A Healthful Dose of Bacteria — Yogurt Is the Best Probiotic Source, but Clients Do Have Other Options
Personally I am a big fan of kefir since I came across it via empty kefir jars in a friends house about 12 years ago. Not easy to find but Liberty brand does make a kefir. I tried getting some granules but was not overly pleased with the result. I think I may try making it again as well as some other fermented foods such as sauerkraut. As far as yogurt goes I have consumed it for 40 years. Astro being my brand of choice for probably 2o of those years. I now use Greek Gods Organic plain, Krema Greek and sometimes Liberty Plain Mediterranean. I was using Stonyfields when I lived in the far north, but have not seen it locally. I wish there were other organic high fat available but it seems we must compromise with either organic or high fat-other than Greek Gods.
Yogurt is by far the most commonly known and widely available probiotic food in the United States. While it’s not the only way to get your probiotics, there’s good reason yogurt and other dairy foods are the best way to get these friendly bacteria into your system. “Dairy foods and beverages are the best probiotic delivery vehicles since probiotics have a short shelf life and are easily destroyed by heat and acidic environments,” explains Carol Ann Brannon, MS, RD, LD, a nutrition and feeding therapist based in Georgia. “Dairy foods have a short shelf life and buffer stomach acid and bile. In addition, dairy foods and probiotics appear to have synergy. In vitro studies indicate that lactoferrin in dairy foods may enhance bifidobacteria growth.”
“It’s critical that the organisms in yogurt are alive and active during its shelf life in order to ensure that the health benefits are received from the yogurt,” Brannon says. “Pasteurization, partial sterilization using heat, often results in the death of many microorganisms. For this reason, organic yogurts are preferable.”
Antinoro agrees that while there are other sources claiming to contain probiotics, nothing tops yogurt. But there are a few other dairy sources that fit the bill, such as smoothies, cottage cheese, and kefir. Kefir is relatively new in American grocery stores, Brannon says. But this creamy fermented milk product is nothing brand new. It originated centuries ago in the Eastern European Caucasus Mountains. “The longevity of the Caucasus Mountain people was associated with their consumption of kefir,” Brannon says. “Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria, such as Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species, as well as some beneficial yeasts that aren’t found in yogurt.”