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  • Writer's pictureJen Walpole

Your Essential Guide to Probiotic Foods

What is a probiotic and what are some examples of foods containing them?

Probiotics are live bacteria with health benefits for your gut. They work by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut and hindering the growth of less favourable ones. Think of them as your gut's cheerleaders. You can find probiotics in fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh.


What are the health benefits of probiotics?

Probiotics offer a range of health advantages. They can aid digestion, support your immune function (which mostly resides in the gut), and even help regulate mood. Some studies suggest they might play a role in reducing the risk of certain gut issues like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) too. What's more, more recent research has highlighted the link between both the maternal microbiome and the fathers microbiome in supporting the health of the future offspring!


How often should you eat probiotics and how much should you eat at a time?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer for probiotic intake. It depends on the specific strain and your individual needs. But generally speaking, focus on incorporating 1-2 servings of probiotic-rich foods daily. If you haven't consumed these before, do consider starting slow and gradually increasing to allow your gut to adjust.


What is the best way to incorporate them into your diet?

The beauty of probiotics is that they come in lots of delicious forms! Rather than reaching for a supplement first, seek them out in foods. Enjoy a daily serving of yoghurt with live cultures, incorporate kimchi into your stir-fry, or try adding some kefir into your breakfast smoothie.


How can probiotics help to alleviate bloating, especially in people who feel chronically bloated?

Bloating can be a sign of an imbalanced gut bacteria. Probiotics can help restore this balance, potentially reducing bloating and discomfort but it is preferable to consider stool testing first to understand more, such as the GI effects stool test which I regularly run in my clinic. This way, you will be able to see the specific strains of bacteria that need a helping hand. What's more, if there is an overgrowth present, some bacteria can respond badly to probiotics and need a different approach. However, incorporating probiotics regularly is definitely worth a try for those experiencing chronic bloating to see if things improve.

Jen's Probiotic Approved Shopping List:


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