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Is Yogurt the Best Probiotic Food?

Is eating yogurt the best way to provide your body with probiotics?

Not really. You see, the bacteria in yogurt aren’t alive. They get killed in the stomach.

Plus, there are limited strains of microbes in yogurt. Sometimes there are just two or three strains of microbes, and if you’re lucky, you might get up to five or six strains.

This article will explain why yogurt may not be the best source of probiotics and give you five better foods.

A bowl of yogurt

Photo Credit: By sewcream


What does CFU mean in a probiotic?

The way that they rate these microbes is by a unit called CFU. CFU is an acronym for colony-forming units. Regular yogurt usually has about 3.6 CFUs, but there’s a small problem. Most yogurt in the stores is pasteurized. These microbes cannot survive the heat. So, you’re consuming dead bacteria with lactose (sugar). Remember, many people are lactose intolerant, so they have digestive issues.

There are also casein allergies. Casein is the protein in milk. Many people are sensitive to casein as well. Another problem would be the amount of added sugar present in yogurt.

Of course, there are some yogurts out there that are way better than others –Bulgarian yogurt is a good example. But the conventional yogurts won’t give you the adequate number of probiotics that your body needs.

We’ll see other probiotic foods that you can rely on apart from yogurt. Let us know in the comments below if you have ever tried any of them.


1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink. Kefir is produced by adding kefir grains to goat or cow milk.

Note that kefir grains are not cereal grains. Instead, they are cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that resemble cauliflower.

Kefir is derived from “keyif,” which means feeling good after eating (1).

Studies have associated kefir with many health benefits. For example, kefir may improve bone health, protect against infections, and help resolve some digestive problems (2, 3, 4).


Many people consider yogurt the best source of probiotics in the Western diet. However, kefir is a better source of good bacteria.

According to research, kefir contains many important friendly yeast and bacteria strains, making it a diverse and very potent probiotic (5).

As a bonus, kefir is generally well-tolerated by lactose-intolerant people (6).

A jar of kefir

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash


2. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is a well-known and one of the most ancient traditional foods. It is popular in Eastern Europe and other countries.

Sauerkraut is often used as a side dish or as toppings on sausages. It has a salty, sour taste and has a long shelf-life.

Apart from its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut contains a lot of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. In fact, sauerkraut is one of the best food sources of vitamin C, with one cup having up to 700mg.

It is also rich in iron, sodium, and potassium (7).

Sauerkraut contains lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are antioxidants that improve eye health (8).

When buying sauerkraut, choose the unpasteurized one. This is because the heat of pasteurization usually kills live and active bacteria.

Photo by Micah Tindell on Unsplash


3. Tempeh

Tempeh is fermented soybean. This food product forms a firm patty with a nutty or earthy flavor that resembles a mushroom

Tempeh originated from Indonesia but is now consumed globally as a high protein meat substitute.

Soybeans have a high phytic acid content. Phytic acid is a plant compound that impairs zinc and iron absorption.

However, the fermentation process lowers the phytic acid content in tempeh. With lower phytic acid levels, your body absorbs more minerals from tempeh (910).

Fermentation also produces more vitamin B12. However, vitamin B12 is not present in soybeans (111213).

Vitamin B12 is widely available in animal foods, like fish, meat, eggs, and dairy (14).

This explains why tempeh is a healthy choice for vegetarians and anyone who wants to boost their diet’s probiotic profile.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash


4. Kimchi

Kimchi is a spicy, fermented side dish of Korean origin. The main ingredient in kimchi is cabbage. However, some people can prepare kimchi from other vegetables.

Kimchi is flavored with many seasonings, such as garlic, red chili pepper flakes, salt, scallion, and ginger.

Kimchi contains lactobacillus kimchi, a lactic acid bacterium. However, it also includes other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit your digestive health (1516).

The cabbage variant of kimchi contains many vitamins and minerals, including iron, riboflavin, and vitamin K.


5. Miso

Miso is a Japanese seasoning. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans using salt and koji. Koji is a type of fungus

You can also make Miso by mixing soybeans with rye, rice, and barley. This paste is usually used in miso soup, a Japanese breakfast food.

Miso is salty, but there are many varieties, such as brown, red, yellow, and white.

Miso is a healthy source of fiber and protein. In addition, it is high in vitamin K, copper, and manganese.

Miso is linked to some health benefits. For example, a study showed that consuming miso soup frequently was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in Japanese women (17).

In another study, researchers found that women who consumed a lot of miso soup had a reduced risk of stroke (18).

Photo Credit: By FomaA


Probiotic foods are very healthy

There are lots of healthy probiotic foods. These include many varieties of dairy, fermented soybeans, and vegetables. I’ve mentioned five here — but there are many others out there.

If you’re not interested in any of these, you can take a probiotic supplement. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement.

Whether obtained from supplements or natural foods, Probiotics can positively affect your health.

Which of the foods mentioned above have you tried?


Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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