If I have been following a gluten-free diet for more than 2 years and am not having any digestive symptoms, would I benefit from taking probiotics other than what is in yogurt?
Hi Ann. Great question. Nutrition science has shown probiotics to help improve GI symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. There is also preliminary research that taking probiotics can boost the immune system by improving GI health. The best sources of probiotics come from: cultured milk products like yogurt and kefir; pickled fermented vegetables, such as kimchi (Korean specialty food) and sauerkraut; and fermented soy products, including tempeh, miso and natto. Most would agree that cultured milk products offer the most probiotic power, but eating all of the above as part of a well-balanced diet provides probiotic as well as other nutrition benefits.
There is a great article on this exact topic in the current issue of Today’s Dietitian: A Healthful Dose of Bacteria.
You may also want to read this summary of the Best Food Sources for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
Thank you for your question and be well.
Rachel Begun, MS, RD