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Dairy foods are a particularly great source because the shelf life of probiotics is short and can be easily destroyed by heat and acidic environments. The best known dairy food for probiotics? Kefir. Kefir is a creamy fermented milk product that contains several major strains of friendly bacteria and some beneficial yeasts that you can’t find in yogurt. Although kefir does contain lactose, the live cultures within the drink act as a “pre-digestive” and typically do not cause any GI upset for those who are lactose intolerant. Other sources of probiotics, although not as ideal, include foods that use lactic acid bacteria for fermentation, which are thought to have live probiotic cultures. This includes pickled vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut. If the fermented pickled vegetables don’t turn your fancy, there are many fermented soybean products that might. Try tempeh, miso or natto. Tempeh is firmer than tofu and can be a great low-calorie, high protein meat replacer. Miso is much more common and found in miso soups. Natto is a staple Japanese bean, which can be tossed with eggs, salads or rice. Keep in mind that many of these fermented foods are high in sodium, so be aware of your total intake. Probiotic Availability With the recent popularity of the buzzword “probiotics,” many companies are jumping on the wagon and adding probiotics into everything from pizza crusts to beverages. Proving these foods have live and active cultures is a challenge. A study from consumerlab.com showed that many supplements tested did not contain the number of live cultures their label published. Besides, the shelf life of live and beneficial probiotics is only 3-6 weeks when refrigerated and 12 months when freeze-dried. The number of live organisms will also decrease during this time frame. It’s safe to say that food products purchased with “added probiotics” should not be your only source of healthy live cultures.
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Eat yogurt for a flat stomach. Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville found that dieters who ate 18 ounces of yogurt a day while also probiotic cutting calories lost 81 percent more belly fat and 22 percent more weight than those dieting without it. Probiotics. You may have noticed your container of yogurt stating “live and active cultures” as a key component.
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