Probiotics Research Is Still New
While the new study offers promising results, it was conducted on a small sample size of only 62 participants. Additionally, theres still a lot that scientists dont know about probiotics.
The topic is still really new, Avila says, adding that it may be trial-and-error process to figure out which probiotics work best for individuals by cycling through different supplement brands.
As studies with positive results continue to be published, more funding may be funneled into probiotics research. For instance, the National Institutes of Health has already backed a follow-up study.
Im very hopeful for the future of probiotics, Avila says. In the marketplace right now, there are probiotics that help with healthy-looking skin and probiotics that help with levels of cholesterol levels. There are so many applications for probiotics that we are just starting to find out about.
Dannon Activia Probiotic Yogurt
Per 1 cup, vanilla: 90 calories, 1.5 g fat , 12 g sugar, 4 g protein
“Dannon Activia Yogurt is a good option if you don’t like that tart flavor and thick texture typical of Greek yogurts,” Baumohl says. It’s available in individual or large sizes. “One thing to note about Activia is that it will be much lower in the protein content,” Baumohl says a serving contains 4 grams, or 8 percent of your daily value .
Buy it: Price: $3.39 per four-pack
What Is The Healthiest Yogurt Brand To Buy
The 15 healthiest Greek yogurt brands.
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What Is The Best Time To Eat Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotics are most effective when they have been taken on an empty stomach to make sure the good bacteria makes it to the gut as quickly as possible. The best time to take a probiotic is either first thing in the morning before eating breakfast or before going to sleep at night.
What To Look For In A Probiotic Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of these bacteria. But when it comes to probiotics, not all yogurts are created equally. Here are the factors to consider when perusing the yogurt options at the store:
- Live and active cultures:“To receive the health benefits, it’s important that the organisms in your yogurt are alive and active during their shelf life,” says Ashley Baumohl, MPH, RD, a clinical dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. To that end, in January 2021, the FDA specified that yogurts must identify if they contain live and active cultures or not. “Seeing that stamp of live cultures means that that yogurt contains, at a minimum, billions of colony-forming units per gram , a scientific way of measuring bacterial load,” Baumohl says.
- Zero or minimal additives: You’ll want to look for artificial sweeteners, stabilizers, added sugar and color and flavor additives in the ingredient list and try to avoid them, Middleberg says. “These ingredients negatively impact the gut microflora.” Your best bet: a short ingredient list, Middleberg says.
- Low or no added sugar: Go for plain yogurt when you can, and sweeten it yourself with fresh or dried fruit. If you’re choosing a flavored yogurt, try to aim for under 8 grams of added sugar.
Here’s a look at some of the best probiotic yogurts pull up this list next time you’re feeling daunted by the wall of options in the grocery store’s dairy section.
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The #1 Best Yogurt For Gut Health Is Kefir
Kefir often gets thrown into the yogurt category, and you will often find it near yogurt in the grocery store however, it is considered to be a “liquid milk beverage”. Regular yogurt and kefir are both fermented dairy products and actually have a similar nutrient profile. While calories, protein, and calcium remain similar, kefir often contains more probiotics than yogurt. Some data even suggests kefir, which can average 61 different strains of probiotic bacteria, contains as much as three times the number of probiotics in regular yogurt.
READ MORE: 6 Reasons to Start Drinking Kefir
Best Kefir Yogurt Astro Kefir Probiotic Yogurt
- Per serving : 105 calories, 5 g fat , 75 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 6 g protein
- Probiotic strains: 2 Billion Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
This new product offered by Astro provides more than 2 billion active probiotic cultures per serving of 100g. It comes in a variety of flavours, and is available in tubs, multipacks, and as a yogurt drink.
It also comes in plain, so you can avoid the added sugars in the flavoured varieties.
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Cocojune Organic Pure Cultured Coconut
Per 4 oz., plain: 190 calories, 18 g fat , 2 g sugar,2 g protein
Cocojune is one of Middleberg’s favorite plant-based yogurts. This organic coconut-based yogurt is made with vegan probiotic cultures and contains Bifidobacterium Anim. S. Lactis Bb-12, Lactobacillus Acidophilus La-5, Lactobacillus Paracasei Crl 431 Lactobacillus Del. S. Bulgaricus, Streptococcus Thermophilus.
“It’s a wonderful addition to the diet if avoiding dairy and looking to improve gut health,” Middleberg says.
Buy it: Price: $2.99
Is It Better To Consume Probiotics Through Pills Or By Eating Foods With Probiotics
There are several reasons why probiotic foods are the preferred choice for getting probiotic bacteria over pills. Consuming probiotics through dairy foods allows the stomach acids to be buffered and increases the chance that the probiotics will survive and make it to the intestine. Probiotic supplements in the form of pills dont usually provide nutrients that the cultures found in probiotic foods like yogurt produce during fermentation. Finally, fermented dairy products, like yogurt, are also a source of nutrients that are critical for good health such as calcium, protein, and potassium.
