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10 Tips for Adding Probiotics into your Daily Diet

Probiotics are important; and lately they’ve been a huge topic of interest as well as a prime subject for scientific research. Gut-friendly bacteria have been linked to mental and emotional health as well as the ability to absorb nutrients. Moon Valley Farm LOVES probiotics and that’s why we often teach workshops on DIY kombucha, kimchi and more.

While keeping probiotics in your diet is known to be beneficial, it can be tiresome to just eat yogurt everyday. We understand! That’s why we wanted to share the list below on our 10 favorite ways to get in your probiotics every day. We recommend sourcing organic and grass-fed (if dairy-based) probiotics whenever possible. Lastly, many of the items below need refrigeration, and it’s always good to check their best by or expiration dates.


Supplements


This option is a sure-fire, easy way to get probiotics into your daily routine. Some probiotic supplements come in pill form (no taste—just down the hatch!) and others come in a powder form. Probiotic powders that are formulated for kids are great for stirring into water, juice and applesauce or other purees.







Yogurt, Lassi and Kefir



Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find a variety of both dairy and non-dairy options for these probiotic foods. Kefir is more of a drink than yogurt, with a similar sour flavor. Lassi is comparable to kefir, but tends to be thicker and richer (and maybe less common in stores). The probiotics found in yogurt, lassi and kefir have some overlap, with each of them containing similar microbes and probiotic profiles.





Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese


For dairy lovers it’s now possible to find versions of these favorites that contain live active cultures! As long as you don’t cook with them, they’ll retain their probiotic properties. This is truly a throwback, as sour cream and cottage cheese were traditionally probiotic. It wasn’t until more recently as these foods became packaged for sale that manufacturers changed things up. We’re thankful for the resurgence of the traditional preparation of sour cream and cottage cheese!


Kimchi and Sauerkraut


Savory, sour, salty and even spicy! Kimchi and Sauerkraut can have a wide variety of flavors depending on how they’re made. These are great as a side to a main course, or placed on sandwiches of all kinds. We love Hex Ferments and their versions of these traditional vegetable ferments, and they even use some of our farm’s veggies in their products!






Water Kefir


For dairy lovers it’s now possible to find versions of these favorites that contain live active cultures! As long as you don’t cook with them, they’ll retain their probiotic properties. This is truly a throwback, as sour cream and cottage cheese were traditionally probiotic. It wasn’t until more recently as these foods became packaged for sale that manufacturers changed things up. We’re thankful for the resurgence of the traditional preparation of sour cream and cottage cheese!




Kombucha


Kombucha is also made with a SCOBY although some people refer to the culture as a “mushroom” (note: kombucha culture is not an actual fungi). Kombucha starts out with a sweetened, brewed tea and the culture. Once done fermenting, the end result is an effervescent drink with a sweet-sour flavor. Caffeine levels can vary between different kombuchas (and some brands even add extra), so if you’re sensitive it’s worth reading the label. Just like water kefir, kombucha comes in a wide variety of flavors.



Miso


There are many kinds of miso ranging from sweet and mild, to bold and salty. The ingredients vary, but miso is always a fermented paste made from grains and legumes (or a combination of both). This umami powerhouse can be used in soups, dressings, marinades and much more. The koji yeast is responsible for fermenting miso and creating it’s probiotic characteristics. Just make sure that your miso has live and active culture present in order to get all the benefits!


Hot Sauce


Not all hot sauces are created equal, but if you’re a spice fan then we have good news! Probiotic hot sauce is a thing. A number of US brands make delicious hot sauces with live active cultures in a range of spice levels. It’s possible to get traditional sauces like these from around the globe as well, although it may take some work to source. Why not dash on some extra flavor (and probiotics) the next time you’re craving some heat?!

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