Our Family Favourite Vegan Probiotics and Prebiotics for a Healthy Gut and Immune System
Welcome back to the blog! Today we are chatting all about probiotics and prebiotics to get everyone’s gut happy and healthy. As a family, we make sure to include at least one of our Favourite Vegan Probiotics in our bellies each day along with their partnering prebiotic friends. If you are new to adding either of these to your diet, then you may be super surprised at how many of these you are already intaking!
What are probiotics? Why do I need them?
They are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system and your overall health. Live bacteria may not sound good, but in fact, these are good bacteria that are super helpful because they keep our guts healthy. I am a firm believer in our gut being the basis of our health – so you bet your butt we ensure that we reach our daily requirement for them!
Another great benefit of probiotics is that they help your body to fight the good fight when you are on antibiotics. Antibiotics are great for fighting infections but you do lose a lot of good bacteria during this fight. By adding probiotics to your daily routine while also taking antibiotics, you are ensuring that your body is well armed for the big battle.
Probiotics also help to balance your good and bad bacteria to feel as good as you should. SO many of us have no idea how good our bodies can feel; we are so used to feeling sluggish and tired all the time. By listening to our bodies and taking the proper precautions, we can find out how amazing life can truly be.
This fermented cabbage dish is an amazing source of the probiotic Lactobacillus. Sauerkraut is available at most stores around the world and can even be made in your own home. I absolutely love to add sauerkraut to sandwiches and salads; it is a real treat over here where we live! Don’t worry if you are not a fan of this fermented dish, we have plenty of others on our list.
This is probably one of the easiest to add to our family’s diet because the boys are obsessed with tempeh. If you haven’t tried this amazing fermented tofu yet, then you absolutely must! It has a delicious nutty flavor and cooks so beautifully with a simple blend of soy sauce and maple syrup.
Here is my favorite way to cook tempeh:
A block of tempeh, sliced into strips
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Simply slice the tempeh into strips and add to a skillet with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Bring to a quick boil and then simmer on low to allow the tempeh to soak in the yummy goodness of the sauce. Feel free to add in any extra spices or herbs as you wish. I love to play around with spices – so many options! Once the broth has evaporated, flip and cook on the other side until brown. Serve in anything and everything!
If you follow our weekly meal plans, then you know we are all about the sourdough bread. This bread is such an amazing probiotic and can even be made at home. Traditionally, sourdough bread begins with a sourdough starter where one allows the flour and water to ferment over several days. This is when the good bacteria are formed and turns into your delicious probiotic bread!
It is crucial to understand that not all sourdough bread of today contains probiotics. I highly recommend finding a baker that you trust (think a little shop bakery) or creating your own. Always check the ingredients before purchasing sourdough bread to ensure that it has been fermented!
This is another super easy addition to any diet. One could add miso to dressings, broth, marinades and so much more. Miso comes in a powder or paste form that can easily be turned into a delicious broth for the cold and flu season. I remember growing up and everyone telling me that miso soup was so much better than chicken noodle soup and now we know why! It’s all about those probiotics.
*Be sure to keep the miso soup water warm when mixing in the paste or powder. Hot water can kill some of your much need probiotic magic!
Not all yogurts are created equal, so be sure to read the labels and find a yogurt brand that boasts about their probiotic cultures. Be sure to check the label for Lactobacillus. You can also purchase probiotic tablets from your local health food store and add these into a homemade yogurt recipe! We love to make our own yogurt with the following recipe;
Homemade Vegan Yogurt
1 package silken tofu
1 pineapple, diced
Juice of one lemon
1 probiotic tablet, opened and powder added to the mix
Maple syrup as needed to sweeten
Simply blend and store in the refrigerator until the yogurt has set.
Just a little tip, if you are a yogurt lover, I would suggest going with a vegan culture starter like this one here. It will give you a much more store-bought yogurt version.
Kombucha has definitely made a come back in recent years. This fermented tea can be made at home for a very inexpensive beverage or store-bought for a very expensive one. It’s your pick!
To create your own, you will need a SCOBY starter kit like this one here.
I really like making our own kombucha because other than the benefits, it’s just really fun to watch. The kids love it!
**Kombucha does contain a small percentage of alcohol. I would test your homemade batch to be sure the levels are low enough if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Our children do not drink kombucha; they have plenty of other probiotic foods to snack on. Just a helpful tip!
Pickled foods are amazing for probiotics (and sodium too – so eat in moderation). You can pickle your own veggie or purchase them at farmers’ markets or health food shops. Some amazing vegetables to pickle are cucumbers, green beans, radishes, cauliflower, and bell peppers.
Prebiotics are not as popular as their buddy, the probiotics, but please do not forget about these powerhouses! Ensuring your proper intake of prebiotics is very important to support the grown of healthy bacteria, which fights off pathogenic or disease-promoting bacteria.
- Whole Oats
- Jerusalem artichokes
Additionally, here are a few of our favorite prebiotic brands to get you started
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