Probiotics are all the rage, and for good reason! Not only can they help you achieve and maintain balance in your digestive tract, but they can also boost your health in other areas of the body such as your skin, urinary tract, reproductive tract, and more.
But what exactly are probiotics, and where can you find them? Technically speaking, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are the same as or similar to the good bacteria already in your body, primarily in the digestive tract. You can find them in fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut as well as certain yogurts and even some beverages.
Looking to harness the power of probiotics to boost your own digestion? Look no further! In this article you’ll receive a quick overview of the benefits of probiotics and you’ll receive four simple recipes to start making probiotic drinks at home.
Where shall we start...
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?
You may not realize it, but your digestive tract is actually full of bacteria. Before you start to panic, you need to know that there are both good and bacteria – not all bacteria make you sick! In fact, your body contains a balance of good and bad bacteria known as your microbiome.
Maintaining this balance of good and bad bacteria is essential for many aspects of health and wellness. If your gut flora becomes imbalanced, it can lead to a wide variety of problems including weight gain, constipation or diarrhea, skin problems, and a whole host of other issues.
So, how exactly do probiotics help?
Probiotics can help to increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, helping to balance out the bad. When taken in supplement form, probiotics can prevent constipation and diarrhea, improve your regularity, support weight management, and can even boost your immune system.
But not all probiotics come in a pill bottle!
Natural probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and even pickles. If you enjoy yogurt, you’ve probably already eaten probiotics – many yogurts contain live active cultures that help to balance your gut flora. Probiotics can even be found in certain beverages! Keep reading to receive quick and easy recipes for 5 probiotic drinks.
Want to learn more about the benefits of probiotics and where to find them? Check out our article about the top 8 fermented foods that can boost your health and digestion.
Drink #1: Beet Kvass
Beet kvass is a traditional beverage from eastern Europe made from beets. This beverage has a rich purple color and a unique flavor – plus, it’s full of healthy probiotics!
- 4 medium beets
- ¼ cup whey
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Filtered water, as needed
- Wash and peel the beets then chop them into small cubes.
- Place the beets in a large glass jar (a half gallon in size) then add the whey and salt.
- Fill the jar the rest of the way with water and stir the ingredients well.
- Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth and let it rest at room temperature for 2 days until fermented then transfer to the fridge.
Drink #2: Milk Kefir
Made from milk and known for its tangy taste, milk kefir is an easy probiotic beverage to make at home. Enjoy your homemade kefir on its own or use it in a smoothie with your favorite fruits and veggies.
- 1 cup whole fat milk
- 1 teaspoon active kefir grains
- Stir the milk and the kefir grains together in a clean glass jar.
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band then let it rest at room temperature for 12 to 48 hours.
- Once the mixture has thickened and taken on a tangy flavor, it is ready.
- Strain out the kefir grains and set aside for the next batch.
- Enjoy the kefir at room temperature or refrigerate for up to one week.
Drink #3: Kombucha
To make your own kombucha, you’ll need to order a kombucha SCOBY online before you start – this is simply a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that facilitate the process of fermentation. You can use the SCOBY multiple times, so it’s a great investment.
- 16 cups water, divided
- 8 organic green tea bags
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 kombucha SCOBY
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot then add the green tea bags – steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags then stir in the sugar and let the mixture come to room temperature.
- Pour the sweetened tea into a one-gallon glass jar and add another 8 cups of water.
- Add the SCOBY to the jar then cover with a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
- Let the kombucha ferment in a cool, dark place for 7 to 14 days until the desired level of fermentation is achieved – taste it after 7 days.
- Remove the SCOBY and enjoy your kombucha as is or add flavors if desired.
Drink #4: Probiotic Lemonade
If you’re looking for a light, refreshing beverage that also offers probiotic benefits, you need to try this probiotic lemonade. For a unique flavor, try it with a blend of lemons and limes.
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- Boiling water, as needed
- Juice from 10 lemons
- 1 cup whey
- Filtered water, as needed
- Pour the sugar into a one-gallon glass jar then add just enough boiling water to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the lemon juice then fill the jar about ¾ full with filtered water.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature then stir in the whey.
- Cover the jar with the lid and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
- Transfer the jar to the fridge after 3 days and enjoy as desired.
Drink #5: Fermented Orange Juice
Not only is this fermented orange juice easy to make, but it’s a great way to give your morning meal a probiotic boost. It works best with fresh-squeezed orange juice.
- 5 cups fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup whey
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 cups filtered water
- Pour the orange juice into a large glass jar then stir in the whey along with a pinch of salt.
- Fill the jar with the filtered water then cover with the lid.
- Give the jar a shake then let it rest at room temperature for 48 hours.
- Transfer the jar to the fridge for a few hours then enjoy.
Maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut is essential not only for digestive health, but for other aspects of health and wellness. To boost your good bacteria and to balance it with the bad, try these five probiotic drinks. They’re sure to be a hit!
Carly loves to keep fit, healthy and enjoys passing on any tips and tricks to her readers. She can be found in the kitchen cooking up healthy treats!