People often ask me how to get more probiotic rich foods into their diet? Despite the best of intentions, many people struggle to find easy ways to eat fermented probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi on a regular basis. And I totally understand, it can be a bit alien at first!
If you struggle to eat fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut regularly you're going to love my probiotic rich soup, it's my interpretation of Ribollita.
Ribollita’s depth of flavour is largely thanks to the rind of parmesan chucked in to add a unique moreish flavour. Not only does this bring amazing umami, the soup is served with a glorious grating of probiotic rich parmesan cheese.
Did you know, eating Parmesan cheese can be a simple and effective way to bring probiotic bacteria into your diet, even surviving stomach acid?!! These friendly probiotic bacteria influence our emotions and our brain chemistry as well as supporting our gut health.
This probiotic benefit doesn’t apply to all cheese however. Most cheese we see in the supermarket is pasteurised which means the bacteria have been killed off during the processing.
Parmesan cheese is made from unpasteurised milk so the “good” bacteria from the cow are preserved as they pass all the way through the food chain reaching our table as parmesan cheese. It’s crazy but it’s true! If you’re interested in finding out more about the probiotic content (and bacterial journey) of parmesan, check out this cool study.
The researchers in this study suggest eating Parmesan cheese weekly to support the optimal levels of the bacteria in the gut. Here are a few ways to eat probiotic parmesan:
Can you think of any others?
But isn’t dairy bad for you?
Too much dairy can be pro-inflammatory but small amounts of dairy including fermented dairy such as kefir and parmesan have shown to have many health benefits. For instance, the EPIC study shows that the calcium in dairy products specifically may be protective to the gut in colorectal cancer.
This study on traditionally made kefir, is a great introduction to the health benefits of kefir.
If you eat dairy, I recommend choosing fermented dairy products where possible so you experience the added benefits of probiotics. This includes:
Interested in making your own fermented foods? Check out the videos in my Facebook Group, The Gut Health Club. You’ll find them saved under “units”.
Get the recipe for my probiotic ribollita soup here.
Firstly, what is a probiotic?
Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that can promote health in the host they reside in (you!)
What are probiotic supplements and when are they used?
Probiotic supplements are capsules and powders containing researched strains of bacteria that confer a health benefit and are proven to reach the gut alive. They usually contain a mix of commonly researched bacteria like L-acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotic supplements can be used to support a specific health outcome.
Many people consume probiotics in supplement form to achieve specific health outcomes. For example:
So as you can see, not all probiotics are the same. This is why I would really recommend consulting a nutritional therapist first before blindly popping pills but here’s a rough guide to what to look for in a probiotic supplement.
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