Probiotics are good bacteria that dwell in the body and provide a variety of health advantages. Some meals and supplements also contain them.
While yogurt is one of the most common forms of probiotics in the diet, it is not vegan-friendly. People who follow a plant-based diet can get additional probiotics in a variety of ways.
In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the top vegan probiotics, as well as their health advantages.
The best vegan probiotics
The following are some of the top vegan probiotic foods:
Sauerkraut is a cabbage dish made from fermented cabbage that is popular in several Eastern European nations.
It’s loaded with probiotics, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Sauerkraut is made by fermenting finely chopped cabbage in brine, which is a highly concentrated saltwater solution.
Lactobacillus bacteria convert carbohydrates in cabbage to lactic acid. The result is a crunchy, sour condiment that’s great in sandwiches, salads, or just by itself.
Sauerkraut is available at many health food stores and supermarkets. Pasteurization eliminates much of the helpful bacteria, so it’s preferable to pick an unpasteurized product.
Kimchi is a famous Korean cabbage dish that is hot and fermented. Probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants are all present. Kimchi is made in a similar manner to sauerkraut, but with the addition of spices and additional vegetables.
Kimchi may be made at home or purchased at health food stores. If you’re a vegan, be sure the kimchi you order at a restaurant doesn’t include any fish.
3. Pickled vegetables
Vegans may enjoy a delightful, probiotic-rich snack or side dish made from pickled veggies in brine. Almost any vegetable may be fermented, however the following are some of the more popular choices:
- green beans
- red bell peppers
People can add herbs and spices to enhance the flavor, such as:
- black peppercorns
- coriander seeds
- bay leaves
Although fermented vegetables are high in a variety of nutrients, they are also high in sodium. Pickled foods should be consumed in moderation to prevent the dangers of a high-salt diet, such as high blood pressure and water retention.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. People will need a SCOBY starter, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, to make kombucha. Although this gelatinous substance does not appear to be particularly tasty, it is packed with helpful microbes.
SCOBY starters can be found on the internet or at health food stores. Alternatively, several coffee shops and supermarkets sell ready-brewed kombucha.
Kombucha has a low alcohol content. Some varieties contain enough alcohol to be classified as beer, making them unsuitable for some people, including as pregnant or nursing women.
5. Water kefir
A probiotic beverage is water kefir. It, like kombucha, requires a bacterium and yeast starting culture, which comes in the form of water kefir grains. These can be found online, at health-food stores, or through fermented-food devotees.
Water kefir grains aid in the fermentation of sugar water, juice, or coconut water, resulting in a mildly flavored and nutritious beverage. The grains will grow consistently and live for years if properly cared for.
Dairy-based milk kefir and milk kefir grains should be avoided by vegans.
Tempeh is a soy-based food similar to tofu, but with the addition of soybean fermentation. Tempeh is high in probiotics and protein as a result of its fermentation. Its firm texture allows it to be used in a wide range of meals.
Tempeh may be used in salads, stir-fries, burgers, sandwiches, and other vegan dishes. It’s a great source of protein, too.
7. Sourdough bread
A sourdough starter, which is a mixture of wheat and water that has fermented for many days, is required for traditional sourdough bread.
To be able to utilize the starter to produce fresh sourdough bread again and again, it must be “fed” with flour on a regular basis.
Because not every sourdough bread includes probiotics, it’s critical to read the label first. Many retailers and businesses do not produce their sourdough with a fermented starting culture.
Miso soup is high in antioxidants, B vitamins, and helpful bacteria, making it an excellent choice for vegans seeking a probiotic boost.
Miso paste can also be used for the following purposes:
- stir-fry sauces
- salad dressings
When creating miso soup, it’s critical to use warm rather than hot water, as high temperatures destroy probiotic microorganisms.
9. Fortified dairy alternatives
Live cultures may be found in certain fermented dairy substitutes, such as soy and nut-based milks and yogurts. These beneficial bacteria are added to dairy substitutes to increase their health advantages.
Lactobacillus and other probiotic strains can be found on the labels of these products.
While probiotic-rich meals are a wonderful choice for vegans, not everyone has the time to prepare them, and some people may dislike the flavor. Supplements are a simple solution in these situations.
However, not all probiotic pills are good for vegans, so always read the label.
Because probiotic supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no assurance that they contain the bacteria strains that the producers claim they do. Before purchasing a product, people should conduct research and check that it comes from a reliable source.
Supplements with probiotics can be found at health food stores and certain pharmacies.
Benefits of probiotics
Probiotics are still being studied for their health advantages. Researchers are learning that various bacteria strains have varied impacts on the body. To guarantee that diverse strains of probiotics reach the body, it may be helpful to eat a range of probiotic-rich foods.
Probiotics may provide the following advantages:
- Improved digestion: Probiotics aid digestion by breaking down food. They may also help with constipation and Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms (IBS).
- Reduced risk of cancer: Disturbances in the gut microbiota have been linked to a variety of disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis-associated cancer, according to research. As a consequence, scientists believe that probiotics may aid in the prevention of certain disorders.
- Vaginal health: There are a lot of bacteria in the vaginal area. Antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control tablets can upset the vaginal tract’s delicate balance, resulting in infection. Probiotics can help restore balance and avoid these problems.
- Mental health: Gut health, according to experts, may have an impact on mental health. Probiotics may lower symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to research, however further research is needed to prove this.
- Fewer antibiotic side effects: Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) affects more than a third of people who take antibiotics . As a result, some doctors advise that people take probiotics in addition to antibiotics to avoid AAD.
- Reduced risk of metabolic diseases: Metabolic disease include obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Consuming probiotics on a regular basis may help to prevent and treat certain conditions.
- Diabetes management: Probiotics may enhance glycemic control and lipid metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes, according to other study.
Probiotic bacteria have a number of health advantages, including lowered disease risk and enhanced vaginal and mental health.
A person can also eat foods high in prebiotics, which are fibers that feed gut bacteria and help them grow, on a regular basis to promote healthy gut flora.
Probiotic-rich foods are a tasty way to get extra good bacteria into your diet. Vegans may enjoy a variety of fermented foods and drinks that improve gut health and general well-being even if they don’t eat dairy.