Probiotics (not to be confused with prebiotics!) are live bacteria and yeasts found in certain fermented foods or added to supplements or yoghurts, that can help restore the natural balance of your tummy, leading to better gut health.

Do probiotics work?

There’s some debate in the medical world about probiotics, but they are thought to be particularly good at restoring your gut after illness or antibiotics, as well as killing or inhibiting harmful bacteria and protecting you from infection. There’s also some evidence, according to the NHS, that they can shorten a bout of diarrhoea by about a day.

They can also help to protect premature babies from developing necrotising enterocolitis.

Probiotics are thought to reduce bloating and flatulence for some people with IBS, and some studies have shown they can also reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Which foods are probiotic?

  1. Yoghurt
  2. Cheeses with live or active cultures
  3. Kefir
  4. Sour cream
  5. Sauerkraut
  6. Miso soup
  7. Pickled vegetables
  8. Tempeh
  9. Kimchi
  10. Kombucha
  11. Dark chocolate
  12. Microalgae
  13. Pickles
  14. Traditional buttermilk
  15. Natto (a fermented soybean product)
  16. Cottage cheese
  17. Apple cider vinegar
  18. Parmesan cheese
  19. Poi
  20. Olives in brine
  21. Beetroot kvass (a fermented drink)
  22. Sourdough bread

Now read about prebiotic foods!