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 count is just what you need, etc. However, upon further inspection, you suddenly became disappointed because of one thing: it contained 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 our choices for the best vegan probiotic supplements, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this guide. Otherwise, if you’re interested in learning all about vegan probiotics and which ones are best, let’s not wait any further!
What Are Vegan Probiotics?
Simply put, vegan probiotics are simply probiotics – whether from foods or dietary supplements – that are vegan. That is, probiotic foods or supplements that do not contain any trace of animal-based ingredients.
With that being said, what are probiotics? And how do they work?
Probiotics: The Good Bugs
Probiotics are good and healthy bacteria that live inside our bodies. 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 are known as healthy gut bacteria because they are necessary for the function of our gut, and we have a sort of mutually beneficial relationship with these bugs.
What’s more, these healthy bacteria play a vital role in many different areas of your health beyond the gut. In fact, your immune system, mood, stress response, skin health, and sleep quality, are all at least partially affected by your gut bacteria. Your gut health can affect virtually every part of your health. Therefore, keeping it healthy should be one of your health priorities – and sending in probiotics is one way to do it.
Gut Microbiome Balance and Health Effects
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 this system, it will cause health issues. And 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. So it’s no wonder that many people have gut health problems since these are all aspects of modern living.
Unfortunately, disrupting these helpful bacteria can lead to many problems. At first, you’ll likely have digestive issues, such as diarrhea, gas, constipation, and bloating. Later on, you may struggle with inflammatory bowel disease and health problems beyond the gut, such as skin issues, fatigue, poor mood, and a weakened immune system if you do not resolve your gut issues over time.
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.
Benefits of Probiotics
So, how does taking probiotics help prevent all of these problems? Well, given that probiotic bacteria 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. And this can further prevent many of the problems mentioned above.
Also, if you are taking probiotic strains, you’ll have the chance to select which probiotic strain you would take, which is nice since different strains have different benefits.
Therefore, you can take different probiotics for different health benefits, such as strong immune health and function, healthy skin, improved and stable energy, better mental health, quality sleep, and more.
In sum, adding in probiotic bacteria establishes balance in the gut microbiome, promoting not just greater gut health but better overall health as a whole. And that’s why probiotic supplementation can be so beneficial!
5 Top Vegan Probiotic Foods
Of course, it’s important to know which vegan foods actually have probiotics. So, if you want to add probiotic-rich vegan foods to your diet, below are some of the vegan foods that you should consider to start increasing the number of good bacteria in your body.
Sauerkraut is a pretty common food made of fermented cabbage. This is popular in many Eastern European countries, but it is also quite popular in the USA and other countries too, primarily as a condiment.
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.
Another great probiotic food is kimchi, which 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. (Note that most of these so far are fermented foods).
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:
- Cucumbers (definitely the most common as these are what most people call pickles)
- Green beans
- Red bell peppers
Lastly, there is miso. Miso 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 Probiotics
Alright, so now you know about some solid vegan probiotic foods, but what about vegan probiotics supplements? After all, that’s why you’re here. Fortunately, there are a few solid options for vegan probiotic supplements available in the market today.
And listed below are the 6 best vegan probiotic supplements that we have researched and found to have what those following a vegan diet may need.
(However, many other probiotics supplements are non-vegan, so always check the label and carefully read it before purchasing.)
Our top vegan probiotic choice has to be Seed. This supplement is a DS-01 Daily Synbiotic that combines both probiotics and prebiotics into one for optimal gut health (and beyond). Within Seed, there are digestive, immunity, and antioxidant probiotics as well as cardiovascular probiotics, dermatological probiotics, micronutrient synthesis probiotics, and microbiota-accessible prebiotics.
Seed includes a 24-strain broad-spectrum formula designed to support digestion and gut immunity, alleviate discomfort, promote cardiovascular and dermatological health, and provide micronutrient synthesis.
It not only includes the common Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains, but also lacticaseibacillus, limosilactobacillus, lactiplantibaccilus, and more. In total, there are over 50 billion AFUs.
Seed is also engineered with ViaCap delivery technology which protects the supplement’s viability through the stomach acid and gastrointestinal environment to deliver an average of 100% of the probiotic to the colon.
It is also free from dairy, gluten, sesame, glyphosate/AMPA, corn, nuts, and shellfish. Plus, it is free from binders and preservatives and is Prop.65 compliant.
