lauren Chun’s The Kimchi Cookbook
It is also a great idea to supplement with probiotics for digestive health. We use, and trust Klaire Labs, Ortho Molecular Products, and Designs for Health, but your doctor can help find what probiotic is best for you.
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