5 Ways to Consume More Probiotics

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5 Ways to Consume More Probiotics without taking a supplement
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The human body has more bacterial cells that human cells and a large part of these live in the digestive system. New research is constantly showing the relationship of gut bacteria to many aspects of health. Unfortunately, the modern diet is largely deficient in foods that nourish this gut bacteria in a healthy way since many foods are pasteurized, irradiated or created in a sterile lab.

The balance of bacteria in the gut is important for immune health, hormone balance and many other aspects of wellness. Many of the foods that are most often consumed these days are high in sugar, processed grains, vegetable oils and foods that often let the “bad” bacteria grow more than they should.

Adding probiotic-rich foods and drinks to the diet is an easy way to give gut bacteria a boost and to keep the digestive system in proper balance. Here are five easy ways to consume more probiotics:

1. Make Some Kraut

Traditional homemade sauerkraut recipe-packed with probioticsThink you don’t like sauerkraut? You probably have just never had a traditionally made sauerkraut. Unlike canned and store-bought options, traditional sauerkraut is crispy, salty and delicious.

You can make it on your kitchen counter for the cost of some cabbage and it is a great way to add vegetables and probiotics to your diet. Almost any vegetable can be fermented and books like Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions have a lot of great recipes.

Click here to see my recipe for delicious homemade sauerkraut.

2. Or Some Kvass…

How to Make Beet Kvass and whyLike sauerkraut, Kvass is a naturally fermented and probiotic-rich drink with other health-boosting properties. Nourishing Traditions explains that it is:

“valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One glass morning and night is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

We drink Kvass and use it in salad dressings. I sometimes mix Kvass with slightly cooled broth for a warm drink.

Here is the recipe for Beet Kvass.

3. Water Kefir “Soda”

How to make healthy probiotic water kefir natural sodaThe kids’ favorite way to consume probiotics is in the form of Water Kefir “Soda.” Water Kefir is made by using a natural colony of beneficial yeast and bacteria to ferment a sugar water solution.

The bacteria consumes the sugar in the water and in the process creates probiotics and enzymes. If a secondary fermentation is done, the result is a naturally fizzy fermented probiotic drink that is reminiscent of a fruit soda. There are endless ways to customize water kefir soda flavors.

Water Kefir is dairy free and easy to make on the kitchen counter. Click here for my full tutorial.

4. Kombucha

how to make kombucha easy recipeKombucha has gained a lot of popularity lately and many stores now carry pre-bottled kombucha drinks. Kombucha contains a host of enzymes and probiotics and has a naturally tangy and fizzy taste. While I love store-bought versions, I’m not a fan of the $5/bottle price tag.

Kombucha is very simple to make at home and once you purchase a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) the cost per gallon is less than $2. This is another thing that is often sitting on our counter. I actually brew two different ways:

We always do a secondary ferment with some organic juice to get the natural carbonation and this homemade kombucha is definitely my favorite way to get probiotics. Click on the links above to see the recipes. I recommend finding someone local who can share a SCOBY if possible, or buying from Kombucha Kamp if you can’t find one near you.

5. Homemade Ginger Ale

How to make natural ginger ale- a healthy and delicious treat full of probiotics and enzymesAnother favorite at our house is homemade ginger ale. This recipe uses a ginger “bug” made from fresh ginger, natural sugars and wild bacteria to create a beneficial colony of bacteria that is then used to ferment a strong ginger tea.

Unlike conventional soda which often contains high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, this natural recipe combines the digestive benefits of fresh ginger with beneficial bacteria for a fizzy and refreshing “soda.”

If you haven’t already tried these fermented foods and drinks, I’d really encourage you to give them a try! Not only are they delicious, but full of health-boosting properties.

The suggestion to add probiotic rich fermented foods to my diet was one of the best pieces of health advice I’ve ever gotten. I HIGHLY recommend it!

What is the best food advice you’ve ever received? Ever fermented anything? Share below!

Fermented foods and drinks contain probiotics that boost gut bacteria. Probiotic rich recipes for sauerkraut, water kefir, kvass, kombucha and ginger ale.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


60 responses to “5 Ways to Consume More Probiotics”

  1. Jenny Avatar

    The best piece of advice I got when I became vegetarian was to start reading labels and eat organic whole foods. I still follow that advice but now have added meat to my diet for complete nutrition.

  2. Kate M. Avatar

    The best advice I’ve given is to give up grains and eat whole foods for a month.  It changed my life.  A friend of mine is in the middle of that 1 month trial right now, and although it has been a challenge to let go of old eating habits and conveniences, she told me that she feels phenomenal.  Her teenage daughter is doing it with her on a whim, and she is convinced that it has improved her acne in just a couple of weeks.

    Good health to you,

  3. Olivia Avatar

    I found out about the GAPS diet and have been doing it for maybe 9 months on and off. It’s very difficult at times, but I’ve learned that the body is amazing and can heal given the right circumstances. I’m not doomed to continue down this road of declining health, I can do something about it!

  4. Camil Avatar

    One of the best advices I ever got was to listen to your body when you are not feeling well.

  5. theresa gianna Avatar
    theresa gianna

    i’ve read and seen so many great things, but i’d have to say Food, Inc may have impacted me most. i watched it again and again. of course it doesn’t tell you much about nutrition in general, but it was just so striking how far our food has come from where it started.

    “I’m always struck by how successful we have been at hitting the bull’s-eye of the wrong target. I mean we have learned–for example, how to plant, fertilize and harvest corn using global positioning satellite technology, and nobody sits back and asks “But should we be feeding cows corn?”We’ve become a culture of technicians. We’re all into–we’re all into the how of it and nobody’s stepping back and saying “But why?”