2. Gundry MD 24 Strain Probiotic
Another one of our top vegan probiotic options is 24 Strain Probiotic from Gundry MD. Heart surgeon and wellness advocate, Dr. Steven Gundry, is the popular founder of Gundry MD. He also founded The Center For Restorative Medicine and has a primary focus on the human microbiome and how nutrition and diet can relate to better health.
24 Strain Probiotic is designed to support and balance good gut bacteria with benefits including improved digestion, more energy and focus, reduced cravings, and less bloating and stomach discomfort.
Its formula uses 24 probiotic strains (e.g. lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, saccharomyces, streptococcus) that each play a role in providing gut health benefits and maintaining good bacteria balance. In addition to being vegan friendly, 24 Strain Probiotic is also sugar-free, gluten-free, and contains no soy or artificial sweeteners.
3. 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum
If you’re looking for a probiotic supplement that targets broad-spectrum digestive health, 1MD has your answer. 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum is a probiotic supplement designed to promote the digestive tract’s normal microbial balance, thus benefiting the immune system and gut health. It is doctor-formulated, non-dairy, soy-free, non-GMO, and free of gluten and preservatives.
Complete Probiotics Platinum contains 11 different probiotics strains with 51 billion CFUs per dose, with lactobacillus bacteria and Bifidobacterium strains as well as LactoSpore. It also includes NutraFlora prebiotic fiber which provides a source of food for these probiotic strains, thus increasing their effectiveness. These ingredients then combine to provide benefits including enhanced nutrient absorption, immune cell function support, indigestion and stomach pain relief, and better overall gut health.
4. Doctor’s Best Probiotic
A moderately-priced probiotic supplement, this collection of probiotic strains was formulated to help with digestive health, immune system health, and general intestinal well-being. With many 20 billion CFUs and many different strains, including those from Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, this probiotic formula is a great choice for gut health optimization.
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 are in search of a vegan probiotic.
5. PlantFusion Vegan Complete Probiotic
Also a great choice is Vegan Complete Probiotic from PlanFusion. This probiotic-rich supplement is perfect for vegans or anyone living a similar lifestyle. PlantFusion Vegan Complete Probiotic contains 8 different probiotic strains and 35 billion CFUs. Plus, it contains 2 sources of prebiotics, including a form of prebiotic fiber, so you can help feed the good bacteria. Additionally, the probiotics in here are formulated to be resistant to stomach acid so they can get to where you need them to go.
There are a variety of health benefits to adding this probiotic to your diet, including enhanced digestion, better immunity, optimal nutrient absorption, and even weight loss.
The product is non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, self-stable, and free of dairy products.
6. Ora Trust Your Gut
The last product we recommend isTrust Your Gut from Ora. One of the more popular vegan supplements on the market, Trust Your Gut is loaded with 20 billion CFUs from probiotics such as lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Plus, the strains included are proven in research to resist stomach acid and digestion where they can then make it to the intestines and really shine. Additionally, Trust Your Gut has prebiotic fibers from high-quality foods such as Jerusalem artichoke and tapioca, so you can nourish the gut bacteria with nutrition.
In turn, you get benefits for your gut and digestive system, and also your immune system, mood, and more.
This supplement is also non-GMO, organic, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, It is one of the best vegan probiotics on the market to choose from.
Shop for the Trust Your Gut probiotic and prebiotic supplement here.
Also, if you are looking for liquid probiotic supplements, try out Mary Ruth’s Organic Liquid Probiotic & Enzyme.
Should Vegans Take Probiotics?
So, you might be wondering, should vegans take probiotics? And the answer is, 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 since most people have a diet and lifestyle that really isn’t at all conducive to optimal gut health, whether you’re a vegan or not. It’s just really hard to achieve optimal gut health in today’s world without probiotic and prebiotic supplementation.
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 bacteria, digestive health, and even to support bodily functions like immune function. They’ve even been shown to help with things like irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.
We also like that most of these products have strains that are resistant to stomach acid and heat in digestion, so they can actually reach the small and large intestines where they have the most benefits. And the addition of prebiotics in some of these supplements makes them all the more beneficial.
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 vegan yogurts to sauerkraut to sourdough bread, along with other fermented vegetables and even fermented tea (such as kombucha). In general, fermented foods are going to be your best bet.
So what do you think? Are you going to add a vegan probiotic to your daily regime? (Hint, hint…we think it’d be a great decision).