How should I consume probiotics?

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Before probiotics became the food trend they are today, reliable food sources of probiotics included fermented foods such as: kimchi, raw sauerkraut, pickles, miso/natto, cultured vegetables, yogurts, aged cheese, and kefir. Today, a rapidly growing number of food products (not fermented foods) are marketing themselves as containing probiotics.

This raises two issues: a) Can/do they support live bacteria in their product and b) Should they? It is my opinion that we don't need to be eating foods that added probiotics to them -- there is no danger, and in fact they could do good if the probiotic is viable (live) -- but the question is about need and dietary diversity. We don't need cereals that contain probiotics -- our cereals can be our fiber and other nutrient sources and if we want probiotic we can eat some yogurt with the cereal. We can choose from the above list of foods that naturally contain probiotics. If we are allergic to one, don't like the taste of another, we can move on to a different one on the list.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.