Vegan probiotics offer a variety of choices. Everybody wants to maintain a healthy gut. Microorganisms in a positive light also give your body health benefits.
Good and bad bacteria referred to as gut microbiota abound the human body, just about 100 trillion bacteria inhabit your digestive system. Microorganisms in a positive light also give your body health benefits.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits to your body and brain. As a good microorganism, they aid in food digestion, prevent disease-causing bacteria and a vitamin source. It can be taken as food, going through the process of bacterial fermentation or as supplements.
This food or supplement when ingested helps the good bacteria that live in your gut. Probiotics are not the same as prebiotics, the latter is a form of dietary fiber for a probiotic bacterium.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Your body mainly gets its nourishment from the vitamins and minerals you eat, it does not necessarily need probiotics to be healthy. Nevertheless, ingested probiotics support your good bacteria in its function. Probiotics may keep you healthy by:
- Reducing the number of bad bacteria in your gut, increased bad bacteria can cause infection and inflammation.
- Producing substance in your gut that holds back the growth of bad bacteria.
- Substituting the lost good bacteria, medications like antibiotics and acid-reducing medications can kill them.
- Creating a balance between good versus bad bacteria thus helps improve immunity and total wellness.
What are the Top 10 Vegan Probiotics?
Yogurt may first come to mind as probiotic-rich food, but there is more for people who prefer plant-based probiotics. Vegans can choose from various plant-based sources listed below and there are also plant-based probiotics supplements to choose from.
Below are the top 10 vegan probiotic foods:
Sauerkraut is one of the well-known Lacto-fermented vegetables from a cabbage. Rich in probiotics, potassium, vitamins C and K. It is fermented in brine solution resulting in a crisp and sour condiment.
The cabbage lactobacillus bacteria convert its sugar into lactic acid. If bought commercially, choose the unpasteurized sauerkraut. The pasteurization process kills the probiotic bacteria.
Miso is a Japanese thick paste seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It is rich in vitamin B, antioxidants and beneficial bacteria.
This seasoning paste has can be used as marinade, sauces and as a salad dressing. Miso soup is an alternative for vegan’s source of prebiotics, use warm water to retain probiotic bacteria.
Natto is made from fermented soybeans with Bacillus subtilis var. natto and is a traditional Japanese breakfast staple. Due to its sticky taste and stinky smell, not everybody would want to eat this. However it has a lot of significant health benefits such as:
- Great source of probiotics.
- Rich in vitamin K which reduces blood clots.
- It also contains Vitamin K2 which is known to reduce 80% bone loss in premenopausal women.
- It contains PQQ for beautiful skin.
A staple traditional Korean cuisine, kimchi is a well-known side dish. This spicy fermented Napa cabbage dish is rich with vitamin A, B, C, antioxidants and probiotic lactobacilli.
Described as the Superfood probiotic, loaded with vitamins, beta-carotene and can improve the immune system.
5. Pickled vegetables
This probiotic-rich side dish is another option for vegans. Common vegetables in brine are cucumbers, carrots, radishes, green beans, cauliflowers, and red bell peppers.
This should be taken in moderation because fermented vegetables have high sodium content from the brine solution and can result in hypertension and water retention.
Rich in probiotics and a staple source of protein, dietary fibers and vitamins originated from Java in Indonesia. Tempeh is made from the fermentation of soybeans.
History accounts that tempeh was accidentally created as a by-product of tofu. It can be used in a variety of dishes and may even be a replacement for the meat in burgers, tacos, and pizza.
Kombucha is also known as mushroom tea fermented drink formulated with tea, sugar, probiotics, and yeast. You need a “scoby” starter to brew kombucha.
It is a syntrophic mixed culture of bacteria and yeast. A mushroom-like film colony from bacteria and yeast is formed during its fermentation process.
Bacteria cultivates further in this mixture makes it a good source of probiotics. However, the presence of alcohol in its content makes this drink not suitable for those who are pregnant or on lactation.
8. Water Kefir
A less acidic, milder version of lemonade in taste, a mixture of water, sugar and water kefir grains is fermented 24 to 48 hours.
Tibicos or water kefir grain is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast kept in a biofilm matrix produced by bacteria. In addition, water kefir grains help ferment sugar water, juice or coconut water to form healthy probiotic drinks.
9. Sourdough bread
This sourdough bread differs from a regular bread because it needs a sourdough starter, the fermentation process that takes numerous days. The starter is a mix of flour, salt, and water left to ferment produce cultures of lactobacilli.
The lactobacilli break down the sugar in the flour, ideal for diabetics because of consumption won’t spike blood sugar. The good bacteria produced at fermentation give rise to the bread and sour flavor.
This is ideal for vegan because sourdough is like a complete protein because of amino acid lysine. Word of caution, if it is store-bought you need to check the ingredients because not all use a fermented starter.
10. Probiotic Supplements
There can be many vegan sources of probiotics, you may not have the convenient of time for its preparation and possibly not all will enjoy its taste.
There are many vegan probiotics supplements to choose from in the market as an alternative. It is better to do your research prior to purchase because probiotics supplements are not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Not all probiotics are vegan because many of its sources contain dairy or animal products. You need to review labels just to be sure that you have the vegan probiotic.
With so many choices it’s hard to say which one is the best for you because each one differs in lifestyle, diet and even genetic composition. Go for a vegan probiotic that works best for you.