Where to Get Your Non-Dairy Probiotics
Probiotics are often associated with yogurt, but that's not the only place to get them. Here's how to incorporate non-dairy probiotics in your diet for a healthier lifestyle.
We all know that probiotics help with digestion and nutrient absorption. But did you know that non-dairy probiotics improve immune system function? And they protect you from infections and hostile bacteria, too?
These incredible microorganisms are found in cultured foods, but most people focus on dairy options to get their daily allowance. Read on to learn about a variety of non-dairy sources of probiotics for those who'd like to cut back on or avoid dairy.
No, we're not talking about veggies that speak five languages, drink wine, and like art museums. (Ouch!) We're talking about fermented vegetables. Cabbage is one of the most popular with versions of it eaten in Germany and Korea (a.k.a sauerkraut and kimchi.)
The probiotics in fermented vegetables aren't the most diverse. But cultured veggies also contain high levels of enzymes and inorganic acids, which support the growth of good bacteria in the body. These added benefits make cultured veggies important probiotic foods.
Kombucha has come a long way since home fermentation in large jars. It used to be that if you wanted to drink this effervescent source of natural probiotics, you had to figure out how to brew it yourself. But now, most supermarkets and an increasing number of restaurants sell delightful variations on this beverage.
Kombucha is made by fermenting black tea using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.) While it's health claims are many, the primary benefits associated with drinking kombucha include increased energy, liver detoxification, and digestive support. That said, it's an acquired taste for some.
What happens when you mix young coconut juice and kefir grains? One of the best sources of probiotics out there: coconut kefir. It's a dairy-free version of kefir that features just as many strains of probiotics.
It has a great flavor that's easily enhanced by adding a squeeze of juice or stevia. While the actual concentration of probiotics proves less than with dairy kefir, it's health benefits remain solid.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Leading health and wellness figures have long touted the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and with good reason. Apple cider vinegar helps to:
- control cholesterol
- maintain blood pressure
- ease symptoms of diabetes
- encourage weight loss
It comes with a power-packed punch of probiotics, too. So, drink a small amount mixed with water every day. You can also use it in an oil/vinegar salad dressing or splash some on your favorite sub sandwich.
Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is a delicious meat substitute used heavily by vegetarians and vegans. It originated in Indonesia and is made by adding a tempeh starter to soybeans. This mixture sits out for a couple of days until it takes on a cake-like appearance.
Eaten boiled, raw, or fried, it's a yummy addition to sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, and more. There's a caveat, though. While gobsmackingly good, the fried version has a reduced nutritional value, so enjoy it sparingly.
If you've ever been to a Japanese restaurant, then chances are, you've tasted miso. It's a spice found in traditional Japanese cooking derived from fermented brown rice, barley, or soybean with a fungus known as koji.
How do you eat miso? Slather it on crackers or make traditional miso soup. You can use it in place of butter, and it's a flavor that combines well with many others. So, start experimenting and surprise yourself!
Pickles & Olives
Pickles and olives are delectable treats that also happen to be delicious foods with probiotics. Salted gherkin pickles are fermented, which means their deliciousness also gives you a nice boost of probiotics.
Brine-cured olives represent another great source of probiotics. But in both cases, you need to read labels and be picky about what you're getting. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Make sure that your pickles and olives are made with organic ingredients. Stick with small manufacturers that advertise probiotics on their labels. Finally, be sure to avoid gross chemicals like sodium benzoate, usually associated with the bigger brand names.
This fermented beverage comes from Eastern Europe. It's been brewed since time immemorial and is a wonderful addition to a probiotic diet. Its health benefits include liver and blood detoxification.
Kvass was first made by fermenting barley or rye. But today's versions use a variety of vegetables and fruits including beets and carrots.
You'll find these dietary supplements sold as blue and green microalgae. What's so great about them? They introduce a hefty amount of probiotics to your diet but combine well with just about anything.
That means you can add microalgae to a fruit smoothie. Or, you could sprinkle it into a savory soup or dish. Its flavor is so mild that you won't notice the difference. But your body will thank you.
We've saved the best for last. Probiotic waters are taking the drink world by storm and ensuring that people get a full dose of healthy bacteria every day. Drinks like Aspen Pure Probiotic provide the probiotic punch you need to get through the day, especially if you don't have the stomach for kombucha and other fermented foods and drinks.
Aspen Pure Probiotic boasts more than 12 different strains of probiotics in a concentration of no less than 10 billion CFUs in every serving. But you'd never know it by taste (or price) alone. In fact, Aspen Pure Probiotic costs about the same as a regular bottle of drinking water.
Probiotics or "good bacteria" can do great things for your health. They keep your digestive track flowing and fight off hostile bacteria such as the dreaded stomach flu. Because they speed up digestion, incorporating them into your diet may decrease:
- stomach upsets
- weight gain
We all know about the probiotics associated with dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. But what if you're a vegan or lactose intolerant? As you can see above, non-dairy options abound.
Cheers to a Healthy Future!
New products such as probiotic water mean it's never been easier to find non-dairy probiotics. Here's to keeping your body healthy and happy!
Interested in learning more about convenient ways to up your probiotic intake? Check out our blog now for what's trending in the health world. Or, contact us to learn more about our products guaranteed to make you feel healthier.