As a vegan, you may have experienced finding a probiotic supplement that seemed to be perfect – it has the probiotic strains that you are looking for, its CFU is just what you need, etc. However, upon further inspection, you suddenly became disappointed because of one thing: it contains animal-based ingredients such as dairy.
Finding a vegan probiotic supplement should not be that hard because vegan products are increasingly becoming available; from vegan pre-workouts to vegan multivitamins, the options are out there. Nevertheless, it may still take time to find a probiotic supplement that is vegan and that suits your needs.
If this is your first dive into the probiotic world as a vegan, you may have some important questions. Do you need to take probiotics as a vegan? Should you take those live organisms to be healthy and stay healthy? What are vegan probiotics to begin with? How many billion CFU should be in probiotic supplements? This article will answer these questions and, of course, provide you with the best vegan probiotic options so you can find the right choice for your needs.
If you’re well versed in the probiotic world and simply want to see those best vegan probiotic picks, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this guide. Otherwise, if you’re interested in vegan probiotics, let’s not wait any further!
What Are Vegan Probiotics?
Simply put, vegan probiotics are simply probiotics – food or dietary supplements – that are vegan. That is, probiotic foods or supplements that do not contain any trace of animal-based ingredients. That being said, what are probiotics? How do they work?
Probiotics are good and healthy bacteria that live inside our body. They are specifically located in our gut area as they perform most of their “health duties” there.
To some, the idea of having bacteria inside your body may not be good (let alone take supplements and foods that contain them). That’s understandable, but probiotics can do more than just working on your gut area – such as keeping you away from going back to the toilet again and again. These bacteria play a vital role in virtually different areas of your health – immune system, mood, stress response, skin health, sleep quality, etc. Your gut health can affect virtually every part of your health. Therefore, keeping it healthy should be one of your health priorities – and sending probiotics is one way to do it.
Aside from probiotic bacteria, our gut – specifically gut microbiome – houses good fungi, yeasts, and other microorganisms. All of them work together to keep our gut healthy and to promote optimal overall health for our body and mind.
How Do Vegan Probiotics Work?
However, to keep it this way, it is very important to keep the balance and diversity inside the gut. Once you create an imbalance in their system, it will cause health issues – starting from digestive issues (probably, you’re running back and forth to the toilet) to issues in different parts of your health such as skin issues and weakened immune systems if you do not resolve your gut issues in the long run.
So, how do we disrupt our gut balance and hurt our gut microbiome? Factors such as stress, specific medications, and living an unhealthy lifestyle such as eating an unhealthy diet all hurt the balance within our gut microbiome.
The first symptoms of an unhealthy gut are, you name it, gut issues: diarrhea, gas, constipation, and bloating. If you left it untreated, as mentioned above, your gut issues could negatively affect other areas of your health as well, such as weakened immune system, skin problems, fatigue, and poor sleep.
What’s more, research shows that gut issues left untreated for a long time can lead to major diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.
So, how does taking probiotics help you with all of these? Given that probiotics are beneficial to your gut adding probiotic strains helps to replenish the good bacteria inside your gut, promoting gut balance and diversity in the process.
Also, if you are taking probiotic strains, you’ll have the chance to select which probiotic strain you would take (different strains have different benefits).
Vegan Probiotic Benefits
We have already essentially mentioned the benefits of taking probiotics as we discuss how they positively affect our health, from gut health to overall health. To summarize, taking probiotics is beneficial because it promotes balance, diversity, and health in our gut. In turn, a healthy and balanced gut would lead to several health benefits such as strong immune response and function, healthy skin, improved and stable energy, better mood, quality sleep, and some more. Needless to say, a healthy gut prevents gut problems, so you don’t have to worry about having a “toilet emergency” in the middle of a traffic, meeting, or anything you’re doing for the day!
Before we move on, it is very important to note the importance of balance in the gut. Our goal is not to add as plenty of probiotic bacteria as possible as it will cause an imbalance in our gut; our goal for taking probiotics is to keep the balance in our gut microbiome by replenishing its population with good bacteria.
Here’s a good example for this: research has shown that people with obesity tend to have more of a certain bacteria than other bacteria. For instance, we have Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, two main bacterial groups in our body. Normally, its ratio should be 1:1, but for obese people, Firmicutes tend to be more dominant, and its ratio can reach as high as a whopping ratio of 2,000:1!
