Many people understand the importance of probiotics. These bacteria are helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Probiotics are recommended for people who have stomach trouble and, more generally, for anyone who wants to maintain good gut health. They are available in several different forms. Some people choose to take pills or tinctures that contain probiotics. However, there are also probiotics found in whole foods. This list is designed for people who would prefer to get probiotics from real food. 

Yogurt: The Popular Method

One of the most popular methods of adding probiotics to your diet is to eat yogurt. However, you must be aware that not all yogurt has added probiotics in it. While most yogurt will have live cultures, not all yogurt will come with added beneficial bacteria. So, it's important that you pick out a yogurt where extra probiotics have been added. Look for a container that lists added cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Sauerkraut: Fresh, Not Canned

Another great food to think about if you're looking to get probiotics is sauerkraut. Real sauerkraut that is made in the traditional way contains healthy probiotics. In order to get the sauerkraut that contains these probiotics, you will want to avoid canned, cooked sauerkraut. The type of sauerkraut that comes in cans is going to be cooked cabbage that is soaked in vinegar. This won't have the beneficial bacteria. What you should look for is something that comes in a glass jar or a plastic package and is made of raw cabbage that has been prepared with salt (and perhaps other spices). The salt interacts with the cabbage and creates the distinctive taste of sauerkraut via a process of lacto-fermentation.

Fermented Beet Juice: Bonus Nutrients Included 

Beets are one of the healthiest vegetables you could eat. In addition to compounds such as betacyanins, which might possibly protect against cancer, beets also contain nitric oxide. This chemical is important for maintaining proper dilation and oxygenation in the body. That is especially important for athletes who are putting their muscles through a workout. If you don't want to eat whole beets, fermented beet juice provides all of the nutrient benefits of regular beets, with the added benefits of beneficial probiotic bacteria. 

When you are looking for fermented beet juice, you need to look for health food stores that sell fresh and unpasteurized products. If the beet juice is pasteurized or if it's not fresh, then you will not get the benefits of the healthy bacteria.