9 Ways to Increase Your Daily Probiotic Intake

Probiotics, those beneficial living bacteria, and yeasts, are advertised as being excellent for your health and aiding with digestion. For good cause, too: Probiotics, according to scientific research, are an excellent method to promote a healthy gut and may be used to treat some digestive issues, including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They could potentially strengthen the immune system: In one study, participants who drank a probiotic beverage substantially experienced fewer upper respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms than those who did not consume probiotics.

Probiotics can be obtained as supplements or in some meals and beverages. While consuming probiotic-rich foods can benefit general nutrition and gut health, if you want to relieve digestive issues, you can also consider taking a probiotic supplement.

You may find out if you’re receiving enough probiotics in your diet or if you would benefit from taking a probiotic supplement from a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD or RDN) or certified nutrition expert (CNS). If necessary, an RD can also advise you on the probiotic supplement that would be most beneficial for your specific digestive problems.

In the meanwhile, you may increase the probiotics in your diet by following these RD-recommended guidelines.

1. Eat a parfait to start the day
Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute in New York City, advises topping a breakfast bowl of yogurt with your preferred granola (the lower in sugar the better) and some antioxidant-rich berries to jumpstart your probiotic intake. Yogurt is milk that has been cultured or fermented, soured, and thickened by the addition of live, active cultures that support the development of beneficial bacteria in the stomach.

Making a parfait at home is easy, even if there are many prepackaged alternatives at the grocery store. Sassos advises making it the night before so that it will be prepared and waiting for you in the morning. I begin with my preferred Greek yogurt, then stir in two teaspoons of organic granola before adding frozen organic berries. The berries will be perfectly defrosted when you wake up if you put that in the refrigerator. Granola may be kept in a separate container and added right before serving if you want yours crispy.

2. Make yogurt a staple in the kitchen
According to Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, LD, a nutrition consultant in Portland, Maine, a plain yogurt with live active cultures can also be turned from a morning item into a crucial component in salad dressings, dips, and cold sauces.

Just be aware that any recipe that calls for heating yogurt in any manner may destroy its beneficial bacteria. So, according to Broihier, stick to no-cook dishes to get the maximum digestive advantages.

3. Increase Sauerkraut isn’t only for that ballpark hot dog, as your sauerkraut-savvy nutritionists are aware of. To add a ton more flavor to any dish, you may buy it, prepare it yourself, or substitute other vegetables for the usual cabbage. Turnips, cucumbers, okra, string beans, and daikon radishes all produce excellent condiments when fermented. They can also be included in salads or consumed as a snack.

4. Make your smoothies with kefir
Sassos, who regularly consumes 4 ounces of kefir with her breakfast, claims that the sour and acidic cultured milk beverage is brimming with healthy bacteria and living organisms. When feasible, choose plain kefir instead of the flavored variants, which frequently have extra sugar. She advises adding kefir to a smoothie for added nutrition and healthy bacteria if you find the flavor of the yogurt to be too sour when consumed alone.

5. Have some Kombucha.
Sassos claims that kombucha, a probiotic-rich fermented beverage derived from tea, sugar (the majority of which is consumed during fermentation), bacteria, and yeast, is a fantastic vegan substitute for other probiotic-rich dairy products like kefir or yogurt. She says that you may substitute the reviving probiotic beverage for your afternoon coffee or happy hour drink.

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6. Try Different Kimchi Recipes
A probiotic boost is provided by the good bacteria called lactobacilli that are abundant in the spicy Korean condiment kimchi. Sherry Coleman Collins, RDN, a nutritionist in private practice in Atlanta, advises using this reddish fermented cabbage as a delightful topping for tacos or an accent for sandwiches and burgers. Kimchi, which is typically served as a side dish with Korean meals, goes well with rice, stir-fries, and grilled meats.

7. Examine tempeh
Look for dishes that use tempeh, a product made from probiotic-rich fermented soybeans, as a palatable meat substitute. A good vegan source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants is tempeh. It may be utilized in a number of cuisines due to its substantial texture and adaptable flavor.

8. Offer miso soup as a menu item
With just hot water and miso paste, miso soup is simple to make and packs a probiotic punch to any meal. It can be consumed in Japan for breakfast, lunch, or supper. “Miso is fermented soy that contains healthy bacteria,” explains Campbell, California-based health coach Gabriella Vetere, RDN, CSOWM.

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Just keep in mind that heat might destroy probiotics, eliminating their health benefit. To maintain as many healthy microorganisms as possible, add the miso paste right before serving and steer clear of very heated temperatures.

9. Keep Prebiotic-Rich Foods in Mind
Prebiotics are non-digestible substances that are present in some fruits, vegetables, and other meals and help the gut’s beneficial bacteria flourish. Prebiotics may be found in whole-wheat products and soybeans, as well as raw apples, bananas, asparagus, beans, artichokes, garlic, onions, and leeks.

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