Best Sources of Probiotics: Foods, Supplements, and Drinks

Best Sources of Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can benefit your health when consumed in adequate amounts. They can help balance your gut flora, support your immune system, and prevent or treat various digestive disorders.


But where can you find probiotics? Here are some of the best sources of probiotics that you can include in your diet.




Many foods are naturally rich in probiotics, especially fermented ones. Fermentation is a process that involves bacteria or yeast breaking down sugars in food, creating acids, gases, or alcohol. Fermented foods not only have a longer shelf life and a distinctive taste, but they also contain beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health.


Some of the most common fermented foods that are good sources of probiotics are:


Yogurt: Yogurt is one of the most popular and widely available probiotic foods. It is made from milk fermented by lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. Yogurt can help improve your digestion, boost your immunity, and lower your cholesterol levels. To get the most out of yogurt, look for plain, unsweetened varieties that have live or active cultures on the label.


Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to yogurt, but with a thinner consistency and a tangier flavor. It is made by adding kefir grains, which are cultures of yeast and bacteria, to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir has more diverse and potent probiotics than yogurt, as well as other nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Kefir can help improve your digestion, fight infections, and reduce inflammation. You can drink kefir plain or add it to smoothies, cereals, or baked goods.


Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is finely chopped cabbage that is fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is a traditional food in many European countries, especially Germany. Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics, as well as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. Sauerkraut can help improve your digestion, prevent constipation, and enhance your immunity. You can eat sauerkraut raw or cooked, as a side dish or a condiment.


Miso: Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, rice, barley, or other grains. It is a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine and is used to make soups, sauces, dressings, and marinades. Miso is high in probiotics, as well as protein, antioxidants, and minerals such as copper, manganese, and zinc. Miso can help improve your digestion, lower your blood pressure, and protect your liver. You can use miso to add flavor and depth to your dishes, but be careful not to overheat it as high temperatures can kill the probiotics.


Tempeh: Tempeh is another fermented soy product that has a firm texture and a nutty flavor. It’s high in probiotics, protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and phytoestrogens (plant compounds that can mimic estrogen in the body). Tempeh can also lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control, and reduce menopausal symptoms. You can bake, fry, or grill tempeh and use it as a meat substitute.


Kimchi: Kimchi is a spicy Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables, and is rich in probiotics.



Probiotic supplements


If you don’t like or can’t eat fermented foods, you can still get probiotics from supplements. Probiotic supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, liquids, or gummies.


They contain different types and amounts of probiotic strains, which may have different effects on your health.


If you’re looking for the best probiotic supplements, you might want to check out these three top brands:


Culturelle: This brand offers different formulas for digestive health, women’s health, immune support and more. They use a patented strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG that has been clinically proven to survive stomach acid and colonize the gut.


Bio-Kult: This brand has a range of products that contain multiple strains of live bacteria, including some that are specific for men, children, travellers and mood. They also have a prebiotic and probiotic blend that supports gut healing and immunity.


Symprove: This brand uses a unique liquid delivery system that ensures the live bacteria reach the gut alive and active. They have a mango and passion fruit flavour drink that contains four strains of bacteria and is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.


These are just some of the best probiotic supplements on the market, but you should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding.



Probiotic drinks


If you’re looking for some tasty and healthy probiotic drinks, here are three options you might want to try.


First, there’s kombucha, a fermented tea drink that contains live bacteria and yeast. Kombucha can help improve your digestion, immunity and mood.


Second, there’s kefir, a dairy-based drink that is similar to yogurt but has more probiotics and less sugar. Kefir can boost your bone health, lower your cholesterol and fight inflammation.


Third, there’s water kefir, a vegan alternative to dairy kefir that is made with water, sugar and kefir grains. Water kefir can hydrate you, detoxify you and balance your gut flora.


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