You’ve probably heard the term ‘probiotics’ thrown around, especially when discussing healthy eating or fermented foods (side note: probiotics and fermented foods are not the same thing). So what exactly is it? Probiotics are a bacteria or yeast that reside in our body to help improve overall health, mainly the digestive system. When we think of bacteria we usually think of something yucky, but the human body is actually full of good and bad bacteria and probiotics are among the good or helpful bacteria.
So why should we eat probiotic foods? Well because a great way to boost our immune system is by eating probiotics, and since 70-percent of the immune system is in the gut, it just makes sense!
To back this up a 2014 study found evidence to support the health benefits of probiotics, including immune health. The results showed that probiotics not only help to ease the symptoms of a common cold, but can also reduce the risk of acquiring the infection in healthy individuals. With that being said, here is a long list of probiotic foods that will help strengthen your immune system…
Yogurt can be found on pretty much any list of immune boosting foods and that’s because it contains “live and active cultures,” that can stimulate the immune system to help fight diseases. Healthline advises opting for Greek yogurt and checking the label to make sure it contains these important cultures. The source also says to stay away from flavored yogurts because they’re usually loaded with sugar. If you find it hard to eat just plain yogurt, sweeten it yourself at home with healthy fruits.
Another added bonus? Yogurt is a great source of vitamin D. “Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases,” writes Healthline.