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How Long Do Probiotics Last
Most probiotic supplements indicate a shelf life on their label of about one year. According to regulations, this means that the number of probiotics present in the supplement at the time of manufacturing must remain the same until they reach that expiry date.
Unfortunately, probiotics are very sensitive to environmental conditions, and elements like heat and light can kill them in both supplements and food. This means that if the product has been handled improperly during transportation, or if you stored it incorrectly, the probiotics may no longer be living.
Expired probiotics will not harm you, however you will not experience their benefits if they are expired.
The difficulty is that labelling regulations require manufacturers to put the total number of probiotics on their container, but this weight could include both the living and dead microorganisms.
You might purchase a product that claims it contains 10 billion live bacterial cultures, but there is no good way of knowing whether or not those bacteria are alive or dead. For this reason, researchers at Harvard Health Publishing recommend skipping the supplement altogether and getting your daily dose of probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt.
Looking Beyond Yogurt For Probiotics
What if you are not a yogurt enthusiast, or simply want more options? Luckily, many other foods also serve up a good dose of good bacteria. They come in various flavors and textures, so odds are you will find a few to your liking.
Kefir. This yogurtlike drink has a tart flavor, with a thinner consistency than yogurt. The beverage is usually made with dairy milk, but also comes in non-dairy alternatives, like coconut water, coconut milk, and rice milk. Kefir also comes in fruit and vegetable flavors, or you can add flavors yourself like cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin spice. It is also an excellent base for smoothies.
Kimchi. Kimchi is a spicy, reddish fermented cabbage dish made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, and chili peppers. Its often served alone or mixed with rice or noodles. You can also add it to scrambled eggs or on top of potatoes. You can find it at most grocery stores or Asian markets.
Kombucha. This fermented tea drink has a tangy-tart flavor. Kombucha contains caffeine comparable to some other tea drinks. Some brands have added sugar, so check the label and avoid anything with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Miso. A popular paste in Japanese cuisine, miso is made from soybeans fermented with brown rice. It has a strong, salty flavor, and a little goes a long way. Use it as a dipping sauce, spread over your toast, or add it to marinades for fish, meats, and vegetables.
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Does Coffee Affect Probiotics
Research shows that regular and decaffeinated roasted coffee can help to grow probiotic strains as it has a prebiotic effect, thought to be due to the polyphenols it contains, and different strains are able to use different parts of the coffee to grow3.
How Much Yogurt To Eat When Taking Antibiotics
Consuming 450ml of yogurt everyday while taking antibiotics is beneficial for your gut microbiome, and will also help reduce the side effects associated with antibiotics. However, the yogurt you choose is also important these are the factors you should look for:
- Minimum of 100 million live active cultures per gram
- Low or no sugar
- Low calcium content
Its just as important to wait at least 2 hours between consuming yogurt and/or antibiotics. This is because dairy products including yogurt contain calcium, which can bind to the antibiotics and makes it less effective.
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How Long Should You Ferment Homemade Yogurt
This answer will depend on your final desired results! If you want a less tangy or thick yogurt, ferment for around 8 hours. For a thick, tangy, and probiotic-rich yogurt, go closer to 24 hours. After 24 hours, you start to hit the law of diminishing returnsyou begin to get bacterial die-off because the more aggressive bacteria start to beat out the other probiotics. After about 36 hours, the whole shebang is so volatile that it wont last long in the fridge anymore. 24 hours is the way to goset a timer!
Yogurt And Your Health
Yogurt is a nutrient-rich food that fuels your body with protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and some key fatty acids that your body needs to stay healthy.
Studies have also shown numerous health benefits for regular yogurt eaters. For starters, they are thinner than people who don’t eat yogurt.
But truthfully, it’s still not totally clear whether eating yogurt will slim your waistline. It’s possible that people who eat yogurt are thinner because they have better eating habits overall. But what yogurt can do particularly yogurt with a high amount of protein is keep you feeling full, which might help you eat less and lose weight.
Yogurt isn’t officially yogurt according to FDA standards without S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. Some brands of yogurt will feature a “Live & Active Cultures ” seal from the National Yogurt Association . The NYA provides voluntary certification to companies that make yogurt, and the seal tells you that the brand has at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time it’s manufactured. Multiple brands of yogurt may contain live and active cultures even though the label may not explicitly list the bacteria or say “live and active cultures.”
Some yogurts have been heat-treated, a process that kills the cultures. Or the yogurt maker may just stir live, active cultures into the recipe and skip the fermenting process used to make yogurt. Yogurt must be fermented to get the NYA seal.
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Do All Yogurts Contain Probiotics
While all yogurts have live and active cultures, not all yogurts have probiotic strains that provide specific health benefits such as supporting gut health and contributing to the maintenance of a balanced gut microbiota. Activia contains billions of the probiotic culture Bifidobacterium animalis lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494, which has been shown to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract in sufficient amounts. Activia is a probiotic yogurt that may help reduce the frequency of minor digestive discomfort when consumed twice a day for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Minor digestive discomfort includes bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, and rumbling.
