Ask your parents if they actively sought out live, active bacteria 20 years ago, and they'd probably look at you like you were mad. But today bacteria is big business. In 2014 foods infused with probiotics (the more palatable term for healthy gut bacteria) generated more than 30 billion dollars in sales, and that number has only increased. Gut bacteria play a role in digestion, heart health, allergies, immunity, bone health, diabetes, and mental health, so it’s no wonder we’re seeking out the creepy crawlers more and more.
As with basically all nutrition trends, adding probiotics to a food doesn’t make it healthier. Probiotic cookies are still cookies (sorry, kids!). To find out what's actually worth the buy, we asked a dietitian to share her favorite probiotic-rich products.
These gluten-free, grain-free bad boys are great for wrapping up veggies and lean protein or using in quesadillas, burritos, crepes, and even grilled cheese. Made with organic coconut flour, flax, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, and resistant-starch prebiotics, they're also Paleo, vegan, and keto approved (i.e., perfect).
This GoLive Probiotic + Prebiotic Water contains 15 probiotic strains, 15 billion live cultures, no artificial flavors or colors—plus is only 40 calories per bottle. Unlike most probiotic drinks, GoLive uses an innovative cap that releases the bacteria into the water when you're ready to enjoy, ensuring they stay active, live, and effective.
Lactose intolerant? You don’t have to miss out on the benefits of bacteria. This tasty fermented drink has just two ingredients (organic whole milk and an enzyme called lactose)—plus tons of live, active cultures. One cup contains 12 grams of protein, 40 percent of your calcium needs, and no added sugar.
All chia seeds are loaded with fiber, omega-3s, and calcium, making them an ideal add-in for pudding or oats (you can even use them in place of an egg in baked goods). Prana’s version is even better because it has two probiotic strains, breathing new life (literally) into your morning chia pudding.
Trying to go vegan or dairy-free and missing cheese something bad? These plant-based cheeses are made with fermented cashews and contain a beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus. Try the soft, French-style cheese on crusty bread or puréed into a dip, or slice the hard-aged version onto salad or crackers.
You might not want to eat this by the spoonful, but miso is a probiotic-rich ingredient that adds major umami flavor to salad dressings, soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Miso Master is made with less salt than most versions and more rice than soybeans. Plus it has a shorter aging period, giving it a higher bacterial count.
Developed by a registered dietitian, this organic, plant-based vanilla-flavored protein powder is free of artificial ingredients, added sugars, and common allergens (dairy, gluten, soy, nuts). The Daily Uplifter provides both pre- and probiotics for better digestion, plus 10 grams of satiating protein.
Sriracha is a great low-calorie, low-sugar way to add flavor to eggs, tacos, and avocado toast. But Sriracha with probiotics? Talk about a match made in hipster foodie heaven. This spicy condiment delivers between 35 and 60 billion colony-forming units per bottle. You can bet we'll be putting this on everything.