What are some foods that are rich in probiotics?

By Brooke Strickland

Keeping a healthy amount of “good” bacteria in your gut is vital to maintaining a healthy, happy digestive system.  You’ll hear probiotics talked about a lot nowadays. This is because many times people simply don’t have enough balance of good bacteria in their gut.

If you’ve had to take a round of antibiotics recently, these probably wiped out both the good and bad bacteria from your gut.  So, when you have completed the antibiotics, make sure you jumpstart your intake of probiotics to build up your balance of good bacteria.    

Probiotics come in a variety of supplements at health food stores.  They usually come in powders that you can sprinkle on your food.  They are also available in pills.  There are also a variety of foods that are rich in probiotics, which are listed in greater detail below.

- Yogurt: This one is a pretty well-known way to keep a healthy balance in your gut.  Make sure you look at the label to see if it includes “live and active cultures.”  Yogurt is a great way to start your morning.  Pair with a bowl of cereal and you’re good to go! Or enjoy it as a snack at night before bed!

 - Sauerkraut: Look for unpasteurized sauerkraut – helpful bacteria is killed in the pasteurized types.  Add sauerkraut as a regular side dish at dinner.  Or, serve it on top of pork tenderloin or an occasional hot dog.

-Kefir: This tangy dairy product is similar to yogurt.  It’s rich in probiotics as well as antioxidants!  It can be found in most health stores.

 - Kombucha:  This fermented tea is part of the health food craze lately. It is known for many health benefits such as boosting energy and losing weight, but it also contains high levels of healthy gut bacteria. Instead of an unhealthy can of soda at lunch or sweet fruit juice at breakfast, drink kombucha instead!

 -Pickles:  The naturally fermented varieties where vinegar is absent are the pickles you should look for with high probiotic content. Keep pickles on hand for snacking or as a side with your next sandwich.

-Miso: Miso soup is a traditional staple in Japan.  Miso is filled with probiotics and is low in calories and high in antioxidants. 


“Top 10 Probiotic Foods to Add To Your Diet.” Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM. Global Healing Center.  January 21, 2011. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/probiotic-foods/
Accessed April 18, 2013.

“The Truth About Probiotics and Your Gut.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-10/slideshow-probiotics  Accessed April 18, 2013.

“13 Probiotic-Filled Foods.” Reader’s Digest.  http://www.rd.com/slideshows/13-probiotic-filled-foods/#slideshow=slide9
Accessed April 18, 2013.