11 Probiotic Foods That Improve Digestion, Reduce Depression and Promote Heart Health

5. Natto

Natto is another fermented soybean product, like tempeh and miso.

It contains a bacterial strain called Bacillus subtilis. Natto is a staple in Japanese kitchens. It is typically mixed with rice and served with breakfast. It has a distinctive smell, slimy texture and strong flavor. Natto is rich in protein and vitamin K2, which is important for bone health and cardiovascular health (17, 30, 31).

A study in older Japanese men found that consuming natto on a regular basis was associated with higher bone mineral density. This is attributed to the high vitamin K2 content of natto (32). Other studies suggest that natto may help prevent osteoporosis in women (33, 34).

Bottom Line: Natto is a fermented soy product that is a staple in Japanese kitchens. It contains a high amount of vitamin K2, which may help prevent osteoporosis and heart attacks.

Some Types of Cheese

Cheese

Although most types of cheese are fermented, that does not mean that all of them contain probiotics. Therefore, it is important to look for live and active cultures on the food labels.

The good bacteria survive the aging process in some cheeses, including Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese (35, 36). Cheese is highly nutritious, and is a very good source of protein. It is also rich in important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium (37). Moderate consumption of dairy products, such as cheese, may even lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis (38, 39).

Bottom Line: Only some types of cheese contain probiotics, including cheddar, mozzarella and gouda. Cheese is very nutritious, and may benefit heart and bone health.

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Kris Gunnars is a medical student, personal trainer and someone who has spent years reading books, blogs and research studies on health and nutrition. Kris believes that there is an immense amount of evidence that runs completely contradictory to what the governments and dietitians around the world are recommending. Since starting medical school and becoming a personal trainer, he's learned that the textbooks on nutrition that our future doctors and health authorities read are based on that same faulty or nonexistent evidence. Kris' goal is change that! For more from Kris- Subscribe to Free Updates from his website or click the links above to follow him on Facebook or Twitter.