How To Stock A Probiotic Pantry



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Kefir can improve digestion and restore beneficial bacteria after a round of antibiotics. Bonus: It has more protein and less sugar than yogurt, but with the same creamy texture and tangy taste. Try it in salad dressings or smoothies. Plain kefir is in the dairy aisle and can be consumed in all the same ways as yogurt, says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, president of Nutritious Life in New York City.



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Lactobacilli, a type of good bacteria found in kimchi, can help prevent yeast infections. Kimchi is usually eaten as a side or garnish, says Glassman, who suggests pairing it with fish or vegetables.



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A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating sauerkraut may help prevent cancer. Sauerkraut goes with more than hot dogs and Reuben sandwiches: You can eat it as a stand-alone side dish (it’s a great substitute for slaw), on top of lean chicken sausage and veggie or portobello burgers, or added to stir-fries (after cooking, to avoid killing the good bacteria). “Sauerkraut adds a sour note,” says nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD. “Chefs call it a brightener — it makes your food’s flavor pop.”



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Miso, a staple in Japanese cooking, is a paste made of fermented soybeans — and is also a good source of probiotics.

What if your diet isn’t full of probiotic-rich foods?

If you aren’t getting enough probiotics from your daily diet, a supplement can make up the difference. Most supplements contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, although you’ll see some with more strains (sometimes called “mega probiotics”). These pumped-up versions aren’t necessarily better, but some experts say it’s a good idea to switch supplements every month or two.

Related: 3 Healthy Habits From Toddlerhood Worth Reinstating

Recommendations vary, but supplements with at least 20 billion live organisms per dose tend to be most effective, experts say. You can choose from among powders, pills, and liquid shots, and some probiotics are sold chilled and must be kept that way to maintain their effectiveness. Here are a few winners in the supplement world.

Align. It contains Bifantis, a patented strain of bacteria that helps maintain digestive balance.

Florastor. A study found that this supplement alleviates antibiotic-related diarrhea and may help boost the immune system, making this a smart choice when traveling, says Dr. Reid.

Rephresh Pro-B. This is the only probiotic clinically shown to balance yeast and bacteria daily.

Be Well By Dr. Frank Lipman — Probiotic Powder. Add a teaspoon to your smoothie to ease chronic indigestion.

Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic Chewables. These have been shown to boost general digestive health.

Reprinted from 20 Pounds Younger by Michele Promaulayko with Laura Tedesco. Copyright (c) 2015 by Rodale Inc. by permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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