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Probiotics for Vegans

Overview

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine explains that probiotics balance your intestinal bacteria for optimal health. If you have a healthy amount of "friendly" bacteria in your intestines, your body can fight unhealthy bacteria, infections or yeast overgrowth, such as Candida albicans. It can also strengthen your immune system because the healthier your intestines are, the better you can absorb nutrients from your food.

Non-dairy Yogurt

If you consume antibiotics, doctors usually recommend consuming probiotics, because antibiotics destroy your healthy bacteria along with the unhealthy, according to NCCAM. Because most yogurt is milk-derived, vegans cannot eat it. However, now non-dairy yogurt is available, which is made from legumes and nuts such as cashew, coconut, soy and arrowroot. Two of the common "friendly" bacteria that yogurt offers is lactobacillus or bifidobacterium . The World's Healthiest Foods website recommends eating soy fiber, inulin and rice fiber to propagate good bacteria. Some yogurts offer eight or more types of healthy bacteria. You can make vegan yogurt at home.

Fermented Vegetables

Certain raw vegetables are fermented to provide vegans a vegetable-based probiotic. If you eat a raw vegan diet, this is an ideal source of food-based probiotics -- available in cucumber, pickled relish, horseradish and tomato salsas. Kimchi is another source of probiotics made from fermented cabbage. It is popular in Korean and other Asian-style meals. Try the relish and horseradish as you would on vegan hot dogs, sandwiches and other foods. Eat the tomato salsas as you would with Mexican meals. Eat the kimchi on salads, sandwiches and Asian dishes.

Supplements

Probiotic supplements are available for vegans that do not contain dairy or other animal ingredients. Some vegans are stricter than others and do not want their supplements made at factories that produce animal ingredients, because of the risk of traces of animal residues mixing with the supplements. Different types of probiotics are available for different conditions.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.