These days, especially here in LA, it feels like it's almost impossible to avoid hearing the phrase "gut-health" on a daily basis. By now, you probably know that you should be intaking some sort of probiotics. Most people's immediate next thought is probably to take a supplement. However, consuming probiotic-rich foods are more readily used by your body compared to a pill; probiotic supplements in pill form often cannot survive stomach acid. I'm here to tell you some of the best ways to eat your probiotics to experience all the benefits of these good-for-your-gut bacteria. 

Why Probiotics?

Before I tell you how to intake these gut healthy organisms, maybe you want to know a little bit about why you should. Basically, probiotics are good bacteria that line your gut and allow you to better absorb the nutrients from your food. Without them, we can suffer from digestive issues, bad skin and weakened immune systems. 

According to Dr. Axe, humans once naturally obtained a normal probiotic intake via rich soils and fresh foods. Now, because of modern practices like refrigeration and pesticide use, probiotics are much more difficult to find in our average fruits and veggies. In order to promote the health of our intestines and prevent disease, we should be eating probiotic rich foods to reap the benefits that our ancestors once did much more easily. 


soup, miso soup, broth, vegetable
Judy Holtz

Miso is a Japanese fermented soy paste most commonly found in the US in miso soup. Because the soy is fermented, it breeds these friendly bacteria that nourish the lining of our intestines. Next time you go out for sushi, get miso soup as a starter as an easy way to get your supplement of probiotics. Not into soup? You can find miso at most grocery stores and use it in dressings and marinades. 

Nondairy Yogurts

Yes, it's true that you can get all those live, active cultures from your typical Greek yogurt. But for my fellow lactose intolerant (or vegan!) friends, that may not necessarily be so easy on your tummy. Instead, lots of nondairy yogurt brand are popping up and many of them contain plant-based probiotic strains that rival animal-based counterparts. Check out brands like Cocoyo and the Coconut Cult for coconut yogurt, Kite Hill for almond milk yogurt and my personal favorite, Forager for cashew yogurt.

Pickled Vegetables

Although pickled vegetables often come in jars that look like they were created in a laboratory, they're a delicious topping to any meal and a great way to amp up the flavor profile of a dish. Foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are cultural staples that are great sources of probiotics. Personally, I love Farmhouse Culture's Garlic Dill Pickle Kraut for a fun addition to any salad. The best part? They're easily accessible; you can pretty much find some type of pickled vegetable in your local supermarket or Target. 

Cedarlane Superfood Salads

Cedarlane, the brand that makes frozen and refrigerated entrees and wraps, is now making superfood salads that contain an added probiotic boost. Look in the prepared foods section of Sprouts (and soon in other health food stores) and you'll see their Black Bean & Chickpea, Sweet Potato Quinoa & Kale and Golden Beet, Kale & Swiss chard varieties. If you add these to a bed of lettuce, you have yourself a delicious and gut-friendly meal!

There are so many ways to get in your helping of probiotics through food, you don't even need to worry about finding a good supplement. Try out some of these options to give yourself a good boost of gut healing bacteria.