Probiotics are found in yogurt and other fermented dairy products like kefir, naturally aged cheese like Gouda, fermented soybean foods like miso and tempeh, naturally fermented sour pickles and cabbage like sauerkraut and kimchi, sourdough bread, and the fermented tea kombucha, says Newgent.
« You can get plenty of probiotics from foods you eat, » Newgent says. « If you’re regularly eating foods rich in probiotics, purchasing these probiotic beverages isn’t necessary, especially if you’re on a tight food budget. » A 32-ounce bottle of kefir has four servings and can cost $20-40. But it’s certainly fine to opt for a probiotic beverage, especially if you have minor digestive issues or don’t regularly consume natural food sources of these good bacteria, says Newgent. « I’d much rather see people drinking probiotic beverages than a soda! »
While there isn’t a daily-recommended probiotics quota yet, Newgent suggests including one serving of probiotic-rich food daily, such as one cup of plain yogurt.
If you prefer to get probiotics through yogurt, look for products that carry the National Yogurt Association’s « Live & Active Culture » seal. This seal means the refrigerated yogurt product contains 100 million or more cultures per gram at production time and the frozen yogurt product contains 10 million or more cultures per gram at production time, says Newgent. If you see this seal, you’ll know you’re getting significant probiotics. Obtaining the seal is voluntary, so if you don’t see it, make sure the label of your yogurt or frozen yogurt contains the phrase « live and active cultures » so you know it contains the healthy bacteria that helps your gut.