Probiotic Foods

Probiotic Foods - Yogurt

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. In addition to taking a probiotic supplement, you can also eat probiotic foods that are a host to these live bacterium.

We all know of the great health benefits of probiotics, however, not all of us know how to take advantage of these health benefits. Below is a list I put together to outline the best probiotic foods for you to add to your diet. I would also recommend buying the organic version of all these probiotic-rich foods.

Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet

1. Yogurt

One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra forms of probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurt is made equally. Many popular brands are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors and are way too close to being a nutritional equivalent of sugary, fatty ice cream.

2. Kefir

Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a good, organic version at your local health food shop.

3. Sauerkraut

Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.

4. Dark Chocolate

Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.

5. Microalgae

This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract. They also offer the most amount of energetic return, per ounce, for the human system.

6. Miso Soup

Probiotic Foods - Miso

Miso is one the main-stays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense and believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system.

7. Pickles

Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Try making your own home-made pickles in the sun. Here’s a great set of instructions for making your own probiotic-rich dill pickles [1].

8. Tempeh

A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. A great source of vitamin B12, this vegetarian food can be sauteed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.

9. Kimchi

An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.

10. Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your well being and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those that have had problems with candida.

Other Sources of Probiotics

You can also get beneficial bacteria by taking a probiotic supplement. I recommend FloraTrex™.

Do you have any favorite foods with probiotics that I may have missed? Leave a comment below!

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Instructables. Probiotic Rich Dill Pickles.

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  • Rebecca J

    Wow, I was hoping to read through the comments to find more probiotic rich foods to throw into my diet or other nutritional foods beneficial to my digestive system or pH balance. Instead, I’m finding politics this and racism that and White People this and America that and so so so much hate. Why can’t people JUST stick to the damn topic and keep their political or civil agendas to themselves and save em for a more relatable article?

    Come on, folks.

  • morgan wasem


  • ConroyDawn

    I suggest you read The Great Cholesterol Myth and also Good Calories/Bad Calories. Saturated fat, which is mostly made by your liver is necessary for cell health, including brain health. The anti real fat idea was started by Ansel Keys and his seven country study. However, he had reliable information for 22 countries. He cherrie picked his countries to prove his ideas. If you include all 22 countries, sugar and lack of exercise become the real villains.
    Another man by the name of John Yutkin pointed out the problems with Keys research. Yutkin wrote a book about sugar called Pure, White and deadly. Needless to say, Big Sugar, who invented a lot of the tactics used by big tobacco, put a lot of money into backing Keys.
    Saturated fat is the bandage that it put over the inflammation caused by sugar. It is not the source of the damage. However, there are different sizes of lipoproteins. Saturated fat in the diet increases the size of these. These are the safe, harmless lipoproteins. Sugar in the diet decreases the size of lipoproteins. These are the ones that help clog your arteries. Your trig numbers tell you which you likely have. The higher the trig numbers, the smaller the lipoproteins.
    A interesting note: 1/2 the people which have heart attacks or strokes have normal or low cholesterol levels. The other half have high. Having a problem seeing which is worse. However your chance of dying from infection or cancer is much higher if you have low cholesterol levels.
    Here is hoping that you have high cholesterol, full of big fat lipoproteins and low trig levels. That will give you the chance for the longest life.

  • ConroyDawn

    I hated it when I first tried it. 99%. Now I find I love it.

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  • Confused Miso

    Is Miso Soup an “Oriental” or “Asian” soup? i am so confused and need polotical correctness. I am glad I came here to find out about Probiotics and incorrectness in politics all in one read. Talk about multi-tasking…

  • Pingback: All about Probiotics- 30 Great Articles on Probiotics for Health | AnnaLaura Brown Holistic Health Coach Wellness Through Food As Medicine()

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