Skip to main content

These 10 foods high in probiotics can help stomach issues

Promote gut health with these delicious foods

As more and more research begins to surface about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome, there is one type of food that can vastly affect this in a positive way. One of the best ways to do so is to improve digestion through diet.

If you’re looking for one of the most effective ways to improve your digestion while simultaneously improving nearly every other aspect of your health—from the appearance of your skin to your anxiety levels, ability to sleep, and strength of your immune system—you can’t go wrong by delving into the world of probiotics. Probiotics are functional microorganisms, such as beneficial bacteria and fungi, that confer various health benefits to your body by supporting the helpful microbes residing in your gut.

Probiotics can be ingested in the form of supplements, but an even better way to obtain them is by consuming foods that naturally contain probiotics. Fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, are high in probiotics. Foods high in probiotics contain the beneficial strains of healthy bacteria that can improve gut health and immune function, and reduce inflammation, thus improving your overall gut microbiome. Next time you’re making your grocery run, make sure to grab these probiotic-rich foods below to add to your diet that may be the easiest “big” thing you can do to improve your health.

A bowl of yogurt with strawberry slices and blueberries with a strawberry beside it.


Yogurt may be one of the more approachable fermented foods and a favorite breakfast, lunch, or smoothie add-in for many guys. When topped with healthy cereal, nuts, seeds, or fruit, yogurt can be a filling, well-rounded meal or snack. Although not every type of yogurt on the shelves contains active or live cultures, there are many probiotic-rich yogurts, thanks to the fermenting process where good bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species turn milk into yogurt. Yogurt and dairy foods are also good sources of protein, calcium, as well as tryptophan and melatonin, which can help you fall asleep at night. When selecting yogurt, look for organic dairy options to avoid hormones and chemicals, and avoid ones with added sugars.

A spoonful of kefir and two glasses of kefir on a table.


Kefir is creamy, fermented milk with a slight effervescence. It is made by adding kefir “grains,” which are actually cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast rather than cereal grains, to cow or goat milk. Kefir tends to be well tolerated by those with lactose intolerance and may even improve your ability to digest lactose. This is likely due to the fact that kefir contains natural digestive enzymes, such as lactase (which helps break down lactose), lipase, and protease, as the fermentation process produces these enzymes. Kefir has been shown to stimulate the immune system and help populate the gut with healthy microbes. It also has antimicrobial properties that allow it to inhibit the growth of pathogens by producing certain acids and alcohols and competing for nutrients.


We may be most familiar with miso soup, but miso soup is actually a soup made with miso. Miso is a Japanese paste with a somewhat salty, umami, nutty flavor. It is made by fermenting soybeans with koji, a type of fungus, and salt. It comes in different colors and is used as a seasoning. The fermentation process used to make miso not only produces gut-healthy probiotics, but also digestive enzymes like lactase, lipase, amylase, and protease.

Homemade kombucha fermented.


Kombucha is a fermented tea made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria and yeast. It has a bit of an effervescent bubbliness to it, which is due to the gasses produced as the bacteria ferment the sugars added to the tea. There is also a trace of alcohol produced as a byproduct. Particularly when made with green tea, kombucha can provide many health benefits due to the antioxidants found in green tea. For example, it may help regulate blood sugar, reduce the risk of certain cancers, decrease inflammation, and increase metabolic rate.

La Brea Bakery Sourdough Bread
La Brea Bakery

Sourdough Bread

Making your own sourdough bread became a hot trend in 2020, as home bakers started experimenting with their own fermentation processes. Unlike most other types of bread, sourdough relies on a fermented starter made from lactic acid bacteria and yeast. This creates cultures that impact the characteristic sour flavor, along with healthy probiotic bacteria. Sourdough bread is also rich in complex carbohydrates.

A spoon dipped into a cup of sauerkraut with berries and bay leaves.


Sauerkraut is a shredded, preserved, and salted cabbage slaw that has been shown to improve GI symptoms and support the gut microbiome. It is a traditional food that has been enjoyed in many European countries for years, often as a side dish, condiment, or topping. Sauerkraut has a tangy, salty, sour taste and is sometimes seasoned with fennel seeds, carrots, or other vegetables, cumin, celery seed, or other spices. In addition to gut-healthy probiotics, sauerkraut is rich in vitamins C, B, and K, along with the essential minerals iron and manganese. Skip the pasteurized options though; the live probiotics are only present in the raw and unpasteurized form.


Similar to sauerkraut, kimchi is a brined, salted, fermented, spicy cabbage slaw but it is usually combined with other vegetables and has a spicy and complex flavor profile, with ingredients like chili, ginger, scallion, and garlic. Kimchi is rich in Lactobacillus kimchii, a probiotic bacteria that have been shown to help reduce inflammation and improve digestion. It also provides vitamins K and B and iron, which are necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body.



Natto is a sticky, fermented soybean product that originates in Japan, and has a funky smell and taste. While it might be a bit of an acquired taste, natto can be seen as a nutrient-dense superfood. Natto is very high in vitamin K2, which is difficult to find in most foods, and it contains a probiotic bacterial strain called Bacillus subtilis. Because natto is made from soy, it also provides protein, fiber, and phytonutrients.


Regular buttermilk in the dairy section of your grocery store probably does not contain probiotics. That is a cultured product. Rather, traditional buttermilk, often called “grandma’s probiotic” is a drink that is popular in Nepal, India, and Pakistan, though you may be able to find it here. It is the liquid that remains after making butter, and it is packed with probiotics, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for energy generation and nerve conductivity.

Tempeh slices with leaves on a table.


Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a slightly nutty, umami taste. It has more of a toothsome bite than tofu and is slightly higher in vitamin and mineral content. The fermenting process increases the bioavailability of some of the nutrients in the soybeans and reduces the anti-nutritive effects of the phytic acid found in legumes, which are thought to reduce the absorption of nutrients such as iron. There is evidence to suggest it has anti-inflammatory and gut-supporting properties, and as it is made from soy, it may support prostate health. It can be enjoyed like any meat or tofu, by seasoning it and then grilling, sautéing, baking, or frying it.

Pickles and Pickled Vegetables

Just as the fermentation process to make sauerkraut essentially makes the product pickled cabbage, pickling or fermenting any vegetable can create probiotics in the food. Whether enjoying classic pickled cucumbers, or pickled beets, pickled asparagus, pickled green beans, pickled carrots, pickled cauliflower, or anything in between, pickled vegetables can be a good source of probiotics. The key is to be sure the pickled product is unpasteurized, as pasteurization kills the beneficial bacteria.

Something for Everyone

Simply by adding in some fermented whole foods, you can drastically improve your overall well-being. Whether you’re looking for something vegan, something spicy, something creamy, something starchy, or something in between, these are the best around.

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
14 delicious biotin-rich foods to add to your diet right now
Eat these great foods for healthier hair
Eggs on salad.

Hair loss is one of the biggest fear among all men affecting up to 70% of them. If you research hair loss, you will eventually come across the importance of biotin. Biotin is one of the B vitamins. Studies have shown biotin's ability to increase hair strength, thickness, and growth. Biotin also improves the health of nails and performs other critical functions in the body. For example, biotin plays a crucial role in specific metabolic and energy-generating pathways by helping break down carbs, proteins, and fats into usable energy. Biotin also helps regulate blood sugar, support healthy skin, and assist in cell signaling.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that the body cannot store significant amounts, therefore it must be consumed regularly in the diet. The recommended daily intake (RDA) of biotin for most adults is 30-100 mcg. While supplements are always an option, it's always better to get you micronutrients through diet. Luckily, there are plenty of foods high in biotin. Consuming a variety of biotin-rich foods will help ensure adequate intake to support a healthy metabolism, energy generation, a full head of hair, and youthful skin. With that in mind, here are some of the foods high in biotin to help you maintain your luscious locks.

Egg yolks

Read more
The ultimate lat guide for building your strongest back ever
Building your strongest back ever is easy with this workout guide
A man with strong lats.

Many people are motivated to work out due to building strong, well-defined muscles. However, we often focus on the muscle groups we can readily see in the mirror, such as the quads, biceps, shoulders, pecs, and abs, and forget to give as much workout time and attention to the equally-important muscles on the backside of the body. This can create muscle imbalances that ultimately decrease your functional strength and can leave you susceptible to injury.
With that in mind, one of the key muscles in the back your workouts should target are the latissimus dorsi muscles, more commonly referred to as the lats.
The lats are the largest muscles in the back, and are recruited for many important movements involving the trunk, core, and upper body, such as pulling and rowing. In this article, we will provide a full rundown of the best exercises to strengthen your lats, ensuring that even if you can't easily check out these muscles, they are getting just as strong and shredded as your pecs and abs.

There are numerous exercises that target the lats, including bodyweight exercises, dumbbell and barbell options, and weight machines. Before we dive into those exercises, it's helpful to define what exactly the lats are. Then be sure to keep reading for some inspiration and guidance for your lat workouts to help ensure that even if you can’t see them, your lats are just as strong and defined as your pecs and abs.
What are the lats?
The lats refer to the latissimus dorsi muscles, which are a pair of large, triangular, or V-shaped muscles on either side of your spine. They span from the very inside of your upper arm by your shoulder down to the back of the pelvis at the waist, creating a dramatic taper spanning your entire back.
The primary function of the lats is to work together to stabilize the spine while supporting and providing strength to the arms and shoulders. They allow for side bending and keeping the spine straight while also helping extend, rotate, and move the shoulder. For example, the lats are involved in any pulling motion, whether pulling down something overhead or pulling back on something in front of you. They also help adduct the arms, which is the motion that occurs when your arms are up and out to the side like the letter “T” and then pulled back down to your sides. The lats are heavily involved in exercises like pull-ups and rowing but are even involved in running, walking, and breathing.

Read more
The 10 best back exercises you can do, according to a celebrity trainer
The 10 best muscle-building exercises for a bigger back
Man doing pullups in a gym.

Ask any fitness expert and they would almost unanimously agree on one thing - consistency reigns king. If you're not consistent, you'll never reach your goals. By being consistent with some of the best back workouts, you can develop a strong and defined back that gives additional depth and shape to your physique. Here's the best part, this can also make all the effort you put into your chest, abs, and arms really pop! Not only that, but a nice wide back can also give you the appearance of a slimmer waist, too. Simply put, your back plays an important function in almost every movement you make, whether it be in the gym or in everyday life. A well-developed back will definitely improve your posture and reduce neck and back pain, enabling you to run, jump, and play comfortably without having to worry about possible injuries.

Back exercises are one of the best workouts you can try at home or at the gym, but they are often overlooked. This can result in a weak back that's prone to slipped discs and nagging neck pain. Compound movements that are critical for building muscle via strength training simply cannot be executed without a strong back. It's the pillar for building a stronger body and having one that is functional, as well as aesthetic, can help stave off injuries later in life.
Meet Kupah James, the co-founder of Bodyweight BootKAMP
Kupah James

Read more