Here Are 11 Probiotic Foods to Eat for a Healthier Gut

The health benefits of probiotics are vast. Aside from bolstering our digestive health, research shows that these healthy strains of bacteria play a role in boosting our mood, mental health, and metabolism. Not to mention our immune system (so, despite what you may have previously thought "healthy bacteria" isn't an oxymoron).

As Paula Simpson, holistic beauty nutritionist and biochemist, explains, "Microflora is introduced at birth, and if our diets are balanced, continues to develop as we age. … Our digestive system contains hundreds of different species of bacteria, which can both be good and bad and have a positive or negative effect on your health. More than 70% of our important immune cells live in the gut and are dependent on healthy gut flora."

Our skin can also majorly benefit from regular probiotic consumption. "Your skin harbors a variety of bacterial communities that play a central role in protection against harmful pathogens and skin immunity, known as the skin microbiome," Simpson says. In fact, regularly consuming probiotics has been shown to lessen acne and eczema.

Encouraging the good strains and averting the bad is as easy as consuming certain types of food—particularly food that naturally contains good bacteria—so that they're introduced to our gut upon digestion. These types of foods are called (yep, you guessed it) probiotic foods, and there are many options. Keep scrolling to see 11 probiotic foods experts recommend including in your healthy-gut diet.

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