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Everything a Vegan Needs To Know About Probiotics

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 24, 2022

Vegan products are increasingly gaining popularity as more people become aware of the negative consequences of consuming animal products, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, and the benefits of vegan diets. However, with probiotics being another popular health trend, it’s worth recognizing that the majority of the popular probiotic foods and supplements aren’t vegan. So, if you’re a vegan, you’ll need adequate information and go the extra mile to find high-quality vegan probiotics in the market.

This article discusses everything a vegan should know about probiotics and how to choose the most excellent vegan probiotic on the market today. We’ll look at:

What Are Probiotics? Are They Vegan?

Probiotics are live microorganisms in supplements that help maintain or improve the population of normal microorganisms found in the human body. They also help fight the harmful bacteria in the body. Probiotics are manufactured in a laboratory and come in capsules, tablets, or powder. Probiotic gummies also exist.

Probiotics can also be found in foods and drinks such as yogurt, organic kombucha, miso, kimchi, and pickles. Probiotics act like peacekeepers in your gut. They restore order to keep you healthy.

So, are probiotics vegan?

Well, not all probiotics are vegan. The most common probiotic foods and supplements contain animal products - dairy is a common culprit. So, if you’re a vegan, you’ll have to rule out famous probiotic foods like yogurt or kefir and the likes.

How Vegans Can Get Probiotics

As highlighted previously, the most common sources of probiotics are dairy products. Therefore, they can’t be anywhere on a vegan diet.

Here are some probiotics foods that you can include in your vegan diet:

Fermented Foods

Non-dairy probiotic products have the most beneficial gut health. Considering yogurt is a significant source of probiotics, the good news is that there are dairy-free yogurt products out there - some made of oats, coconut, plantains, cassava, almond milk, pea protein, and much more.

The good thing about fermented foods is that many of them are plant-based. For reference, fermentation is breaking down the carbs and sugar with yeast and bacteria.

Fermented foods and drinks, like kombucha (fermented tea), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi, pickled vegetables, non-dairy yogurt, and sourdough bread, among others, contain good bacteria and are also suitable for vegans.everything a vegan needs to know about probiotics

Probiotic Supplements

Vegan Probiotics supplements are available just like any other supplement.

However, some supplements are usually dry tablets that have inactive probiotic cultures. Therefore, the strain type of probiotic and quantity of probiotic cultures may differ between supplements. However, many probiotic supplements available in the market are not vegan!

Some probiotic supplements contain additional ingredients such as lactose, a dairy product. As a strict vegan, it’s essential to carefully check the product labels when buying to ensure that your probiotic supplement is vegan.

Fermented foods and drinks, like kombucha (fermented tea), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi, pickled vegetables, non-dairy yogurt, and sourdough bread, among others, contain good bacteria and are also suitable for vegans.

Probiotic Vegan Cheese Options

Most vegan cheese is created from plant-based ingredients such as soybeans, cashews, peas, almonds, or coconut. Probiotic vegan cheese is the healthiest form of cheese due to its low-fat levels. For this reason, it’s an excellent option for those on a weight loss regimen. 

The most common vegan cheeses include gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and cream cheese.

If you like to try different vegan cheese products in your kitchen, you can try the vegan cheese pizza recipe or the vegan cheesecake recipe tofutti.

You can also try making your probiotic vegan cheese at home. Interested? Follow the steps below:

  • Soak a moderate amount of cashews for about 6 hours
  • Blend the soft cashews with lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast (for cheesiness), and sea salt
  • Keep blending until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Add probiotic powder into the mixture
  • Pack the mixture in a cheesecloth and let it stand at room temperature for 48 to72 hours.
  • Once cultured, place the cheese in the fridge for about 6 hours to harden.
  • Your homemade probiotic vegan cheese is ready.

You can also try making a cheese sauce. Below are steps of how to make vegan cheese sauce:

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cashews (and or white beans)
  • Onions
  • Nutritional yeast flakes
  • Spices
  • Lemon juice

Soaking your cashews in warm water for about thirty minutes before adding them will help the sauce to be creamier.

  • Start by dicing up the onion, carrots, and potatoes
  • Use a medium pot to boil 3 cups of water. Place carrots, potatoes, and onion in the pot and let it cook until the veggies are tender for about 15 minutes. Cooking time might differ depending on how small you dice your veggies.
  • Once the veggies are tender, drain the remaining water and put them in a blender. Add all other ingredients, and blend until it becomes smooth. Your vegan cheese sauce is now ready!

How To Choose the Best Vegan Probiotics

When choosing your vegan probiotic, consider the following:

Check And Confirm The Ingredients:

This may seem obvious. However, ensure you have checked all the ingredients, including the gummy or capsule.

You can get surprised to find out that there are additives like sugars, milk, gelatin, or lactose. Also, choose a probiotic supplement supported by clinical studies.

Gummies, Capsule Or Powder?

You can choose gummies, capsules, or powder. Gummies may be tasty but not the most effective because the majority of the bacteria might die or be ineffective before they reach your gut.

Storage Instructions

Most probiotic supplements need refrigeration and may not be ideal for long trips. However, some come in travel-size, which do not require refrigeration. It’s essential to have this information to keep your product in the best shape.

FAQS

Below are questions frequently asked by vegans about probiotics:

Are there probiotics for vegans?

Probiotic-rich foods are tasty to incorporate more helpful bacteria into your diet. Vegans can benefit from fermented drinks and foods without consuming dairy.

Do probiotics have side effects?

Vegan probiotics are safe for many people. However, there are a few common side effects, such as headaches, bloating, constipation, and thirst. These are just mild and may have no cause for concern.

What are the best vegan probiotics?

The best vegan probiotics are ones that are rich in antioxidants and have beneficial bacteria. For example, miso soup, a traditional Japanese soup, is a great option for vegans looking for probiotic delicacies.

Is International Delight Creamer vegan?

No, this product is prepared with skim milk. Therefore, none of the original vanilla, or mocha, flavors are vegan.

Is Feta cheese vegetarian?

Most feta cheeses are not vegetarian since they are made with rennet derived from animals. However, some products are produced with vegetal rennet and thus considered vegetarian.

Is sour cream vegetarian?

No, real sour cream is not considered a vegan. It is a cultured milk product, meaning that it’s off-limits for vegans.

Is Kraft Parmesan cheese vegetarian?

You require reading the list of the ingredients. If it contains lipase, it is not vegetarian. Lipase comes from the abdomen of slaughtered lambs and calves.

 


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