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Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, probiotics—microorganisms found in food and supps—have numerous potential benefits, including improved digestion. Research even shows that people with more diverse bacteria in their gut tend to weigh less, says Molly Morgan, R.D. “I recommend varying the type of probiotics you consume for greater diversity,” she adds. Here, a few of our fave probiotic options.
Kefir: Most varieties of this fermented dairy beverage have 10 types of probiotics, compared with yogurts, which typically have only two to five strains of good bacteria.
Tempeh or miso: Made from fermented soybeans or other grains, tempeh has a nutty flavor. Miso, a Japanese seasoning, is made from fermented soybeans with salt and the fungus koji-kin.
Pickled vegetables: Unpasteurized sauer–kraut contains at least three strains of helpful bacteria. Pickles made in a sea salt and water solution (not vinegar) encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. Kimchi is made by fermenting vegetables with lactic acid bacteria.