You might think germs are gross, but your gut sure doesn’t. In fact, you need to feed the good bacteria in your gut, which affects your digestion, immune system, and even body weight. According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity, specific shifts in gut bacteria were linked to weight loss in obese adolescents. But these beneficial bugs need the help of smart probiotic purchases to feed them and keep your gut’s ecosystem thriving.
These fermented foods are full of live bacteria cultures that your tummy loves. So whether this is all news to you or you’re a probiotic pro, we’ve made a list of the best brands for you to check out. Try these and your healthy gut will thank you, along with the rest of your body. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, 12 weeks on a probiotic supplement instead of a placebo led to significantly higher weight loss in overweight women. So if you can’t get your hands on these specific items, boost your bacteria intake anyway and shed those pesky pounds with 18 Probiotic Foods For A Healthy Gut.
Original, 8 oz: 30 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein
To pump up your probiotic intake without consuming too many calories, throw a bottle of kombucha in your bag and get to day drinking. GT’s brand of fermented tea has all kinds of organic flavors to choose from that will satisfy any taste bud, whether you’re partial to fruity, tart, or spicy. Just don’t be disturbed by the yeast and bacteria that has settled at the bottom—that’s what’s best for your belly!
Buy it now for $3.79 per 16 fl oz. bottle at Amazon.com. For Prime Fresh members only.
Ginger-Lemon, 8 oz: 35 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein
Health-Ade wants you to “follow your gut” by picking up a bottle of their kombucha, and we agree. Their bubbly beverages are the only commercial teas fermented 100% in glass, which prevents any leaching from plastic or metal, and their amber bottles protect the raw ingredients from UV rays. While our favorite flavor is Pink Lady Apple, there are seven more for you to choose from next time you spot these at the store.
Buy it now for $5.99 per 16 fl oz. bottle at Jet.com.
Siggi’s Plain Yogurt
Per 1 container (150 g): 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 17 g protein
Getting your probiotic fix is easy when Siggi’s plain yogurt is involved. Each cup is made up of two simple things: pasteurized skim milk and live active cultures. Spice things up with a handful of fresh berries and you’re looking at a high-protein, antioxidant-rich breakfast that’s great for your bod, belly included.
Buy it now for $1.99 per 5.3 oz. container at Amazon.com. For Prime Fresh members only.
Chobani Plain Yogurt
Per 1 container (150 g): 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 15 g protein
Yogurt is usually a go-to option for probiotic eaters, and we’re loving this brand in particular. Chobani’s plain, nonfat yogurt cups are an easy way to consume three types of bacteria while only setting yourself back 80 calories. And get this: you might be getting smarter with each spoonful. According to a study conducted by UCLA researchers, probiotic-filled yogurt showed increased connectivity in parts of the brain linked to cognition.
Buy it now for $1.00 per 5.3 oz. container at Amazon.com. For Prime Fresh members only.
Eden Foods Organic Sauerkraut
Per 2 tbsp (30 g): 5 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
For a slightly sour twist to your meals, add sauerkraut wherever you can. This pickled cabbage is great for topping salads, sandwiches, and soups, but even greater at filling your belly with bacteria. What are those gut bugs doing in there exactly? Turns out they may be helping to lower your cholesterol. A study in the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology found reduced levels in mice eating probiotic-rich sauerkraut extract. Incorporating it into your diet is definitely easier than hitting the gym, so there’s no reason not to.
Buy it now for $5.29 per 32 oz. jar at Amazon.com.For Prime Fresh members only.
Farmhouse Culture Gut Shot
Ginger Beet, 1.5 fl oz: 10 calories, 0 g fat (o g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 0 g protein
While a “culture gut shot” may not sound particularly appetizing to you, hear us out: If you can stomach a shot of whiskey, you can definitely stomach a shot of this, and it’s way better for your body. Farmhouse sells smoked jalapeno and dill pickle varieties just to name a couple, so odds are good that they’ve got a probiotic-packed flavor with your name on it. You can toss one of these shots into a blender to hide it in your morning juice fix, or simply slug it back. You’ll reap the bacteria’s benefits either way.
Buy it now for $7.99 per 16 fl oz. bottle at Mercato.com.
Miso Master Organic Miso
Mellow White, 2 tbsp (10 g): 20 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), <1 g protein
Miso paste probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you’re in need of microbes, but this product is full of them. Aged 30 days minimum, Miso Master’s miso contains more rice or barley koji than soybeans in their ingredient mix since those grains ferment quickly. Because of that, their miso is considered short-term aged and has much more active bacteria than the long-term variety, as well as a sweeter taste.
Buy it now for $5.25 per 8 oz. container at Great-Eastern-Sun.com.
Mother In Law’s Kimchi
Napa Cabbage, 28 g: 10 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein
Mother In Law’s sometimes shuts down in the summer because of extreme heat, so stock up on their kimchi when you can. Not only will your taste buds love this chile-sauced cabbage made with bone broth and salted fish, but the bacteria-rich product will save your stomach. Nikki Ostrower, dietitian and founder of NAO Nutrition, says, “Kimchi is especially beneficial for those suffering from stomach and bowel pain, inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, or other bowel-related diseases.” On top of that, a Kyung Hee University study found that the culture strain in kimchi actually suppressed diet-induced weight gain in mice by 28 percent. So what are you waiting for? Top your next taco or burger with some spicy pickled cabbage.
Buy it now for $82.14 per 6-pack of 16 oz. jars ($13.69 per jar) at Amazon.com.
Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85% Organic Cacao
Per 5 sections (40 g): 240 calories, 21 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein
We don’t know about you, but we don’t need to be talked into consuming extra chocolate. Good thing it’s one of our favorite 14 Yogurt-Free Products With Probiotics. Researchers at Louisiana State University found that microbes in your stomach ferment this beloved munchie into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds, shutting down genes linked to inflammation. While packing on the probiotics with a chocolate bar sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Just make sure the stuff you’re buying is dark and low in sugar so you’re getting the most out of this gut-healthy treat, like this Alter Eco bar, which is made up of 85% cocoa and organic ingredients.
Buy it now for $12.44 per 2.82 oz. package at Amazon.com.
Noble Bean Tempeh
Original Soy, 100 g: 200 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (9 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 19 g protein
If you’re vegan or gluten-free (and even if you’re not), treat yourself to some tempeh. This complete protein contains all the essential amino acids and is bursting with bacteria, making it more than just a meat alternative; it’s a gut-healthy staple. For those unfamiliar with cooking the cultured product, Noble Bean’s website is filled with tempeh recipes from poke bowls to tacos to sandwiches.
Buy it now at your local market when you check out these location listings at Noblebean.com.
Nucific Dr. Amy’s Beef Bone Broth Powder
*Per 1 scoop (22.7 g): 80 calories, n/a g fat (n/a g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, (n/a g carbs (n/a g fiber, n/a g sugar), 20 g protein
Dr. Amy’s bone broth protein powder doesn’t just maintain muscle mass and keep you feeling full, but the hydrolyzed gelatin it’s made of is a great gut liner for healthier digestion. So kill two birds with one stone the next time you’re whipping up a pre-gym protein shake, letting this formula work wonders on your muscles and your microbiome.
Buy it now for $61.95 per 16 oz. container at Nucific.com.
MegaFood® Megaflora Probiotics
Per capsule: n/a
Whether you’re female, male, over 50, pregnant, vegan, or just a kid, MegaFood has the probiotic pill for you. With capsules that go “fresh from farm to tablet,” do your digestive system a favor by popping one of these. It’s a simple solution to get all the microbes you’re missing.
Buy it now for $45.19 per 90 capsules at Amazon.com.
Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Per 1 tbsp (15 mL): 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
Unsure how to get enough unpasteurized products into your diet? Pick up a bottle of Bragg’s and let their apple cider vinegar do the trick. Throwing back a shot of this or drizzling it over a salad will increase your stomach’s hydrochloric acid content, which helps digest fats, carbs, and proteins, according to Ostrower. “This aids in weight loss and it also helps to relieve acid reflux and bowel syndrome because of all the beneficial probiotics and amino acids,” she says.
Buy it now for $11.63 per 32 fl oz. bottle at Amazon.com.
Lifeway Kefir Plain
Yes, there’s no denying we love yogurt. But while most cartons of the stuff have three live and active strains of bacteria, kefir has at least 10 and can be just as high in protein. Never heard of it? Kefir is a cultured and creamy dairy drink that’s 99 percent lactose-free, even though it’s made from cow’s milk. So keep an eye out for this fermented, stomach-friendly source of probiotics on your next shopping trip.
Buy it now for $38.03 for six 32-oz bottles ($6.34 per 32 oz. bottle) at Amazon.com.
Kruegermann Naturally Fermented Dills In Cloudy Brine
Per 1 oz (28 g): 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), n/a mg sodium, 1 g carbs (n/a g fiber, n/a g sugar), 0 g protein
This may just look like a standard jar of pickles, but it’s a much bigger “dill.” There’s a lot of probiotic potential in Kruegermann’s products because the company doesn’t rush their fermenting process with any speeding agents; instead, they allow their pickles to ferment slowly and naturally—just the way we like it!
Buy it now for $7.29 per 32 oz. jar at Amazon.com.
Pacific Foods Bone Broth
Per 1 container (8 fl oz): 45 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 9 g protein
Sip it like tea or stir it into soup, but get in a hearty helping of bone broth any way you can. According to Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, and founder of Foodtrainers, “When we ingest this, it acts as an intestinal Band-Aid, protecting and healing the lining of the digestive tract which aids digestion and helps us absorb extra nutrients from the foods we eat.” We like this one in particular for its low-cal, low-fat, and low-sodium nutrition label that’s rich with protein.
Buy it now for $6.20 per 8 fl oz. container at Amazon.com.
Daiya Greek Yogurt Alternative
Plain, 1 cup (150 g): 150 calories, 8 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 6 g protein
Just because you’re lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you have to miss out on more microbes than the rest of us. Not only is kefir a great option, but there are various types of yogurt alternatives to choose from as well. Daiya’s Greek version is dairy and soy free, boasts 6 grams of protein, and is made with coconut cream and pea protein, but that’s not all. It’s also full of yeast and bacteria strains. These probiotics work even better when paired with chicory root extract, a prebiotic also featured on the ingredients list that feeds the live cultures.
Buy it now at your local supermarket when you check out these location listings at Daiyafoods.com.
Dequmana Naturally Cured Olives
Mix, 5 olives (15 g): 25 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
These Spanish olives sure went through a lot before they made it to your local supermarket shelves. Cured anywhere from 3-14 months in just water and salt, snacking from one of these jars is a great way to get your daily dose of probiotics. But only five of these fermented olives will put you back 200 milligrams of sodium, so be mindful of your munching. Ignoring your salt consumption is one of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick And Fat, the opposite of what you should expect from a probiotic-rich product like this.
Buy it now for $6.99 per 7-oz jar at Walmart.com.