    I mean, a culture that just views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure to be manipulated by whatever creative design that humans can foist on that critter will probably view individuals within its community and other cultures in the community of nations with the same type of disdain, disrespect and controlling-type mentality.”– Farmer Salatin

  6. Jim Avatar

    Best advice I get is from Mark’s Daily Apple website. My husband and I both went primal and have lost weight and feel great! My father-in-law came over yesterday with hotdogs and buns for the grill. We both ate one hotdog on a bun and we both commented later on how crappy we felt afterward!

  7. Soccy Avatar

    The best advice I received was being given the book ” Super Baby Foods”. Looking up the book online, I came across a review of the book in Passionate Homemaking’s blog. That started me on my TF conversion.

  8. Cecilia Duval Powers Avatar
    Cecilia Duval Powers

    this might not be “advice” but it is something that i learned, but most importantly, my young impressionable daughter learned about 1.5 years ago. she had an infection in her throat/neck or something. went to the chiro, he adjusted her and massaged her. i needed to take her to a family practice (after firing her pediatrician as he said chiros are no good). the family practice doctor said that he needed to prescribe her antibiotics. when i said i didn’t want her to have any, he said “what if she has strep”. i knew she didn’t, absolutely no symptoms, but i wanted to see what would happen. he swabbed her and while “waiting” for the results, he said that he hoped she had strep so i would allow her to have antibiotics. shockingly the test came back positive. i had her rest that day and the next, by the following day (36 hours) she was good to go and perfect again, without any antibiotics, but just with going grain free, sugar free and eating healthy foods, stocking up on vitamin c, water and rest. my little princess still remembers it and talks about being healthy all the time and that by good food, water, rest and exercise, she will be healthy for a long time. 

  9. Soccy Avatar

    The best advice I received was being given the book ” Super Baby Foods”. Looking up the book online, I came across a review of the book in Passionate Homemaking’s blog. That started me on my TF conversion. It’s been 2 years now and our diet (while still a work in progress) barely resembles what it did before.

    1. Sage Avatar

      Yes! I love super baby food. Ruth is super informative! I highly recommend that any body that has a new baby gets and reads the book, cover to cover!

  10. Kaitlin Alfermann Avatar
    Kaitlin Alfermann

    The best advice I got about nutrition was from someone who worked for Couple to Couple League. She suggested drinking whole, raw milk to help with infertility. It wasn’t just switching milk-it was the spark that began my investigation of REAL food and how necessary it was for me.

  11. Stephanie Avatar

    The best advice I received (recently) was to never eat anything that doesn’t rot.

  12. Sarahb Avatar

    And I think the best advice was hammered in pretty early on…don’t smoke! It’s easy to quit if you never stop. So I never have to worry about all the negative side effects or the cost involved!

  13. ashley Avatar

    The best advice I ever got was to give up grains.  Not to sound like a kiss-up but before that point every piece of advice I’d been given followed right along with Conventional Wisdom. 

  14. Sarah Avatar

    The best advice I have ever gotten was to eat a lot of fats! It was really made a difference for me.

  15. Jen Avatar

    The best health advice I’ve received was in April of this year. It was to try the Paleo diet for 30 days (no grains, no refined sugars, no legumes, no dairy). Wow, what a difference in my energy level, motivation, and hormones! And the best part is I’m not taking any crazy supplements or drugs! I just have had to change how I cook and eat. I recommend giving it a try if you haven’t!

  16. Kimmi Avatar

    Our surgeon for my son suggested going grain free, and my Ob said even one glass of wine in early pregnancy can cause a miscarriage.

  17. Tammy Vanderwoude Avatar
    Tammy Vanderwoude

    A piece of advice that has worked for me is:  if I decide to eat sugar or processed foods (like the other day when I had a bit too much ice cream), just notice how I feel afterward.  This is enough to remind me why I choose to eat a paleo-style diet and keeps me focused.  (I signed up for the newsletter!)

  18. Christina horst Avatar
    Christina horst

    My 94 year old grandma grows a huge veggie garden and cans and freezes for the whole year! She has her own milk cow, chickens, and beef. She makes everything from scratch and only goes to the Grocery store like once a month or less..impressive!  She isn’t on any prescription meds and still gets around great!

    1. Reagan Avatar

      I make the sauerkraut, super easy. We love the water kefir, super easy.
      I have made Kombucha-but I have issue with it and hope you can help. I have been successful a couple times, but it has a vinegar taste. My friends kombucha is sweet. My last couple of attempts gave failed. The scoby did not grow a “baby”. It is so frustrating. Any insight ascyo why it would fail and/or be vinegar-ish?

  19. Lisa Marie Avatar
    Lisa Marie

    The best advise I ever got was last year from a chiropractor, who said to check my vitamin D levels. I was sick 3-4 times a year with cold and chest congestions, my vitamin D turned out to be a 17, and needs to be like 50 or something 🙂  Now I take Vitamin D and haven’t been the least bit sick in over a year!

    1. Jan Avatar

      Fifteen minutes a day builds your vitamin D in the summer months works too. We all need more sunshine D.

  20. Erinmarie Xian Avatar
    Erinmarie Xian

    Well, at this point I HOPE it’s to go Paleo and not CW nutritional standpoints. Time will tell but so far, I’m on board and anxious to learn all I can to make my own best decisions. I will say I had to Unsubscribe from all of my health newsletters (Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Shape Magazine blah blah blah << all nonsense) So, I think on I'm the right track I just have to keep my ears closed to most media outlets 🙂 

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