Understanding probiotics and its purpose
Probiotics are a friendly form of bacteria which maintain the overall balance of the body by ensuring the smooth functioning of the digestive and immune systems. Although probiotics are great for all, they are especially essential for women and this is due to the following three key reasons.
- Gut health – Probiotics are instrumental when it comes to preserving a healthy digestive tract. Usually, women are more vulnerable to specific types of digestive problems, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or chronic constipation. The intake of probiotics can naturally help relieve intestinal pain and discomfort in the long run.
- Vaginal health – The vagina is often prone to yeast infections due to multiple factors like poor hygiene and diet, antibiotics, or birth-control medications. By having probiotics on a regular basis, a woman can restore the vital balance of good and bad bacteria. Besides, vaginal health probiotics also protect the urinary tract from any kind of harmful infections.
- Overall immunity – Since a major part of the immune system is dependent on a good gut health, probiotics can comprehensively improve the body’s defense mechanisms. For example, a consistent inclusion of probiotics in the diet can help a woman tackle cold and flu easily.
Apart from these above-mentioned essential benefits, probiotics can also prove to be effective for women who are aiming to increase their metabolism and energy levels.
Which are the best probiotics for women?
If you are planning to increase the consumption of probiotics in your day-to-day life, then you should consider about making some serious changes in your diet. Mostly, probiotics are found in fermented foods. Unlike the various supplements that are found in the market, these natural sources of probiotics are not just healthy but also safe, having no or minor side-effects which subside easily. To help you reinvent your diet, here are some of the best probiotics for women.
Yogurt – A popular form of a fermented ingredient, yogurt is one of the best probiotics for women. Consuming yogurt can significantly improve your digestive system as well as fight off any kind of infections. However, while you peruse through yogurt products, ensure that you look for labels stating, “live active cultures.” This is because several products are processed with heat which ends up destroying all the good bacteria. Similarly, the yogurt product you are buying shouldn’t encompass any types of added sugars.
Kefir – Somewhat similar to yogurt, kefir is a probiotic dairy drink, which is prepared by incorporating kefir grains in cow’s or goat’s milk. If you don’t prefer dairy products, you can also have kefir using coconut milk or water. This drink can be the perfect form of probiotics if you happen to be lactose intolerant.
Miso – You must be familiar with the traditional Japanese miso soup on the restaurant menu, which is prepared by using a miso paste. A miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans with koji (a type of fungus) and salt. Miso houses all the essential kinds proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. If you are tackling with any cold, flu or any kind of digestive tract issues, then a hot bowl of miso soup can be your quick fix.
Kombucha tea – A popular Asian beverage, Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea. Kombucha tea is known for stimulating energy levels as well as the immune system. Regular intake of kombucha tea can also encourage weight loss. For effective results, make sure that you prepare the tea at home.
Sauerkraut – Sauerkraut is sour-salty fermented cabbage recipe which is quite popular in the European cuisine. It is known to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the body. Apart from its probiotic properties, sauerkraut is loaded with vitamin K, B, and C. It also comprises high levels of antioxidants, iron, and magnesium.
Kimchi – A type of Asian sauerkraut, kimchi is fermented cabbage which is spicy-sour in flavor. Usually, you can find this as a side dish served in Korean cuisines. It is one of the best probiotics for women, as it not only contains the essential good bacteria but also is a rich source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. It also has an adequate amount of iron and calcium, which most women lack as they age.
Cheese – Typically, most cheese variants are prepared through the fermentation process, but it doesn’t necessarily translate that all of them include probiotics. Which is why, when you purchase cheese scrutinize the label for the mention of live cultures. Some of the cheeses that serve best sources of probiotics for women are cottage cheese, mozzarella, gouda, etc. Apart from supplying the friendly microorganisms, cheese also facilitates the goodness of crucial types of vitamins and minerals.
Tempeh – A viable replacement for products like meat or tofu, tempeh is prepared from fermented soy beans. Surprisingly, tempeh is also a source of Vitamin B12, which is mostly found in meat products. So comprehensively this can be a great option for vegetarians who are looking to add great flavor and nutritional value in their diet.