What comes to your mind when you’ve come across a ‘dairy free’ label on a product? Dairy free means free from any milk or other milk-based ingredients. Dairy free products don’t include lactose, casein, whey, milk fat, and eggs. Although eggs do not classify as dairy, they go together with other dairy products. Products claiming to be ‘dairy free’ are also vegan in a sense, so it’s best to check the label. Dairy free products have many useful health benefits. A fine example of an available dairy free product is a dairy-free probiotic. For dairy-free consumers suffering from bacteria imbalance that causes leaky gut, gas, bloating, constipation, allergies, and a weak immune system, dairy free probiotics are your best bet.
What are dairy free probiotics?
Dairy free probiotics are products that don’t have traces of milk, milk-based, and egg ingredients. These kinds of probiotic products are perfect for dairy-free consumers, vegans, and the lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance means the body’s inability to digest lactose, which is a natural sugar present in milk and dairy-based products such as cheeses, cream, or butter.
If you decide to consume probiotics for your health, there are several dairy-free probiotics that you can try. Yogurt, for starters. Yogurt is the most popular probiotic-enriched, fermented milk food. Brands like Trader Joe’s, So Delicious, and Whole Foods carry their line of cultured yogurt that’s jam-packed with different beneficial probiotic strains, perfect to snack on if you’re suffering from constipation or diarrhea. Lactic acid producing cultures typically incorporated in a yogurt are Streptococcus Thermophilus and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. Your local grocery store sells yogurt, so it’s not hard to find.
If yogurt’s not your thing, you can opt for these other dairy free food alternatives instead:
Kefir is a fermented drink made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk with kefir culture (also referred to as ‘grains’). It’s a food rich in probiotics and enzymes that aid in proper digestion and help improve intestinal health. The live bacteria in kefir work to resist the growth of unhealthy bacteria or pathogens. Kefir has a creamy texture, slightly sour taste, and yeast-like odor. Kefir products are often available at your nearest supermarket. Try So Delicious’ coconut-derived kefir products; they are soy- and gluten-free, and made from non-GMO verified coconuts.
Sour cabbage or Sauerkraut (German) is a fermented cabbage that’s shredded finely and fermented by various Gram-positive, lactic-acid bacteria that includes Lactobacillus. The sauerkraut held amazing health properties and considered a dairy-free probiotic. Just a small amount of Sauerkraut goes a long way to strengthening your immunity, improving your skin, and potentially preventing cancer risks. It’s also easy to make at home and add as a side dish to your meals.
If you’re looking for an alternative to vinegar pickles, sour pickles can do. Sour pickles are prepared using a pickling solution of unrefined salt and clean water. This solution helps encourage lactic-acid production that will combat pathogenic or harmful bacteria. Sour pickles are usually fresh and raw, and you can serve them with a touch of garlic or pepper for more flavor. Sour pickles have antioxidants, vital micronutrients and come with a supply of gut-friendly bacteria. Sour pickles help replenish bacteria in our digestive system, build strong immunity, strengthen the bone structure, cure anemia and many other health benefits.
If you’re feeling thirsty and want to chug something other than your usual dairy-free beverages, Kombucha tea is the go-to brew. Kombucha is a known probiotic tonic is high in beneficial bacteria and vitamins. Kombucha aids in digestion, fights candida, provides mental clarity, and repairs the leaky gut. Naturally fermented Kombucha packs live bacteria and yeast. It exhibits a sour taste, but you can get less acidity with store-bought ones. You can buy raw Kombucha at your nearest health food store, or you can make one at home provided you have a Kombucha mushroom as a starter culture.
Miso is a dairy-free Japanese food made from fermented soybeans and made a paste. It contains beneficial microorganisms to produce fermentation. Its starter culture is called Koji that contains fungal microorganisms that trigger the fermentation process in the soybeans. It’s advisable to buy unpasteurized miso since pasteurization can destroy active bacteria cultures in miso. Probiotics contained in miso can prevent diarrhea and constipation, promote gut health, stimulate digestion, and ease intestinal inflammation.
Try these dairy free probiotic foods to help improve your health. Also, you don’t have to get your essential probiotic intake from food alone.
Dairy Free Probiotics Supplements
You can consume probiotics in many forms, the most convenient is a probiotic supplement. Read the label carefully; make sure you’re selecting probiotic supplements that don’t include dairy or lactose. A probiotic product isn’t suitable for your dairy free diet if it contains milk, milk proteins, lactose, curds, whey, dry and nonfat dry milk by-products and powder. You may also skip a probiotic supplement if it contains eggs as ingredients. Dairy-free Probiotic supplements worth mentioning include Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care and TruNature Digestive Probiotic.
Here are pros and cons of having dairy-free probiotics:
- Better digestion
- Better nutrient absorption
- Healthier Microflora balance in the gut
- Promotes vaginal health in women
- General immunity strength
- Bowel regularity
- Allergy relief (for the lactose intolerant)
- Lack of source of calcium
- Lack of fiber
- Lack of essential vitamins and minerals such as Zinc and B vitamins
If you decide to take dairy free probiotics, it’s still best to call a healthcare professional. A dairy-free probiotic is a great way to treat your digestive issues and support your immune system functions. You can easily find these probiotic fortified foods and dietary supplements at your nearest market or online.