The Best Sources for Vegan Probiotics (VZ 355)

As we deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic, staying healthy is essential. One of the ways to do this is to keep our digestive systems healthy. Enter probiotics; more specifically, VEGAN probiotics! 

 

You can check out our discussion of vegan probiotics here…

…or read on for a quick summary.

 

The human digestive system contains a lot of bacteria, most of which are harmless. Collectively, these microorganisms are referred to as gut flora and are found primarily in the colon and large intestine. They’re SUPER helpful to the body in a couple of ways; they help to control the digestive process and keep your immune system in check.  

 

Gut flora, along with other organisms living in the body (such as viruses and fungi) make up your microbiome. Each person’s microbiome is TRULY unique, and is determined partly by genetics and partly by the environment. 

 

When harmful gut flora outnumbers harmless gut flora, the body can get out of whack. 

Possible health problems that can arise include:

  • heart disease
  • upset stomach (and/or chronic stomach issues)
  • obesity
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • inflammation
  • skin issues (such as acne)

 

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help manage good gut bacteria, which results in a variety of health benefits.

The most common types of probiotics are:

  • L. acidophilus (Lactobacillus reuteri) — mostly found in dairy products; aids in digestion and helps reduce vaginal bacteria
  • B. longum (Bifidobaterium longum) — helps your body break down carbs
  • L. reuteri — Has been shown to help reduce bad bacteria in your mouth
  • B. breve (Bifidobacterium breve) — has been used to fight infections; helps absorb nutrients and fiber
  • B. animalis — found in some yogurt, such as Dannon’s Activia; has immune-boosting properties and helps with digestion
  • B. lactis — derived from raw milk; helps digestion and immune functions

 

What Do They Do for Your Body?

An unhealthy gut can lead to all sorts of health issues. Probiotics can help your body balance the good gut flora in your body.  

 

woman's stomach

 

Antibiotics, for example, can cause gut flora to become imbalanced, which may lead to stomach upset and digestive issues such as diarrhea. 

 

What Do They Do for Your Brain? 

Probiotics may also have positive effects on mental health.

Studies have shown that mood–and some mental disorders–can be impacted by the bacteria in our intestines. Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to have a positive impact on treating disorders such as OCD, depression, anxiety, and autism. 

We don’t often realize how much of our overall health is dependent on the state of our intestines! 

 

woman outdoors

 

What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? 

Prebiotics are plant fibers that help stimulate the growth of healthy gut flora. They help create the ideal environment in which beneficial microorganisms can grow. 

 

Prebiotics are found in fruits and vegetables that contain complex carbs and fiber including, but not limited to:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus 
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Tempeh

 

Are There Any Risks of Taking Probiotics? 

It seems like probiotics would be a great thing to add to one’s diet, and for most people, they are!

Generally speaking, probiotics are safe, but always check with your doctor before taking any supplements. Children and some people with underlying health conditions may have adverse reactions to these supplements.

 

Are All Probiotics Vegan-Friendly?

Some probiotics contain animal products (dairy and others), so are not vegan-friendly. Therefore, if you’re adhering to a strict vegan diet, you’ll want to pay close attention to both the active and inactive ingredients in supplements, as they may contain animal products. 

 

So here’s the good news! There are plenty of plant-based food sources of probiotics. Here are few:

  1. Miso –– made from fermented soybeans, salt, and koji (Check out episode 353: What is Miso?)
  2. Kimchi — this is made with fermented cabbage but can also be made from radishes, and is also a great source of Potassium
  3. Kombucha — a fizzy fermented tea (usually black or green)
  4. Tempeh — compressed fermented soybeans
  5. Sourdough bread
  6. Natto — made from fermented soybeans
  7. Vegan yogurt
  8. Sauerkraut — fermented shredded cabbage
  9. Supplements — discussed in more detail below

 

Of the list above, a number are fermented foods. For more on fermented foods, check out episode 176: The Amazing Benefits of Fermented Foods.

 

bowl with salad

 

What are Some Vegan Probiotic Supplements? 

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a probiotic supplement:

  • Check the active and inactive ingredients lists for any animal products or dairy 
  • Check the CFU count (colony forming units)
  • Consider shelf stability — does it require refrigeration? 
  • Look at the strain diversity — the more diverse the better 

 

Here’s our list of 5 supplement recommendations in a variety of forms: tablets, gummies, and powder. Remember, ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any supplements! 

  1. Ora Organic Probiotics with Prebiotics 
Ora Organic Probiotics with Prebiotics
  • Organic Vegan Probiotics
  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • 16 BILLION CFU PER SERVING, 6 PROBIOTIC STRAINS: We use strains selected for their well-studied health benefits. Strains include Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Breve, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longum
Buy on Amazon!
  1. Yuve Vegan Probiotic Gummies
Yuve Vegan Probiotic Sugar-Free Gummies
  • Billion CFU - Promotes Digestive Health & Immunity
  • Helps with Constipation, Bloating, Detox, Leaky Gut & Gas Relief
  • Natural, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free - 60ct


Buy on Amazon!
  1. Nuzest
  1. Naturelo Whole Food Vitamin for Women
NATURELO One Daily Multivitamin for Women
  • Premium Formula with Natural Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K
  • Organic Fruit & Vegetable Blends
  • Non-GMO, Gluten-Free
  • Does NOT Contain Soy, Gelatin, Egg, Dairy or Yeast
Buy on Amazon!
  1. Flora Pro-Healthy Daily Probiotic by Naturenetics 
Flora Pro-Health High Strength Probiotic Supplement
  • 30 Billion CFU Per Capsule
  • Sugar, Soy, Dairy, Gluten-Free
  • Vegan
Buy on Amazon!

 

We hope this has provided you with a good list of vegan probiotic options. Cheers to your health!

 

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

 

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Resources Used for this Episode:

 

Recipe of the Week

Fermented Jalapenos from An Oregon Cottage.

Get everything you need to make your own fermented jalapenos here!




Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa