Probiotics are micro-organisms, found in many fermented foods, that are similar to the micro-organisms that are found in the human gut. Also known as the friendly bacteria, probiotics have been reported to help with many digestive issues in pregnant women. Eating probiotic foods (foods that contain live friendly bacteria) have been known to help with heartburn, cramping, diarrhea, and many other digestive problems. This is because when this bacteria is introduced into the human gut it helps to break down what we eat and fuel the cells that line our intestines.
Usually when people think about probiotic foods they think of dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. But! there is a wonderful range of probiotic vegan foods. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Dairy Free Yogurt: There are many types of dairy free yogurts. Most notably of course being soy and coconut. My favorite is So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk. I buy the plain unsweetened (no need for extra sugar) and add it to my smoothies every morning. Or you can just grab a bowl full and top with nuts and agave nectar for an afternoon snack.
• Sauerkraut: Usually found atop ballpark hotdogs, sauerkraut is a vitamin rich food made from fermented cabbage. In addition to eating it on soy dogs, it is also a great add on to any sandwich or even by its self as a quick snack. Just be sure what you are buying says “LIVE” on the package. There are many cheap sauerkrauts, usually the stuff in cans, that do not contain any live bacteria. You should have no problem finding the good stuff at your local health food store.