Balance is the key to healthy. So, how would you know if you took too many probiotics? Simple. Once you started having “toilet problems” after you take your probiotic food or supplements, you’ll know you took too much of it, and you’ll need to lower down your intake (although for supplements, sometimes, you may need to change supplements as the probiotic strain in your current supplement is probably not fitting into your gut).
5 Top Vegan Probiotic Foods
If you want to add probiotic foods to your vegan diet, below are some of the foods that you should consider.
Sauerkraut is a dish made of fermented cabbage. This dish is popular in many Eastern European countries.
Aside from being rich in probiotics, sauerkraut is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin K.
When buying sauerkraut, be sure to choose the unpasteurized version. Pasteurized sauerkraut has fewer probiotic benefits because pasteurization kills much of the bacteria.
Kimchi is a very popular Korean dish. Like sauerkraut, it is a fermented cabbage dish that is also rich in probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants.
The process of making kimchi is quite similar to the sauerkraut. However, kimchi adds more vegetables and certain spices.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is generous with helpful probiotic microorganisms.
Normally, kombucha contains low amounts of alcohol, though has enough alcohol that you can classify it as a beer. If you are sensitive to alcohol or you’re not allowed to drink one, be sure to check if the kombucha you’re buying does not contain much of it.
4. Pickled Vegetables
As a vegan, you will surely love this! Pickled vegetables are probiotic foods that you can eat as a snack or as a side dish. While you can virtually ferment any vegetables, here are some of the most popular choices:
- Green beans
- Red bell peppers
Miso soup is a prebiotic soup that is rich in B vitamins and antioxidants. If you are a vegan who is looking for the best of both probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants, then miso soup would be great for you!
Best Vegan Probiotic
There are a few options for vegan probiotics available in the market today. However, many probiotic supplements are non-vegan, so always check the label and carefully read it before purchasing. So, what is the best vegan probiotic?
Below are the 3 best vegan probiotic supplements that we have researched and found to have what those following a vegan diet may need.
1. Doctor’s Best Probiotic
A moderately-priced probiotic supplement, this collection of probiotic strands was formulated to help with digestive health. With many different strains, including Bifidobacterium Lactis, this supplement is shelf-stable and great for the human gut.
This supplement is made free from dairy sources, animal products and is also gluten-free, making it a great choice if you are vegan, experience lactose intolerance, or in search of a vegan probiotic.GET THE BEST PRICE ON DOCTOR’S BEST PROBIOTIC
2. PlantFusion Vegan Complete Probiotic
This probiotic-rich supplement is perfect for vegans, anyone who is gluten-free, or a customer who is vegan friendly. There are a variety of health benefits to adding this probiotic to your diet, including boosting gut bacteria, aiding your digestive system, and increasing good bacteria. Probiotic supplements can also be useful in aiding your immune system by first helping with digestive health.
The product is non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, self-stable, and free of dairy products. It’s made with 16 billion CFUs and comes with little to no side effects.GET THE BEST PRICE ON PLANTFUSION VEGAN COMPLETE PROBIOTIC
3. Ora Organic Probiotic
One of the more popular vegan supplements on the market, these probiotics present you with a variety of health benefits. This particular probiotic is packed with good bacteria to help boost your immune system. While probiotics typically include a range of strains, this one, in particular, includes Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and more.
This supplement is non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, and packed with beneficial bacteria. It is one of the best vegan probiotics on the market to choose from.
Shop the dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, plant-based Ora Organic Probiotic here.GET THE BEST PRICE ON ORA ORGANIC PROBIOTIC
Also, if you are looking for liquid probiotic supplements, try out Mary Ruth’s Organic Liquid Probiotic & Enzyme.
Should Vegans Take Probiotics?
For the most part, yes! Probiotics are essential in taking care of your gut health, and gut health is very essential to your overall health. There are many benefits of probiotics for everyone, but for vegans in particular.
Hence, you should consider adding probiotics to your diet routine. If you have had a hard time finding a vegan probiotic, please check out the list above for suggestions.
While there are no official best vegan probiotics, these are of the best quality. They’re made to help support your gut flora, gut bacteria and even support bodily functions like immune function or supporting digestive health. They’ve even been shown to help with things like irritable bowel syndrome because of the probiotic strains included like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium Lactis.
Aside from taking probiotic supplements, it’s important to eat probiotic-rich foods that provide the digestive system with beneficial bacteria. These food options can range from yogurts to sauerkraut to sourdough bread. Sourdough bread is a popular one these days, especially since the Coronavirus quarantine began. This bread is not only nutritious but delicious.
So what do you think? Are you going to add a vegan probiotic to your daily regime?