Should You Keep Your Probiotics In The Fridge
Keeping your yogurt in the fridge is a no-brainer. But is it necessary to keep probiotic supplements in the fridge? Probiotic foods and supplements must be carefully produced and stored to reap the benefits of live microorganisms. Foods or supplements with live probiotics can have a short shelf-life and often require refrigeration. However, not all probiotics supplements require refrigeration. Check the packaging of the supplements you buy for more specific information.
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Anitas Vegan Plain Coconut Yogurt
Per 6 oz., plain: 395 calories, 33 g fat , 3 g sugar, 4 g protein
Another plant-based, probiotic-rich option Middleberg recommends is Anita’s Coconut Yogurt. Each serving contains more than 300 billion live probiotic cultures per serving, per the Anita’s Coconut Yogurt website.
But note that one 6-ounce serving is high in calories and saturated fat, so you might want to enjoy a half serving at a time or have Anita’s less frequently.
Buy it: Price: $10.99
What Is The Best Probiotic Yogurt Drink
Here, the best probiotic drinks:
- Best Overall: GTs Organic Kombucha Gingerade.
- Best Budget: KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink.
- Best Dairy-Free: Califia Farms Strawberry Probiotic Drinkable Yogurt.
- Best Drinkable Yogurt: Siggis Swedish Style Non-Fat Drinkable Yogurt.
- Best Kefir: LifeWay Organic Low Fat Kefir.
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Milk And Fat Percentages
Greek yogurt mostly comes in different milk fat percentages, ranging from 0% fat-free and sometimes 2% reduced fat-free. However, if you choose a creamier product, then there can be 4% to 7% milkfat. Also, added fats can play a crucial element in the absorption of the critical nutrients in Greek Yogurt, like Vitamin D.
Always try to choose an organic and grass-fed Greek Yogurt. If such options are not available, then you can also select a yogurt made from non-GMO milk.
Our Pick For Best Overall Activia
- Per serving : 120 calories, 5 g fat , 80 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 9 g protein
- Probiotic strain: B.L. Regularis / Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010
- Studied benefits: improve regularity, as well as decrease stomach pain and bloating in those with irritable bowel syndrome
Activia offers a range of different products including lactose-free yogurt, a yogurt drink, and even yogurt with added fibre. Activia yogurt provides 10 billion active probiotic cultures per serving, and carries a plain flavour that does not contain added sugar.
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Looking For More Fermentation And Preservation Projects
- Homemade Sauerkraut. Once youve nailed down making yogurt, the next fermentation project to tackle is learning how to make sauerkraut!
- Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt. Want a dairy-free version of our homemade yogurt? This version uses vegan coconut milk!
- Homemade Hot Sauce. Yes! You can make your own hot sauce at home. Check out our full tutorial.
- Milk Kefir. Another wonderful fermented milk product is kefir! Learn how to make kefir in our simple tutorial.
- Canning 101. Want to get started with canning? We answer all your questions in this starter guide!
- Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. This jam is a perfect starter recipe for canning newbies!
- How to Store Apples. Did you know that apples can store for six months or more when stored under the proper conditions? Let us teach you how!
- Mixed Berry Jam. This naturally-sweetened jam is a great canning recipe without granulated sugar.
- How to Freeze Strawberries. Stash the flavor of summer in your freezer with our easy-to-follow tutorial!
- Bread and Butter Pickles. Ready to start canning pickles? This four-ingredient recipe is a great place to start!
- Canning Recipes. Check out our full list of canning recipes to get started stocking your pantry.
Does Greek Yogurt Contain Probiotics
The short answer is yes. The only difference between Greek yogurt and other types of yogurt is that it is strained, giving it a thicker consistency.
As with all other types of yogurt, however, it must contain at least 1 billion live bacterial cultures that have been added during manufacturing in order to be approved by Health Canada.
The straining process does typically increase the protein content of the yogurt, so if youre looking for ways to add more protein into your diet, probiotic Greek yogurt is a great option for you.
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Yogurt
Lets talk about the two ingredients youll need to make probiotic yogurt: milk and a yogurt starter culture.
- Milk: I recommend starting with organic, grass-fed whole cows or goats milk . You might be tempted to go for a lower milkfat, but really, you want the whole kit-and-kaboodle herethats what makes the end result creamy, thick, and packed full of good-for-your-gut probiotics. You can use raw milk, pasteurized, or ultra-pasteurizedall three will work just fine for yogurt-making.
- Yogurt starter culture: Youll need to inoculate your milk with some starter bacteria to get the yogurt-making process going, and there are two ways of going about this. You can either use premade plain yogurt with active cultures or you can use a freeze-dried yogurt starter culture.