The best probiotics are said to be sourced from traditionally celebrated foods like yogurt, natto, miso, kefir, and other fermented treats. Yogurt is particularly created when a good bacteria culture is incorporated in milk and allowed to ferment. There is no doubt that it is among the most popular probiotic sources today, served as a popular snack or dessert. Of course, it is considered more preferable than probiotics supplements.
Yogurt is added to so many recipes that both adults and children can enjoy. But did you know that it can also be used as an effective remedy for simple skin injuries like sunburn?
The Yogurt Solution
Fact: it can feel painful, itchy, and annoying after your skin is exposed to the sun for a number of hours. You can find good use for yogurt here: it works as a simple home remedy for sunburn. Yogurt has cooling enzymatic composition and fat that works to moisturize skin, and Greek yogurt is the most preferred variety.
It is not too likely for your local grocer to sell plain and organic full-fat Greek yogurt. As a substitute, you may use non-organic, low-fat plain yogurt. Do not use non-fat yogurt, though, because it will not work against sunburn.
Here is how to use yogurt. Get a thick blob and apply it to your face, back, legs, chest, and other sunburnt areas. Leave it on for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes, and then wait for it to dry. If most of the yogurt has already dried, rinse it off using lukewarm water. Clean some parts of your skin that still has excess yogurt using your bare hands.
Avoid using a loofah or washcloth for removing yogurt – it will irritate your already-tender skin. Once you are done, use natural soap to wash off the yogurt. The next morning, your sunburn will not be as painful as before, and you would just have to rub more yogurt on if your skin still feels tender.
Other Rich Sources of Probiotics
This is proof that yogurt is not just rich in probiotics, but also a flexible, all-around solution you can use at home. But if the rich probiotic content remains your focus, yogurt is not your only ideal option. Here are other probiotic-packed foods you can try consuming regularly:
- Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk and has properties similar to yogurt. Kefir contains probiotics and enzymes that can play a positive role in gastrointestinal health.
- Natto is a sticky, stringy fermented soybean dish from Japan.
- Lassi is a fermented drink regularly consumed in India. It can come plain or in different fruit-infused flavors.
- Aged cheeses. Fermented cheeses like curd cheese and blue cheese contain good bacteria strains. Remember that these do not include commercial cheeses, like those added to pizzas, spreads, and sandwiches.
- Fermented vegetables. Certain cultures have a high regard for fermented vegetables, which include cabbages, eggplants, carrots, turnips, and cucumbers. Examples of these are kimchi (a Korean delicacy) and sauerkraut.
Fermented soybean dishes are also highly regarded for their probiotic content. They are popular in Asian countries such as Japan and Indonesia, and they include miso and tempeh. However, be sure to set them apart from unfermented or commercial soy, which is hardly a health food.
Another viable option is probiotics supplements, which should have at least 10 live strains, possess around 70 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), have a shelf life of two years at room temperature, and be resistant to acid and bile. As an added bonus, your supplement should have prebiotics and be in powder or liquid form, for those with pill-swallowing issues.
Emilia Ventura is food and recipe blogger who also explores the therapeutic and wellness uses of food ingredients. She has a special interest in probiotics from foods fermented right at her own kitchen.