Probiotic Sources that Improve Gut Health

  • Gut health is linked to many health functions in the body, so it’s crucial to support it properly.
  • Managing stress, exercising, eating a diet rich in pre-and probiotics, and incorporating probiotic supplements can better promote gut health in the long term.
  • There are several probiotic strains, and each has a specific function, so it’s essential to have varied probiotics sources. 

Probiotics are live strains of healthy bacteria that help boost immune function, digestion, and gut health. While you can get probiotics from pickled veggies and bubbly kombucha, getting your probiotics from more sources will be better for your gut health in the long term.

Here are some probiotic sources that registered dietitians and nutrition experts recommend and why having diverse probiotic sources is essential for gut health.

The best sources of probiotics

1. Probiotic supplements

According to registered dietitian Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, unmanaged lifestyle factors, like diet and stress levels, can require a specific probiotics strain. Davar recommends taking a probiotic supplement that can help restore the gut microbiome after lifestyle changes that can cause an imbalance of gut bacteria, such as diet, travel, or the use of antibiotics. 

2. Fermented Foods

Says Dr. Marvin Singh, an integrative gastroenterologist, eating fermented or other probiotic-rich foods provide nutritional and probiotic benefits. Davar recommends fermented vegetables, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, tofu, Japanese miso, olives, beets, carrots, and pickles without sugar. Plain yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kefir, and kombucha, also have live cultures that can benefit the gut. She says consuming an abundance of these foods daily is good for general wellness and microbiome maintenance. She also recommends adding sourdough bread, chocolate, and aged cheese as part of a healthy, balanced diet to prevent various symptoms that can lead to G.I. discomfort and autoimmune conditions. 

What about prebiotics?

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that are non-digestible and help nourish the probiotics. Gut health expert Dr. Vincent Pedre says prebiotics are as crucial as probiotics for gut health.  

Prebiotics feed and restores the probiotics, which can improve G.I. health.

Whole-grain foods, onions, garlic, leeks, celery, asparagus, artichokes, beans, bananas, and berries are good examples of prebiotics. 

The importance of getting a wide variety of probiotics

Specific probiotic strains have different functions, so it’s essential to have diverse probiotic sources through food and supplements to achieve the best results.

Other things that can affect the microbiome’s balance in the gut include psychological stress, food poisoning, parasites, and other underlying gastrointestinal issues. Davar says consuming varied sources of reasonable doses of probiotics (1 to 30 billion CFU) can benefit the gut.

Source: Mind Body Green


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