Kombucha, Kefir, Kimchi – Probiotics Beyond Your Trendy Food
Kombucha drinks have been gaining popularity, with a rise in both store-bought and homemade Kombucha. But more than a trendy drink, do you know how probiotics like Kombucha can be beneficial to your gut?
The role of probiotics in your gut
Your body has a balance of good and bad bacteria. But when your immune system is low, bad bacteria increases and disrupts this balance. In this case, probiotics can help to restore a mixture of good living bacteria and yeast, to fight off the bad bacteria and establish the balance again.
And what foods are good sources of probiotics? They are commonly found in cultured drinks like Yakult and Vitagen, and other popular fermented foods and drinks such as Kombucha, Kefir and Kimchi. These fermented food are hosts of good bacteria and easily introduce probiotics in your diet.
Typically, the probiotics in fermented food boost the health of your intestinal cells, preventing or relieving chronic constipation and other digestion problems. Having said that, if you have not been taking fermented food regularly, it’s best to start with small amounts because certain constituents in probiotics can worsen abdominal symptoms in some people.
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By fermenting bacteria, yeast, sugar and tea, you get this sweet and fizzy drink called Kombucha. On average, the fermentation needs at least seven days before you can drink the Kombucha. If you would like your Kombucha to be less sweet and more acidic, you can ferment the Kombucha for up to thirty days.
But besides bacteria, the tea is actually another highly gut-friendly ingredient with strong antioxidants. During the fermentation process, the antioxidant level increases and reduces your chances of inflammation.
Kefir is a yoghurt-like fermented milk drink. You might be thinking, is this drink the same as your common Yakult and Vitagen drinks?
Apart from containing less sugar, Kefir also has far more good bacteria variations (more than regular yoghurt and yoghurt-like drinks). While promoting bowel movement, Kefir relieves digestive problems such as gastric and acid reflux. On top of that, the enzymes in Kefir efficiently break down nutrients, allowing them to be more readily absorbed by your body.
Making Kimchi has been traditionally known as an effective way to preserve vegetables. But this spicy pickled dish is, in fact, another gut-friendly dish.
Making Kimchi involves fermenting cabbage, peppers, garlic, ginger, together with lactic acid bacteria. Throw the ingredients into a sealed container and let it ferment at room temperature for a few days. After which, store the container in the fridge to continue the fermentation. Like Kombucha and Kefir, Kimchi is rich in antioxidants that give the same anti-inflammatory effect, reducing your chances of abdominal pain.
As much as introducing probiotics into your diet offers your body many benefits, remember that probiotics are supplements and not substitutes. Couple gut-friendly food like Kombucha, Kefir and Kimchi with your essential high-fibre fruits and vegetables. This will create a healthy environment for probiotics to thrive in your gut.