Probiotics: Seven foods that stimulate the intestine and the immune system

A strong immune system and gut health are closely related. We show you which natural probiotics are good for your body.

A strong immune system is desirable, especially during the pandemic. Get enough sleep, zinc and vitamin C are already good helpers in building the body’s own protective shield.

It is now also known that the gut plays a central role in maintaining a good immune system.

That is, the mucosal surfaces of the intestine form important physical protective barriers against foreign antigens. To maintain the immune system, a healthy intestinal flora is necessary, which is mainly maintained by a healthy diet.

The following eight probiotic foods help, among other things, the intestines to develop their intestinal flora with healthy bacterial strains and thus to strengthen the immune system.

What exactly are probiotics?

Probiotics are particularly important for the human body: they contribute to a healthy intestinal flora and thus can help protect the body from harmful substances and infections.

Living microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria or yeast fungi have a particularly healthy effect on the intestines and are therefore the “good inhabitants of the intestines”.

They also have the property of activating immune cells and thus protect the body from various diseases.

In addition, its regular consumption can prevent allergies and skin diseases.

Probiotic foods strengthen the immune system

Therefore, probiotics are essential for a healthy body, but they do not necessarily need to be taken in the form of dietary supplements.

If you want to meet your probiotic needs naturally, you can use a variety of probiotic foods to build healthy gut flora and your immune system at the same time.

1. kimchi

Vitamin A, C, vitamin K2, B vitamins such as B1, B2 and B12, iron and various amino acids: it is not for nothing that kimchi is one of the healthiest foods in the world.

Similar to sauerkraut, the traditional Korean dish is made from bok choy and is served with most dishes.

Since kimchi is high in fiber and lactic acid bacteria, it supports healthy digestion and your immune system.

2% plain yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics because it helps with digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea and thus improves the intestinal flora.

Also, due to the high calcium content, yogurt can improve bone density and prevent high blood pressure, among other things.

However, you should make sure that these health-promoting properties only apply to plain yoghurt: fruit yoghurt with a high content of added sugar should be enjoyed more as a dessert, and therefore less often.

As a little tip: make sure the expiration date is long: the fresher the yogurt, the higher the content of lactic acid bacteria, which is better for intestinal health.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a viscous, fermented milk drink made from goat or cow milk. What may not sound very appetizing at first, offers many health benefits.

Kefir is rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus and also contains vitamin B2, B12, and vitamin D.

Unlike yogurt, no lactic acid bacteria are added, but rather a so-called kefir grain, a “milk fungus” that also contains yeast fungi in addition to healthy bacteria.

Again, you want to make sure the product is fresh and organic, so that as many lactic acid bacteria as possible reach your intestines.

4. Pickles

In a liquid of water, herbs, sugar and salt, pickles are prepared and made more durable by lactic acid fermentation.

In fact, the snack can contribute to regular digestion and have a positive effect on the immune system, since they have a very high content of probiotic lactic acid bacteria.

Those who want to lose weight can also be happy: pickled cucumbers contain only eleven kilocalories per 100 grams and are fat-free.

But be careful: only real pickled cucumbers contain live lactic acid bacteria that have gone sour as a result of lactic acid fermentation. Unfortunately, most pickles in the supermarket do not contain live lactic acid bacteria.

5. miso

The spicy paste is usually made from soy and cereals such as rice or barley and comes from Japanese cuisine.

Thanks to the long maturation period, which often lasts several months, lactic acid bacteria ensure that the dough ferments: this is how the miso acquires its typical sweet and sour taste.

In addition to a lot of protein and fiber, miso contains many probiotic lactic acid bacteria that help keep the body healthy and strengthen the intestinal flora.

6. Cheese

Cheese lovers can rejoice, although not all types of cheese are probiotic foods, Cheddar, Gruyère, Gouda, Mozzarella and Parmesan in particular contain live lactic acid bacteria.

A very special rule applies to cheese consumption: the older the cheese, the more probiotic bacteria it contains.

However, you must ensure that pasteurized cheeses do not contain live probiotic bacteria due to the heating process.

7. Tempeh

Made from soybeans, the Indonesian food is perfect as a supplier of lactic acid bacteria.

This is mainly due to the fact that the product is “inoculated” with a mold during manufacturing. Fermentation allows many healthy bacteria to grow and multiply.

Tempeh contains many minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and protein, all of which can be used particularly well by your body.

Be careful with pasteurized products

Therefore, a variety of foods can help support your long-term immune system and protect you from viruses and bacteria.

It is important to ensure that pasteurized products cannot contain live lactic acid bacteria; therefore, pasteurized pickles, cheese, and dairy products cannot prevent colds or viral illnesses.

But if you integrate some of the foods into your nutritional plan, you will definitely be able to stay healthy in the long term, and without drugs and in a completely natural way.

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