Foods That Promote Healthy Bacteria Growth

Though most people think of bacteria as a negative, harmful thing, there is actually a healthy type of bacteria. This type of bacteria lives in the human gut and enhances the immune system function. Eating certain foods can increase the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, so that the body becomes healthier and can fight off sickness easier. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, prebiotics and probiotics include natural or added food ingredients that increase the growth of bacteria in the digestive tract.


Almonds prove a good choice of food for promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. According to Science Daily, almonds naturally contain indigestible prebiotics that feed the live, healthy bacteria in the gut causing them to grow and multiply. The article from Science Daily states that if almonds are not chewed well enough the fat content does not release enough to feed the bacteria. Chewing almonds well or grinding them proves the best way to get their beneficial prebiotics.


Many people know that yogurt contains healthy bacteria, because of the advertisements stating this particular health benefit. While yogurt does not contain prebiotics or food to feed the gut’s bacteria, the World’s Healthiest Foods website states that cultured yogurt has additional live, active bacteria, similar to that already present in the gut. Interestingly, different types and brands of yogurt contain different amounts of probiotics. Many companies print the type of active cultures on the labels of yogurt cups so that users can easily find this information.


According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, artichokes naturally contain prebiotics, or fuel for the healthy bacteria in the body. Jerusalem artichokes contain even more prebiotic compounds than other varieties of artichokes, according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Eating artichokes frequently can help promote healthy bacteria growth over time.


Sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage contains live healthy bacteria, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods website. They explain that the probiotics in sauerkraut come from the fermentation process, and that eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and the Korean version of pickled cabbage called kimchee can be very healthy and can help to boost the immune system. Eat sauerkraut on hot dogs or use it in a variety of different ways such as for a side dish or even with salad.

About this Author

Sarah Davis earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from San Diego State University. She has worked in nutrition in the clinical setting and currently works as a licensed Realtor in California. Davis began writing about nutrition in 2006 and had two chapters published in “The Grocery Store Diet” book in 2009. She enjoys writing about nutrition and real estate and managing her website,