You may have noticed the term “probiotic” popping up more often these days. But do you know what it means? I didn’t until a little while ago, but probiotic foods are key to a healthy diet. Probiotics are living microorganisms that live in some foods, including yogurt, miso and pickled veggies. They’re created during the fermentation process, and are similar to “good bacteria” that naturally occur in your digestive system.

While it may be weird to think about eating living foods, probiotics are really important to have in your system. They help with everything from indigestion and irritable bowl syndrome to arthritis and cancer. Plus they boost your immune system so you’re healthier all around.

A diet rich in probiotics will ensure your guts are healthy, improving your digestion and colon health. And want to know the best part? All of the probiotic foods and drinks mentioned below are absolutely delicious!

1. Kombucha

I was recently introduced to this beverage while I was sick, and now I’m hooked! It’s made by fermenting sweetened tea, making it bubbly and refreshing, and is referred to as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the ancient Chinese. It provides detoxification for your liver, aids digestion and gut health, and even has arthritis treating properties.

2. Kimchi

The first time I tried kimchi it was on top of French fries from the Korean snack bar Banh Mi Boys. I fell for its delicious taste way before I knew how healthy it was! Made by fermenting and pickling cabbage and other veggies, kimchi is a tasty way to get your probiotic kick. It also contains vitamin B, which boosts your energy levels and immune system.

3. Yogurt

Probably the most recognizable food on this list, yogurt is a great source of good-for-you bacteria. When buying yogurt (soy or regular) look for the words “live and active cultures” to ensure a high probiotic content. Eat it straight, with granola and fruit, or put it into your smoothies for a healthy kick.

4. Miso

I love miso, especially miso soup. It’s a Japanese seasoning made by fermenting rye, barley or rice, and it packs lots of benefits. It’s high in vitamin B12 and contains trace levels of minerals including zinc, copper and manganese, which are important for your overall health.

5. Kefir

Kefir is a health drink made my adding kefir grains to milk and letting the mixture ferment. The fermentation of the milk breaks down lactose, but you can also find non-dairy kefir using coconut water and fruit juice. It also packs a hefty dose of protein and is great for an on-the-go breakfast.

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Probiotics are living microorganisms that reside in certain foods, including yogurt, miso and pickled veggies. They mimic 'good bacteria' that naturally occur in your digestive system, and help with everything from indigestion and irritable bowl syndrome to arthritis and cancer, while also boosting your immune system so you’re healthier all around. Check out 5 delicious probiotic foods you should be eating RIGHT NOW!

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Kate
Kate is a freelance writer with a background in fashion, beauty and wellness. When she’s not trying out new recipes, taking a hot yoga class, or curled up with a good book, you can find her blogging about lifestyle tips and entrepreneurialism at Layered Indulgence.

This is an excerpt from the article 5 Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating which originally appeared on http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com/.