What are probiotic foods?
Probiotic foods are foods that contain microorganisms that help our gut and immune system work optimally. Traditional cultures around the world recognize the value of probiotic foods for our health.
Why probiotic foods?
From good digestion to healthy immune function and well-regulated metabolism, there are many reasons why it’s important for the three to five pounds of microbial cells that populate our bodies to be healthy and well balanced at every stage of life. For most people, regular consumption of probiotic foods is the best way to maintain balance.
Foods before supplements
I generally recommend introducing probiotic foods before supplements, because probiotic foods are part of a complex, synergistic and nourishing whole that is more than the sum of the individual strains contained in the probiotics. Start with small amounts of each food and increase gradually if tolerated. Avoid probiotic foods made with ingredients you do not tolerate. Start with a little sauerkraut juice or beet kvass added to warm broth or soup, then add a little of the cultured vegetable solids themselves. Milk kefir starter can be used to make a complex probiotic beverage with any animal milk or with coconut milk. Kombucha and water kefir are naturally fizzy probiotic beverages. Not everyone will tolerate every probiotic food, and certainly not at all doses.
Making your own
You can buy some fresh, high quality probiotic foods at the store or online, or you can make your own. You can also read my newsletter focused on probiotic foods here.
The more sensitive you are, the smallest your initial serving should be. I recommend that very sensitive people use a medicine dropper and start with just one drop of sauerkraut juice or beet kvass. While it is very unusual, some people do have a reaction even to a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice.