Probiotic foods list

Benefits of food with probiotic bacteria


What are probiotic foods?

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as living microorganisms which, when provided in adequate amounts, promote health benefits on the host organism.


Photo of yogurt. Each trademark contains a different type of probiotic, that is to say, a strain of different bacteria. All types of probiotics have benefits for intestinal health.

Probiotic means “in favor of life”. The word probiotic is formed from the Latin form “Pro” (= for) and the Greek form “biotic” which, in turn, derives from bios (= life).

Probiotic microorganisms are found naturally in foods, although sometimes they are added. The main probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium type.

Probiotic food list

What foods are probiotic?

The sources of the most important probiotics in our diet are:


– Yogurt bifidus


– Fermented milk (yogurt drink)

– Fermented soybean paste (fermented soybean paste from which can be made soy sauce)

– Soy yogurt with added bacteria

Tempeh (fermented soybean cake shaped)

Miso (Miso contains rice, fermented soybeans and barley)

– Doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)

– Chufas and Horchata

Yogurts and probiotic foods, are probiotics good?

Many foods contain some amount of probiotic bacteria, such as yogurt, miso or bifidus yogurt, are not considered good probiotics because in the stomach much of the bacteria they contain die because they do not resist stomach acid.

yogurt with oatmeal

Photo of yogurt with oatmeal (prebiotic).

The only way to ensure sufficient supply of bacteria, and these achieve to arrive intact in the intestine, is taking good probiotic supplements.

Probiotic supplements

In addition to probiotics, other probiotic products in the form of supplements are available in health food stores. They usually have bottle or vial format.

Benefits of probiotics

What characteristics must have a good probiotic supplement? What is more appropriate?

Thanks to its content of living microorganisms that colonize and repopulate the microbiota or gut flora, probiotics improve the intestinal functions of our body and therefore also improve our absorption of nutrients, such as vitamins.

Defense: Probiotics have a great role in defending the body as they help maintain a protective barrier against unwanted microorganisms and improve our immunity.

When is it recommended taking probiotics?

Scientific studies suggest that probiotics might be suitable in the following situations:

In people with high cholesterol: Some studies have found that, although the consumption of these products does not decrease the level of “bad cholesterol” (LDL), however, they really increase the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Therefore, by increasing this type of cholesterol, they counteract the negative effects of the first.

In people with hypertension: Recent studies have found a slight decrease in blood pressure.

In people prone to respiratory infections. The intake of these foods determines a greater resistance of the organism to these diseases (bronchitis, colds, sore throats, etc.)

Caries: Studies have shown that these products can reduce the ratio of tooth decay in children.

Inflammatory bowel disease: It has been suggested in some studies that probiotics may be helpful in reducing the recurrence of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Also with other intestinal diseases: irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal hyperpermeability or leaky gut symdrome, etc.

Food allergy: Similarly, it is recommended for people with intestinal problems due to allergy to gluten, wheat, lactose intolerance, etc. It is speculated that they could help people with lactose intolerance to better tolerate milk.

In gastroduodenal ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori, ingestion of probiotics together with antibiotics can help eliminate this bacteria and promote healing of ulcers. For example, for treatment of Helicobacter pylori they have been shown effective as adjuvants for the eradication of bacteria: Bacillus clausii (2 × 109 spores, 3 times daily), or Kefir (250 ml, 2 times daily).

Uses of probiotics

Some benefits have been tested extensively. Other benefits have been suggested and studied and other are still being under consideration.

For example, they have proved effective in the following situations:

When there is usually intestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, flatulence, etc.

After taking antibiotics, to regenerate the intestinal flora.

Intestinal diseases like celiac disease: To promote health and improve intestinal absorption of dietary nutrients through good digestive mucosa.

When the body is stressed it can be very affected the composition of the intestinal flora.

Types of bacteria that are used as probiotics

There are many types of lactic bacteria and bifidobacteria, and every trademark of yogurt or fermented milk may contain different.

The main microorganisms commonly used as probiotics are:

– Lactobacillus acidophilus

– Lactobacillus casei inmunitans

– Lactobacillus rhamnosus

– Lactobacillus gasseri

– Lactobacillus reuteri

– Lactobacillus platarum

– Bifidobacterium longum

Bifidobacterium bifidum

Contraindications of probiotics

When is it not appropriate to take probiotics?

In case of immunodeficiency, both acquired as congenital. That is, when the defensive system is so weakened it that could be affected by these organisms. For example, by AIDS, cancer, malnutrition or in people with sick defenses by congenital immune system problems.

In severely ill patients the use of probiotics could aggravate their condition even more.

It has been found that when the intestinal flora is completely eliminated, the use of these products is unable to regenerate.

Ingested probiotics are usually ineffective in people with much intestinal acidity. To avoid these problems some companies manufacture probiotic capsules that are able to resist the gastric juice and dissolve in the intestine.

*Related information:

– Importance of Diet: Prebiotics

– The use of sweeteners modifies the intestinal flora

Fiber fattening?

punto rojo More information on probiotics.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

20 October, 2021

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