First off... what are probiotics?
Probiotics are good bacteria that balance and replenish the digestive system.
Our gut naturally contains thousands of bacteria cells. Probiotics help ensure the good bacteria levels are kept in a healthy range.
Good bacteria has several different benefits. This is a whole different topic, so I'll save it for another blog post!
Probiotics are most commonly found in 2 different places:
Food and Supplements
I think by now most of us know that yogurt contains probiotics! Whether from seeing it advertised on television or hearing about it from a family member/friend.
But yogurt isn't the only food that contains probiotics. Foods that undergo a natural fermentation process also contain this beneficial bacteria!
Foods like: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso and tempeh.
But what how much bacteria is in Yogurt and Fermented Foods?
And is it comparable to taking a probiotic in Supplement form?
In my opinion, no! The bacteria count is much greater in the form of a supplement compared to yogurt.
Since your gut contains thousands and thousands of different bacteria.. the amount of bacteria in yogurt doesn't have as strong of an effect on the gut as a supplement does.
Working as a supplement specialist I know that in supplement form you can intake a large amount of bacteria, up to 100 billion cells per capsule.
Probiotics differ from brand to brand, for both yogurt and supplements.
Most yogurt and fermented food companies don't state how much bacteria is found in the product.
Usually at the time of packaging the yogurt there is about 100 million - 1 billion bacteria count.
Probiotic supplement companies have a wide ranges of bacteria levels and strains stated right on the bottle.
The strains are usually specific to benefit the small intestines, large intestines and overall digestive health.
You can find different companies from 1 billion-100 billion bacteria count per capsule.
Available in capsule, powder or liquid form.
The main differences between fermented foods and supplements are...
The amount of bacteria is much greater in supplements compared to fermented foods and yogurt
Supplements contain more bacteria strains specific to the
You would have to eat A LOT of yogurt / fermented foods to get the amount of bacteria you can in some supplements
I personally prefer to use a probiotic in supplement form for my source of good bacteria!
I've used many different kinds of probiotics but I find these works best for me.
- Udo's Super 8 Plus
- Garden of Life Mood+
- Genuine Health fermented probiotic
I also like to add fermented foods like sauerkraut to some of meals to help with the digestive process and increase the nutrient content of my meal.