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12 Dietary Sources of Probiotics: Improving digestion with diet

Digestion, General | June 24, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

diet, probiotics, Digestion

12 Dietary Sources of Probiotics: Improving digestion with diet

Yogurt is the leader in foods containing probiotics, but many types of fermented foods can provide these "good bacteria." Not all fermented foods, however, contain live cultures in the finished product. Sourdough bread, for example, is baked, which destroys the live microorganisms. And when fermented beverages, such as beer or wine, are filtered, the microorganisms are removed, as well.


One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra forms of probitoics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurt is made equally. Yogurt products fermented with probiotics should be labeled with a "Live and Active Cultures" seal, specifying that the preparation contains a minimum of 100 million viable bacteria per gram at the time of manufacture. 

Dark ChocolateDark Chocolate

Cocoa does not contain probiotics, but it does mimic prebiotics and probiotics in the digestive tract. 

This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.


Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains.
High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants.


Buttermilk is a good source of probiotics, thanks to the live cultures added to ferment the milk sugars.

Cultured cottage cheese

Unlike regular cottage cheese, it provides live cultures, including L. acidophilus and B. bifidum.


This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract.


Miso is one the main-stays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

MisoMiso can be used in place of salt in favorite recipes, as well as in salad dressings, soups, marinades, dips and pesto. 

For maximum benefit from the live cultures, buy unpasteurized miso paste (located in the refrigerated section of grocery stores) and add to cooked dishes just before removing from heat.


A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. This vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. 


The common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics.


An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. A popular Korean dish, kimchi is fermented and pickled cabbage, mixed with other ingredients, such as red pepper flakes, radish, ginger and onion.

The freshly made kimchi found at Asian markets and restaurants is rich in probiotics, but, like sauerkraut, kimchi in a jar that has been on the shelf for months has been heat treated, and doesn't contain live, active cultures.


Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms.

Store-bought sauerkraut should be refrigerated and labeled as containing live cultures.

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is made by fermenting yeasts and bacteria with sweetened tea, resulting in a slightly carbonated, probiotic-rich beverage. Australia's best online pharmacy


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Chocolate, gut microbiota, and human health

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