I used to brew kombucha out the back of my kitchen cupboard. My housemates hated seeing the fermenting, growing scobies bobbing in their glass jars beside the cereal boxes. They didn’t understand the art form. They couldn’t comprehend the importance of probiotics and a beautifully maintained gut flora. Nowadays, we can grab that goodness straight from the supermarket shelf.
If stinking up your apartment with homemade booch isn’t really your jam, you’ll be happy to hear that there are a bunch of ways to get your probiotic fix.
Like, did you know there is a drinks company out there (we see you Nexba) making healthy fizzy drink and more? Or that your favourite Japanese appetizer is packed with probiotics? Or that sourdough bread is actually good for you? That’s right. BREAD CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU. I feel like the world needs to hear that more often.
Similarly, the world needs a reminder that ‘healthy bacteria’ isn’t an oxymoron. Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, are not only good for your gut but they can boost our mood, improve our mental health and spark our metabolism. Hell, probiotics can even give us great skin. If that’s not good, I don’t know what is.
To help up your probiotic game, we did the research and found seven bueno bacteria alternatives to messy homemade booch:
Already eat a bowl at breakfast? Congratulations, you’re nailing the probiotic lifestyle. Yoghurt is packed with the live strains of bacteria that do all sorts of good stuff for your digestive system. The catch? Not all yoghurts are made alike, so before you buy, make sure it’s natural yoghurt with active or live cultures and no additives or sugars. Bonus points if the label mentions acidophilus or bifidobacteria. And no, they are not Greek gods. Although they can be found in Greek yoghurt.
All hail fermented foods! If you’ve got a German grandma, or Oma as they say in Deutschland, pop on over to her place and copy down her kraut recipe asap. Sauerkraut is made of finely chopped cabbage that’s been left to ferment in its own bacteria. Sounds delicious, right? It is. It’s sour, salty, rich in fibre, full of antioxidants and an absolutely bueno source of probiotics. I vote weiners for dinner.
That’s right, soda. But not just any soda – we’re talking naturally sugar-free Nexba Probiotic Soda. The Nexba gang are not only Aussie locals but they’re working all-natural wonders in the probiotic world. Their soda is like a soft drink x kombucha hybrid and it’s packed with 1 BILLION (that’s right, billion!) probiotics in every can. That’s technically enough probiotic cultures to fulfil your daily need.
Turns out the Japanese haven’t just been slurping on miso soup all these years because it tastes good. Miso, whether it’s made with soy bean, koji fungus, barley, rice or rye, is actually an excellent probiotic source, high in fibre and packed with various vitamins, minerals and plant compounds like Vitamin K, manganese and copper. Miso for dinner? ITADAKIMASU!
The Indonesians were onto something when they cooked up tempeh for the first time. Made of fermented soy beans and most often found pressed into a patty – like a vego-friendly burger, if you will – tempeh is high in vitamin B12 and protein. It also contains super good gut bacteria which can really up your flora game. Tempeh the superfood? It would appear so.
Thank god, we’ve finally got some good bread news in this anti-gluten, no carb society. So it turns out sourdough is the king of gut-friendly bread types thanks to its strain of lactobacillus bacteria which 1) makes the bread rise and 2) is also found in our intestinal tract. So chowing down on some sourdough is actually you just replenishing your good gut bacteria. Go you.
And wouldn’t you bloody know it, Nexba has a sourdough recipe that’ll have you raising that bread in no time. Check it out here.
Kefir is like kombucha’s older, more hip, less mainstream cousin. A bit like yoghurt, kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink that’s made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk (and nowadays even coconut milk too). It’s quite thick and stacked with lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Don’t expect yoghurt though, kefir is tart and textured. It does work wonders on bone health and digestive issues, however. Which makes sense considering the word ‘kefir’ allegedly comes from the Turkish word ‘keyif’ which means ‘feeling good’ after eating.
Our pals Nexba are also all over this bad boy with vegan-friendly water Strawberry & Peach Kefir which is also great for those who are dairy or lactose intolerant. It’s just as delicious as milk kefir (as if strawberry and peach flavours didn’t perk your tastebuds up) also doesn’t spoil as quickly either which is another win if you ask me!
Fun fact: water kefir grains are also known as Japanese Water Crystals because they actually look like crystals. How good!Image: Keeping Up With the Kardashians