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October 3, 2013

If you know me, you know I’m all about probiotic foods.  In my book, they are as healthy as it gets!

This time of year, it’s especially important. A healthy gut means a healthy immune system.

I recommend that everyone should be taking a strong probiotic daily, as that is the best way to get your gut in check. I’m also a major fan of getting doses of probiotics from your food. But please don’t eat those sugar-packed “probiotic” yogurts!

Here are my favorite healthy, probiotic-rich foods:

Kefir

I have eaten this homemade coconut kefir yogurt almost daily since mastering a recipe over a year ago and I am not sick of it yet. I love how filling and satiating it is and I can absolutely tell the difference in my body since I have made this a regular part of my diet.

I beg all my clients to find a place for this yogurt in their lives- whether it be breakfast or a snack, it’s one of the healthiest foods you could possibly eat.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is amazing because it’s another probiotic-loaded food but it’s also loaded with B vitamins which are hard to come by, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian.

If you are scared of eating sauerkraut because you fear the not-so-sexy side effects a healthy dose of cabbage can leave behind, sauerkraut is easier on the system to digest and won’t leave you feeling so gassy.

The fermentation process also gets rid of the goitrogens, a substance that negatively effects thyroid function.

I love Gold Mine Organic Raw Sauerkraut if you aren’t interested in making it at home.

Miso

Miso is a really special probiotic food because it has a super low pH which allows it to get deep into the stomach and bypass the acidity. It also works to create B Vitamins and Vitamin K, flooding your system with nutrients and goodness.

If you are a miso soup super-fan like I am, you will love this Medicinal Miso Soup recipe. It is my go-to whenever sickness strikes in my house or anytime I want something warm, cleansing and flavor packed.

Kimchi

Kimchi is an unbelievably amazing probiotic superfood and a great side dish to virtually any dish. It contains probiotics that will do wonders on your gastrointestinal system as well as boost your immunity.

I try to eat kimchi at least once a week. I used to fear making it at home because I figured my family would move out due to the stink. Most recipes call for fermenting veggies to sit on the countertop for weeks at a time. No thank you.

This simple cucumber kimchi recipe is easy to make and only has to ferment for a few hours, capped, in the refrigerator. No stink and all the benefits-love that!

If you don’t want to make it at home, the next best thing is picking up an I Am Whole bowl from Cafe Gratitude. It’s their housemade kimchi and it’s amazing!

I’m also obsessed with these raw cultured vegetables from Healing Movement– pick them up at Erewhon.

Kombucha

Kombucha has become very popular in recent years and rightfully so- it’s an amazing wellness tea full of amino acids, probiotics, antioxidants, healthy enzymes and loads of vitamins and other nutrients.

One caveat- it can be a little hard on the system. Start with a few ounces daily and work your way up. Some people dive right into a 16 oz bottle and feel sick and therefore never have it again.

My favorite is Cafe Gratitude’s homemade I Am Bright Kombucha, but I’m also a fan of Synergy Kombucha which can be found at any health food store. Just make sure whatever you buy isn’t loaded with sugar or artificial juices.

Another great and new kombucha is Health Ade, you can get it at a few local spots around LA or order for even order for home delivery.

Let me know what you think when you try some of these amazing foods. Go gut ‘em!

Blog submission by Elissa Goodman | Certified Integrative Nutritionist elissa@elissagoodman.com | www.elissagoodman.com