Beneficial bacteria have been an important part of the human diet for thousands of years. Beer, wine, cheese, bread, kefir, and sauerkraut are the result of bacterial fermentation, or culturing, a transformation of raw plant substances into nutritious, flavorful food.
In 1999 the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations recognized the activity of bacterial fermentation as the original form of food biotechnology:
“Fermentation is the oldest known from of food biotechnology; records of barley conversion to beer date back more than 5000 years… The traditional fermentation of food serves several functions, [including] enrichment of food substrates biologically with protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins…”
Our very digestive systems are constructed on the process of culturing, for our “symbiotic” relationship with the friendly bacteria which inhabit our digestive tract, ensures that all of our foods are effectively “cultured” within our digestive system.
Most of these probiotic foods date back to ancient times:
- Dairy Foods
The most popular probiotic foods are dairy: yogurts, kefir, and other cultured milk products abound with health benefits.
- Aged Cheese
Aged cheeses are probiotic foods with many health benefits. Gouda, Cheddar, Emmental and others.
All about Kefir, the orginal probiotic drink from the Caucasus, including how to make at home.
- Probiotic Pickles
Probiotic Pickled vegetables have many health benefits. Discover kimchi, Pao cai, Zha cai and probiotic pickled cucumbers.
- Probiotic Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a natural probiotic food, an age-old traditional fermented food with great health qualities.
- Cultured Soy Products
Cultured soy foods are a great source of probiotics with healthy benefits. Miso, tempeh, doenjang and soy sauce are the product of fermentation with healthy bacteria.
- Red Wine
Red wine is an ancient cultured drink, although we may not think of it as such. Modern science confirms its many health benefits.
Kombucha is a probiotic tea linked with health benefits that may be beneficial for increased vigor and energy levels.
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