Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that naturally live in your body. While bacteria is generally thought of as a bad thing, probiotics are good, friendly bacteria that are essential in a balanced diet. They’re known to support digestion, boost the immune system, and promote overall health.
There are a lot of ways to include probiotics in our meals, including supplements and fermented foods or drinks like kombucha. But, probiotic yogurts offer one of the easiest and tastiest ways to add probiotics into your daily routine.
All yogurt contains live bacterial cultures, which ferment milk to make yogurt. However, only certain types of yogurt contain added probiotics – the type known for providing certain health benefits, like supporting gut health.
The fact is, not all types of yogurt are created equal, and the type of yogurt you eat will have different health properties. Therefore, we’ve made a list of the best probiotic yogurts concerning three conditions; lactose intolerance, yeast infections, and improved heart health.
How to Choose The Best Yogurt with Probiotics
When it comes to probiotic yogurt, keeping it simple is key. Generally, it’s best to pick a yogurt with as few ingredients and as little added sugar as possible.
Sugar content is a crucial indicator when it comes to healthy yogurt. Some yogurts contain more sugar than a bowl of ice cream, which is very problematic when you want to improve your health and wellness. The bad bacteria in the gut thrive on sugar. Therefore, overconsuming sugar could cause the bad bacteria to outnumber the good, leading to inflammation and other health issues.
Many commercial yogurts are packed with artificial flavors, colors, additives, and sugar. Here are a few essential things to look for when choosing the best yogurt with probiotics:
- It contains no added sugar
- It contains no added salt
- It contains multiple strains of probiotics
- It’s vat pasteurized at low temperatures
- It’s made from raw milk, not pasteurized milk
Probiotics in Yogurt: Why You Need It
The gut is composed of trillions of microorganisms, both good and bad. The good bacteria that live in your gut – also called your gut microbiome – play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Supporting your gut microbiome by introducing good bacteria, like probiotics, into the digestive system is one of the best ways to maintain general health.
Yogurt probiotics are one of the most commonly used probiotic foods because they provide numerous health benefits and are rich in calcium, protein, and B vitamins. They increase the number of beneficial microflora found in the intestinal tract and facilitate the direct consumption of live bacteria.
Probiotic yogurts are rich in calcium, protein, minerals, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Yogurt also makes for a nutritious option when people find it difficult to chew their food. Plus, there are plenty of different options to choose from, making it a much more exciting and enjoyable way to treat the body to the probiotics it deserves. It’s also a great grab-and-go snack for when you’re in a hurry.
Top Probiotic Yogurt Benefits and Our Best Picks
The main role of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance in the body. When you are ill, bad bacteria infiltrate the body and increase in number, putting the body out of balance. Probiotics (good bacteria) work to fight off bad bacteria and restore balance, thus making you feel better.
Depending on the type of bacteria found in the yogurt, there are different benefits of probiotic yogurt. Generally, though, probiotics are important in managing symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, bloating, lactose intolerance, and other intestinal problems. Not only can they help with digestive health, though, probiotics may also be involved in immune function, mental health, and disease prevention.
Below, we look at the best probiotic yogurts related to lactose intolerance, yeast infections, and heart health.
1. Lactose Intolerance: Good Plants Dairy-Free Yogurt
One of the best probiotics for people with lactose intolerance is Good Plants Dairy-Free Yogurt. Dairy-free by nature means that it’s lactose-free too. The yogurt base is made from almond milk, and the best part is that it’s low in sugar and calories. One 5.3 oz cup contains only 100 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
Plus, since this is a plant-based brand, the company uses stevia leaf extract instead of the artificial sweeteners found in many other low-sugar yogurts. With Good Plants, you get a great flavor for little sugar, with four flavors currently on offer: chocolate coconut, vanilla, strawberry, and lemon meringue. One serving will also provide you with 5 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.
2. Yeast Infections – Chobani Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
When looking for yogurt with probiotics for yeast infections, lactobacillus is said to be the key ingredient to look for. Lactobacillus is a type of bacteria found naturally in the body, usually in the mouth, intestines, and female genitals. When shopping for yogurt with lactobacillus, check the label for the words “live and active cultures.” This ensures that the yogurt contains at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.
Chobani is a greek-style yogurt brand that is very rich in live and active cultures, including lactobacillus. Plus, it’s gluten-free, kosher-certified, and contains no genetically modified organisms (GMO). It’s also low in sugar and calories, with just 4 grams of sugar and 127 calories per ⅔ cup serving, and no artificial flavors or preservatives are used.
3. Heart Health – Dannon Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Plain
If you’re looking to lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDP) cholesterol to improve heart health, greek yogurt is a good option. Greek yogurt has been linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which makes it a good option for those hoping to reduce their risk of heart disease.
Dannon’s nonfat Greek yogurt is an excellent option as it’s low in sugar and high in protein. There are just 80 calories and 6 grams of sugar per 5.3 oz serving. Just be sure to stay away from the flavored options, like Blackberry and Pomegranate, because they’re packed with sugar and other questionable additives.
Lactobacillus in Yogurt: What Is It?
There are many different strains of bacteria considered to be probiotics, each with unique health benefits, the most common being lactobacillus. This bacteria helps the digestive system break sugars, like lactose, down into lactic acid.
Lactobacillus is thought to support vaginal health, improve overall digestion, and promote healthy blood sugar.
Lactobacillus is the dominant bacteria found in the vaginal flora of healthy women. It helps maintain vaginal health by ensuring there is less room for potentially harmful microbes. Basically, it helps prevent candida and other bacteria from growing out of control. This is why yogurt with lactobacillus is believed to be a key ingredient for yeast infections.
Additionally, lactobacillus is thought to support overall digestion and promote healthy blood sugar. The bacteria works by helping us break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off bad bacteria that could cause issues, such as diarrhea.
Probiotics in Food Other than Yogurt
Although yogurt is one of your best options when it comes to probiotics, there are lots of other foods containing lactobacillus and other beneficial probiotics.
If you’re not keen on yogurt, here are some other foods you can eat to get your dose of probiotics:
If you’re considering adding probiotics to your diet, be sure to speak to your doctor about it. Many health professionals suggest using probiotics to improve overall health. It’s important to remember that not all probiotics have the same effects. There are several different options, depending on what health goals you’re hoping to accomplish.