The trillions of microorganisms in your gut include bacteria, fungus, and viruses and are collectively
known as the microbiome. This ecosystem contains more genetic material than all the human genetic
material in your body’s cells. '
The composition and health of your microbiome has been shown not just
to reflect the health of your gut, but also overall health, biological age, and your response to nutrients
You can get the top desired bacteria by directly ingesting the bacteria, known as a
probiotic from food or supplements. Other options include ingesting the carbohydrate fuel they require
to grow, called a prebiotic.
One of the tastiest ways to incorporate probiotics is through yogurt. In this
comprehensive guide we’ll discuss Greek yogurt, and other top options including Skyr and Bulgarian
Prioritizing your gut health through probiotic yogurt is a simple yet effective way to support your overall well-being. Whether you prefer Greek yogurt, kefir, skyr, or another probiotic-rich option, incorporating these into your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome, improve digestion, and bolster your overall well-being.
Probiotic yogurt is simply yogurt that contains live beneficial bacteria, which can help maintain the health of your gut microbiome. These probiotics offer various benefits, including improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, and support for your immune system.
Stress is a major problem we all face and if excessive, high cortisol release can damage the gut lining and may be an instigating cause for autoimmune problems such as thyroid problems like thyroiditis, joint problems seen in rheumatoid arthritis, or skin problems seen in psoriasis. Beneficial strains of bacteria can help decrease inflammation and repair the gut lining.
However, not all yogurts are created equal when it comes to probiotics. To make sure you're getting the best yogurt for your gut health, you need to consider the following factors:
The most crucial factor in selecting a probiotic yogurt is ensuring it contains live and active cultures. These cultures are the beneficial bacteria that offer health benefits. Look for labels on yogurt containers that specify the presence of live and active cultures.
Sometimes the fruit that is added affects the pH and could result in much fewer live bacterial colonies. Common probiotic strains you might find in yogurt include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
High sugar content can have a detrimental affect on your gut which can offset some of the numerous health benefits from the live cultures in the sweetened yogurt. Excessive sugar can feed harmful bacteria, and result in less beneficial species.
Opt for yogurts with lower sugar content, especially those that don't contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Consider avoiding the yogurts with “fruit on the bottom” which may result in decreased number of live cultures on top of added sugar.
The best yogurt for gut health often contains a variety of probiotic strains. Different strains may offer different benefits, so choosing yogurt with diverse strains can be advantageous. This diversity can help improve the overall balance of your gut microbiome. Strains to look for include lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobaculus plantarum, and bifidobacterium lactis.
Yogurts that undergo excessive processing may lose some of their live and active cultures. Choose yogurt that is as minimally processed as possible to maximize the probiotic benefits.
Whole milk yogurt often contains more fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids that can support the absorption of fat-soluble probiotics. The fat soluble vitamins include vitamin D, A, K, and E. However, if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you can still benefit from low-fat or non-fat yogurts with live cultures.
The duration of fermentation can impact the probiotic content of yogurt. Longer fermentation periods generally result in higher probiotic counts. Some yogurts are fermented for an extended time, so you may want to explore these options for maximum benefits.
Now that you know what to look for, here are some top picks for probiotic yogurt:
Now that you've selected the best probiotic yogurt for your gut health, it's important to incorporate it into your daily diet. Here are some delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy probiotic yogurt:
What kind of yogurt has the most probiotics?
Kefir can have a broader range of bacteria than regular yogurt. It is a fermented dairy product that a has a thinner texture but is rich in fatty acids such as omega 3.
Which brands of yogurt have live and active cultures?
Popular brands of yogurt that have live cultures found in grocery stores include Chobani, Noosa, Skyr, and Yoplait.
Which is better for you probiotic yogurt or Greek yogurt?
This depends on what nutrient you are seeking to maximize. For example, Greek Yogurt has a higher protein content without as much carbohydrates including sugar. Other yogurts such as the Bulgarian may be a richer source of calcium and potassium. Both can have live beneficial bacteria.
Can Greek yogurt help with digestion?
Greek yogurt has a good variety of beneficial bacteria. Many of these bacteria help keep the gastrointestinal wall intact as an effective barrier, decrease inflammation, and allow for an appropriate immune response. All these benefits allows the gut to have better digestion.
How much yogurt should I eat a day for gut health?
The general recommendation can range from 180ml to 250ml of yogurt daily. This will allow an adequate dose of beneficial healthy bacteria. The amount can vary as most plain yogurts have more active live cultures than yogurt premixed with fruit, the “fruit is on the bottom” type yogurt which because of the pH and fruit may have less live bacteria.
What is the best yogurt for IBS sufferers?
Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt has the best combination of a good amount of liver bacteria /probiotics, higher protein, and lower sugar. This is the best choice for those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Does yogurt actually help gut bacteria?
A study in February, 2017 showed that after 4 weeks of consuming Probiotics in healthy adults there was increase in beneficial Lactobaccili and bifidobacteria strains.
Probiotic yogurt is a delicious and accessible way to support your gut health. By choosing yogurt with live and active cultures, low sugar content, and diverse probiotic strains, you can enjoy a range of health benefits while savoring the creamy goodness of yogurt.
Whether you prefer Greek yogurt, kefir, skyr, or another probiotic-rich option, incorporating these into your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome, improve digestion, and bolster your overall well-being. Your digestive system is intricately linked to your immune function, nutrient absorption, and even your mental health, making gut health a cornerstone of your overall health.
As you explore the world of probiotic yogurt, remember to focus on making informed choices, opt for whole milk or low-fat varieties, and minimize sugar content. These considerations will help you maximize the benefits of your probiotic yogurt consumption.
Incorporating probiotic yogurt into your diet can be a pleasant and rewarding experience. From yogurt parfaits to homemade smoothies and savory dishes, there are endless possibilities for enjoying the health benefits of probiotics while savoring delicious flavors.
Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 5 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, anti-aging/ regenerative medicine, and obesity medicine. IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM, ABOM.