Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for the human body. They improve digestion and heart vitality and reduce the risk of depression. Scientific data also show that following a probiotics diet leads to a healthier skin. Here are seven food items that are good sources of probiotics to help you achieve holistic wellness.

Fermented vegetables

Two of the probiotic-rich vegetables are sauerkraut and kimchi. Sauerkraut is basically finely-chopped cabbage fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It is most commonly found in Europe and used as a side dish. It is rich in fiber and essential vitamins such as C, B and K. It also contains manganese and iron. Its antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein are also good for the eyes.

Another fermented dish is kimchi. It is a Korean side dish made of Korean cabbage and other healthy ingredients. It contains lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus kimchii and is rich in vitamin K, riboflavin and iron. It promotes good digestion, according to Health Line.

Raw cheese

Raw and unpasteurized goat and sheep milk including A2 cow’s soft cheese are high in acidophilus, bifudus, bulgaricus and thermophilous probiotics. Some cheese that contain good bacteria are cheddar, cottage cheese, Gouda and mozzarella. They are also rich in protein, essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium and vitamin B12. Moderate consumption reduces the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

Pickles

Organic salted pickles are fermented in their own lactic acid bacteria making them sour treats. They are low in calories and contain high levels of vitamin K that has an effect on blood clotting. Pickles are also known to improve overall digestive health.

Traditional buttermilk

This is basically leftover liquid from producing butter. It is commonly found in India, Nepal and Pakistan where it is known as “grandma’s probiotic.” It is also rich in vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus and riboflavin. It is a better alternative for those who are following a low-calorie, low-fat diet.

Yogurt

Including yogurt in your probiotic diet improves your bone health and blood pressure. It is also suitable for children who suffer from diarrhea when taking antibiotics as it relieves irritable bowel syndrome (IRS). It is also a recommended diet ingredient for those who are lactose intolerant since its bacteria transforms the lactose into lactic acid when digested.

Kefir

Kefir is also a dairy product which is a mixture of milk and fermented kefir grains. It first became popular in Russia and Turkey and contains 10 to 34 strains of probiotics. It is fermented with yeast and bacteria making it yield higher contents of good probiotics compared to yogurt.

Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese spice usually mixed in soup, spread on crackers or mixed with butter. It is a product of fermented barley, brown rice, koji and soybean. It is a good source of fiber and protein. It also contains high levels of vitamin K, copper and manganese. Research shows that moderate consumption of miso in a probietics diet decreases the risk of breast cancer among Japanese women, as per Draxe.