Yogurt might as well be the spokesperson for gut health. Brimming with live and active cultures — probiotics or good bacteria — the classic breakfast staple can keep your gastrointestinal system running smoothly.
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In fact, eating probiotics can shorten gut transit time (how long it takes for things to travel all the way through) and improve stool consistency, per an October 2020 study in the journal Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that people who consumed multiple strains of probiotics also experienced less bloating.
But there's only so much yogurt a person can spoon into. The good news is that probiotics are present in all sorts of delicious foods, and especially with the development of strains that can be added to shelf-stable foods, we're seeing them more and more in the grocery store. Fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics (think: kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir) are also getting more real estate on grocery store shelves nowadays.
So if you're looking to boost or diversify your probiotic intake, consider one of these probiotic snacks — none of which are yogurt.
1. Good Culture Cottage Cheese, Low-Fat Classic
- Per serving: 120 calories, 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 460 milligrams sodium, 3 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 19 grams protein
This creamy cottage cheese is made with five simple, recognizable ingredients: skim milk, whole milk, cream, sea salt and the live and active cultures Lactobacillus Paracasei. There are no thickeners or emulsifiers, and with 19 grams per serving, it's also a solid source of protein.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $5.49
2. Health-Ade Plus Belly Reset
- Per serving: 60 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar, 12 grams added sugar), 0 grams protein
Yes, kombucha is a great source of probiotics, and this particular Health-Ade variety takes it up a notch. They've added 6 billion CFUs of probiotics to each bottle, along with ginger and pineapple — two foods that help with bloating.
Buy it: Health-Ade.com; Price: $4.33 per bottle
3. Kite Hill DIPS Tzatziki
- Per serving: 30 calories, 2 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 75 milligrams sodium, 2 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar), 1 gram protein
Upgrade your favorite dip to one that also delivers live and active cultures with this non-dairy, almond milk-based option. If you're looking for other dip flavors, Kite Hill also makes Tzatziki and Ranch dips.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $3.79
4. Wildbrine Red Beet & Cabbage Organic Kraut
- Per serving: 10 calories, 0 grams fat, 280 milligrams sodium, 2 grams carbohydrates (<1 gram fiber, <1 gram sugar), 0 grams protein
Earthy and sweet beets (plus some fresh pear) balance the tang of sauerkraut in this raw, fermented sauerkraut. Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and serve it cold — heating the kraut will kill the probiotics.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $6.67
5. Sunja’s Medium Spicy Kimchi
- Per serving: 10 calories, 0 grams fat, 90 milligrams sodium, 2 grams carbohydrates (1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 0 grams protein
Crunchy cabbage, carrots and sweet red pepper get a hit of heat with the addition of crushed red pepper and then fermentation. As with the sauerkraut, be sure to keep kimchi refrigerated and serve it cold, as the heat during cooking will destroy the probiotics.
Buy it: SunjasKimchi.com; Price: $3.95
6. CORE Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate
- Per serving: 220 calories, 10 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 160 milligrams sodium, 31 grams carbohydrates (7 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 7 grams protein
This refrigerated bar doesn't just add probiotics to your diet, it also delivers prebiotic starch — aka the food that feeds the good bugs in your GI. The first ingredient is whole-grain oats and each bar boasts ample amounts of filling fiber and protein in a snack-sized portion. Other flavors include Peanut Butter and Blueberry Banana Almond.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $2.49
7. KOR Gut Check
- Per serving: 20 calories, 0 grams fat, 5 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 0 grams protein
At just under 2 fluid ounces, the base of this wellness shot is apple cider vinegar. The second ingredient is probiotics — and you'll get 1 billion CFU in each shot. Aloe vera juice, ginger juice, lemon juice and coconut water round out the flavor profile of the drink.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $44 for 12
8. Uncle Matt’s Ultimate Defense Turmeric & Probiotics Orange Juice
- Per serving: 170 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 milligrams sodium, 38 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 36 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 3 grams protein
Sometimes you just need a liquid snack to get you through that midday slump. A single serving of Uncle Matt's Orange Defense delivers 1 billion CFUs of the proprietary GanadenBC30 probiotics. You also get a hefty dose of turmeric and vitamin C.
Buy it: Instacart.com; Price: $7.99
9. Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir
- Per serving: 110 calories, 2 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 125 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 11 grams protein
Tart and tangy, creamy dairy drink delivers 12 different probiotic strains. According to a February 2020 review in the journal Nutrients, regularly drinking kefir has the potential to help lower cholesterol and quell inflammation. If plain is too tart for you, Lifeway offers numerous other flavors — from fruit-infused to sweet s'mores. Just be mindful of the sugar in these.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $2.78
10. KIND Apple Cinnamon Probiotic Breakfast Bar
- Per serving: 210 calories, 7 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 110 milligrams sodium, 33 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 8 grams added sugar), 3 grams protein
You get two breakfast bars in a single serving, plus 28 grams of whole grains and 500 million CFU probiotic cultures. If Apple Cinnamon isn't your flavor, KIND Probiotic Breakfast Bars also come in Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate and Orange Cranberry.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $17.99 for 12 bars
11. Mariani Probiotic Apricots
- Per serving: 120 calories, 0 grams fat, 30 milligrams sodium, 29 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 17 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 1 gram protein
Dried fruit with added probiotics is new to us, but we're here for it. Plus, the natural fiber from the fruit means you're getting a prebiotic in your snack, too. Remember, prebiotics are fuel for the good bugs in your GI system.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $8.89
12. Farmhouse Culture Apple Cider Vinegar Gut Shot
- Per serving: 5 calories, 0 grams fat, 70 milligrams sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar), 0 grams protein
This 16-pack comes split with Apple Cinnamon and Ginger Turmeric flavors. Both are made with leftover sauerkraut brine (that's where the probiotics come from) and apple cider vinegar. The remaining ingredients — like ginger, turmeric and black pepper or cinnamon and apple — vary with the shot flavor. This brand also makes Ginger Beet and Garlic Dill flavors.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $49.99 for 16
13. Vegan Rob’s Probiotic Cauliflower Puffs
- Per serving: 140 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 160 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar), 3 grams protein
These puffs will absolutely satisfy your salty, crunchy craving and although there's really not that much cauliflower in them. Powdered cauliflower is the third ingredient while the first ingredient is a gluten-free whole grain.
Buy it: Walmart.com; Price: $37.60 for a pack of 12
14. North Coast Organic Apple Sauce + Probiotic Strawberry Pouches
- Per serving: 50 calories, 0 grams fat, 10 milligrams sodium, 13 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 0 grams protein
Applesauce, plus strawberry puree, plus probiotics (in this case, Bacillus Coagulans) equals a fruit-forward snack for kids and adults alike in a mess-free, on-the-go, squeezable pouch.
Buy it: Walmart.com; Price: $2.98