We often associate probiotics with dairy products such as bio live yogurt or kefir. However, dairy products from cows milk are difficult for the human digestive system to break down. For this reason, many people are unable to take probiotic drinks due to a lactose intolerance. Vegans wanting to improve their digestive health cannot consume dairy products because of their dieting principles. For these reasons, non dairy probiotics are a great alternative.
Many of us think that non dairy probiotics are relatively new however, the Babylonians were eating probiotics 5000 years ago. In the good old days, long before freezers were invented, people preserved their foods by fermenting them.
This fermentation process – that involves the interaction of lactic acid and other yeast type microbes - produces different species of living microorganisms or bacteria. These bacteria break down the food making it more digestible for the body.
Later on medical science discovered that these living bacteria had many beneficial affects on our digestive system. By consuming these probiotics it may help to replenish and protect our own intestinal flora and stop the spread of bad bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract.
There are different types or ‘strains’ of probiotics with fancy names that include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Each of these strains have different characteristics and uses and for this reason, it is recommended that you supply your intestinal tract with a combination of different strains to experience the full non dairy probiotics benefits.
Below are a list of non dairy probiotics including both food and drink:
Non Dairy Sources of Probiotic Foods
This is a delicious, but quite spicy Asian dish, that is very popular in Korea. The main ingredient for kimchi is the cabbage, which is a rich source of dietary fiber and the vitamins A,B, and C.
The cabbage is often mixed in with other vegetables including onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, choi sam, Korean radish or lettuce. Its spiciness is derived from adding chilli sauce or oil. Fish sauce is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes and this is added to give it a salty taste.
When all the ingredients are mixed in the kimchi is left to ferment in a glass jar for a couple of days. It is often used as dish on its own or as a side dish.
A recent medical study published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology discovered that kimchi has its own unique probiotic strain, which is aptly named Lactobacillus kimchii.
This dish also originates from Asia and specifically the beautiful islands of Indonesia. The Indonesians eat a very healthy diet and one of those is the non dairy probiotic dish called tempeh. This is made from unfermented soy beans.
Tempeh is made by using partially cooked fermented soybeans and then adding a live culture or fungi called
Rhizopus oligosporusor Rhizopus oryzae. The mixture is then left to ferment for a few days. During the fermentation process the live culture binds the soybeans together and this creates a solid slab of cake. Tempeh can by bought ready made in many Asian stores, or health food shops.
Tempeh is highly nutritious and is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, vitamin B and iron. So, an all in all round healthy food.
In Asia the tempeh is often deep fried, which can kill the live cultures. You can eat it raw, however its taste is quite pungent and not to everyone’s liking. Alternatively, you could either boil or steam it for a few minutes or chop it up into thin slices and add into your stir fry.
Miso is another a nondairy fermented food that is derived from the soybean. This is very popular in Japan and is added to one of their most famous dishes, the Miso soup. The Japanese do not limit the use of miso to just soup as they add it to many rice dishes and use it as a dipping sauce.
Miso is made by combining soy beans, rice or wheat together with salt and a fungus culture called Koji. The mixture is put into large vats and these can be left to ferment for up to three years or more.
Miso can come in white red or brown. The darker the miso the longer it has been fermented and the stronger the taste will be. The lighter shades of miso are sweeter in taste and are only fermented for a few months.
Miso is highly nutritious and is rich in isoflavones and soy protein and a 2003 clinical study found that miso helped to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Non Dairy Probiotic Drinks
This is a health tea originating from Asia. Sweetened tea leaves are fermented with a kombu live culture that absorbs the sugars from the tea. The absorption creates a variety of nutrients including amino acids, enzymes and even vitamins.
It also creates a number of health promoting acids that include ascetic acid, which is known to the kill the bad bacteria in our stomachs and gluconic acid, which can help inhibit yeast infections.
Kombucha is made using a variety of leaves from, black, green, white, and oolong tea leaves. Each type of tea leaf gives its own unique flavor and aroma.
You can buy kombucha the tea direct from a health store or you can buy a kombucha brewing kit online to make your own brew at home.
Kefir from Soy
Kefir is a yogurt style drink normally made from cows or goats milk however, there is a non dairy yogurt with probiotics that uses fermented soy beans. This soy kefir normally includes the strains bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.
Probiotic Fruit and Vegetable Juices
These juices are becoming more popular with vegans and they are a great alternative for people who have allergies from taking dairy products. The juices are simply fortified with probiotics and come in a range of different sized bottles.
However, make sure the juices you buy are not pasteurized as this kills off the probiotic cultures and digestive enzymes.
2 Key Weaknesses of Non Dairy Probiotics
The 2 weaknesses with external strains of probiotics are their fragility and short shelf life. They need support to ensure they arrive in your digestive system intact and for these reasons, you need to prebiotics to enable them to do that.
Prebiotics create the optimal gut environment for probiotics to grow and thrive. They do this by clearing out all toxins from the colon and help make it more alkaline – probiotics find it hard to survive if your digestive tact is highly acidic.
But most importantly, probiotics need food once they reach your intestines, otherwise they will starve. Again, prebiotics ferment in your small and large intestine and this produces food for the probiotics to feed on and make them stronger.
Prebiotics Are Key To Rebuilding The
Beneficial Bacteria In your Gut
Although stimulating the growth of the good bacteria is important, it is not enough to balance your digestive system, which is the foundation for overall health.
For this to happen your body needs a combination of prebiotics, dietary fibre, digestive enzymes and phenolic compounds. This is were a natural prebiotic supplement can make the difference, because acquiring all these components in the right combinations and quantities is very difficult to achieve.
From our extensive research, there is only one natural prebiotic supplement that has all these essential components for digestive health contained in one easy to swallow capsule – and its name is – MX Kiwi Biotic.
Now, that you realize probiotics cannot do it on their own, why not check out MX Kiwi Biotic today. Taking this, combined with your own non dairy probiotics recipes, will provide you with the best opportunity for true health and vitality.
Always remember – a healthy digestion means a healthy body and mind.