Pre and Probiotic Foods

fermented probiotic food nutrition philadelphia

By Rachel Hershberger, MS CNS, LDN

In last week’s post, we reviewed what probiotics consist of and how to choose a supplemental form. Probiotics can also be incorporated through your diet to help maintain a healthy gut.

Look for labels that state: “contains live cultures.”

How can we incorporate pre and probiotic foods into our diet daily?

You can load up on vegetables which are full of fiber and prebiotic components! For example: steamed broccoli, or dandelion green salad are great options. Also, add chia, chia pudding or flaxseed to your smoothie.

If tolerated, an organic unsweetened yogurt or kefir could be a great option, as it is loaded with both prebiotics and probiotics. Adding a tablespoon or two of sauerkraut to a lunch or dinner is a great way to add probiotic gut healthy foods to your diet. The key is to start slow and listen to your body.

A few examples of probiotic foods include:

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

    • Contains “mother” and is unfiltered.

    • Brands: Bragg’s

  • Sauerkraut (traditionally made)

    • Will be in refrigerated section and choose one that does not contain vinegar. Look for words like “Live” and “Raw”

    • Brands: Bubbie’s, Jacob’s raw, Trader Joe’s Kraut with Persian Pickles

  • Pickles (traditionally fermented)

    • Brands: Bubbie’s

  • Kombucha Tea

    • Be aware of sugar content, especially with juice blends

    • Brands: GT’s (no, that’s not Dr. Tetlow’s brand ;) ), many others

  • Kimchi

    • A staple in Korean cuisine, Kimchi is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented cabbages or radishes

    • Vegetables- most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes

    • Brands: Wildbrine, Mother In Law’s Kimchi

  • Beet kvass

    • A probiotic drink, supportive of both our heart and liver.

    • Brands: Zukay

  • Organic plain yogurt

    • Choose brands with no added sugar

  • Miso

    • Lighter color = lighter flavor. Non-soy varieties are also available!

    • Brands: South River, Miso Master

  • Tamari (traditionally fermented soy sauce)

    • Brands: Ohsawa Nama Shoyu (not gluten free), Kikkoman -- comes in a gluten free version!

    • Coconut Kefir (probiotic drink)

    • Brands: Inner-eco

  • Cultured Sour Cream, cream cheese, etc.

    • Brands: Nancy’s

Resources & Reading

  • Cultures for Health (starter kits)

  • Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz

  • Scientific Articles -

  • The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz

  • Fermented: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi… by Charlotte Pike

Interested in connecting with PIM? Register for our upcoming group class at Cabrini College: November 28th - Your Gut Health: Healing Leaky Gut and SIBO with Lauren Houser, CRNP. Admission is FREE!

If you or your loved one has ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, or they are suffering from a chronic illness, please consider scheduling a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP or Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP.