Maintaining a healthy gut is necessary for overall well-being, and probiotic drinks can support gut health. These drinks contain beneficial bacteria that can help balance the gut microbiome. However, selecting the best probiotics for gut health is important, as not all options are created equal. Here are eight of the best probiotic drinks for gut health, along with three options you should avoid:
Best Probiotic Drinks for Gut Health:
- Kombucha: A fermented tea beverage rich in probiotics, kombucha provides a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Look for low-sugar options.
- Kefir: Made from fermented milk or plant-based alternatives, kefir is a good source of beneficial bacteria and can be enjoyed plain or flavored.
- Traditional Buttermilk: These fermented dairy probiotic drinks contain live cultures and are often rich in probiotics. Opt for organic, cultured buttermilk.
- Greek Yogurt: Look for plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt that contains live and active cultures, as some flavored varieties may have added sugars.
- Sauerkraut Juice: The liquid from fermented cabbage, sauerkraut juice is rich in lactobacilli and can be consumed independently or added to recipes.
- Coconut Water Kefir: A non-dairy option, coconut water kefir is fermented from coconut water and provides probiotics and electrolytes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the “mother,” a combination of beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
- Miso Soup: Made from fermented soybeans, miso soup contains probiotics and can be a flavorful addition to a gut-healthy diet.
Probiotic Drinks to Avoid:
- Sweetened Yogurt Drinks: Flavored yogurt drinks often contain high amounts of added sugars, which can negatively impact gut health.
- Pasteurized Fruit Juices: While fruit juices may be marketed as healthy, they generally lack live cultures and can be high in sugar.
- Probiotic Shots with Added Sugars: Some probiotic shots or drinks may contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, which can counteract the potential benefits.
Remember to check the labels for live and active cultures, choose lower-sugar options, and gradually introduce probiotic drinks into your diet to assess how your body responds.