Can People on a Dairy-Free Diet Take Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that help balance bacteria in the colon and can boost overall gastrointestinal health. Probiotics can be taken as supplements and are found naturally in certain foods. If you follow a dairy-free diet, you can still take probiotics. While probiotics are often found in dairy-based foods such as yogurt, several dairy-free alternatives are just as effective.

Dairy-free products that contain probiotics are available in many stores. Credit: mediaphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Dairy-Free Probiotic Supplements

You can take probiotics in several forms, including a convenient daily supplement. To ensure you're selecting only probiotic supplements that don't contain dairy or lactose, read the nutrition label carefully. The following words indicate that a product contains lactose, or milk sugar: milk, lactose, whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids and nonfat dry milk powder. If the nutrition label on your probiotic lists any of the above ingredients, the product isn't suitable for a dairy-free diet.

Dairy-Free Foods Containing Probiotics

You can also incorporate probiotics into your diet through dairy-free foods. Yogurt and kefir contain live probiotic cultures, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, but dairy-free versions of yogurt and kefir made from almond, soy or coconut milk and can be found at your local supermarket and health food store. Kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, sour pickles and sourdough bread are other nondairy sources of probiotics. Incorporating these foods into your diet enables you to increase your probiotic intake while maintaining a dairy-free diet.

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