When most people hear "probiotic," they typically think of yogurt. However, other plant-derived substitutes are available in probiotic-rich foods that can be freshly prepared at home and are the ideal addition to a vegan diet.
Live bacteria or germs are known as probiotics and can be found in many fermented foods. They can enhance health when ingested frequently and in sufficient quantities. According to Harvard Medical School, our bodies are home to about 100 trillion microbes; thus, taking probiotics is beneficial. These represent about 500 varieties of good bacteria, most of which are in the bowel.
What to look for in a vegan probiotic supplement
Most probiotic supplements are vegan, so you may not necessarily need to seek one made specifically for vegans. Still, it’s worth a quick glance at the ingredients list to ensure there are no non-vegan ingredients. For probiotic supplements, you want to find one containing at least 5 billion colony-forming units (CFU) per serving. This number is an estimate of how many live bacteria are present in each serving of the supplement. Suppose you want a probiotic for a specific condition or symptom.
In that case, you may also want to look into which specific bacterial strains are beneficial since it’s important to know that the strains of bacteria matter if you’re looking for a probiotic to help with a specific problem or condition. Additionally, seek out products with third-party testing or that come from reputable brands with good reviews for the product as well as for customer service. Third-party testing is the most ideal because it provides independent verification that what’s in the bottle matches the label.
Best vegan probiotics
In Korea, kimchi, a spicy side dish, is served at all meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Kimchi is one of the finest ways to add flavor, spice, and a healthy dose of probiotic foods. Its ingredients include cabbage, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, and chili peppers. Vegan dieters should carefully examine the labels on kimchi because some products contain fish sauce, but making your own is simple. Eat some kimchi in a small bowl or add it to fried rice, stir-fries, and many other delicious recipes.
Fermented soy products
You can feel comfortable ingesting fermented foods like miso and tempeh if you avoid soy because of its high phytoestrogen level. Both can be found in the cold area of your local health food shop; use them accordingly. When making miso soup, use warm water (not hot) because hot water will kill the good bacteria.
A drink with probiotics is water kefir. Like kombucha, water kefir grains serve as this beverage’s beginning culture of bacteria and yeast. These can be purchased online, in health food stores, or through fans of fermented foods. To create a mildly flavored and healthy beverage, sugar water, juice, or coconut water are fermented with water kefir grains. The grains grow regularly and endure for years with proper care. Vegans should not consume milk kefir and milk kefir grains as they contain dairy.