Growing evidence shows that you can use probiotics for lactose intolerance, but what are your sources of probiotics if you’re lactose intolerant? Keep reading to find out.
In this article:
- Have Some Kimchi
- Load Up on Sour Pickles
- Substitute Meat for Tempeh
- Fill Sandwiches with Sauerkraut
- Make Yummy Dishes with Miso Paste
- Slurp Up Vegan Yogurt
- Pickle a Vegetable or Two
- Drink Kombucha Tea
- Try Probiotic Supplements
- How to Take Probiotics for Lactose Intolerance
Probiotics for Lactose Intolerance: 9 Dairy-Free Sources for a Healthier Gut
What is lactose intolerance? Inability to digest the lactose found in dairy products. It often leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as gassiness, bloating, and diarrhea.
1. Have Some Kimchi
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. There are various types of kimchi, but the most popular type is the spicy pickled cabbage.
Kimchi is usually served as a side dish and paired with a variety of dishes. Here are a few ways you can enjoy kimchi:
- Have it as a side dish.
- Use it as a stuffing for dumplings.
- Mix it into rice or noodles.
- Make it into a stew.
Whichever way you try, you know you’re sneaking in some of that good bacteria! It’s rich in Lactobacillus kimchii, a special probiotic strain only found in this delicious side dish.
Apart from that, it’s also full of other vitamins and nutrients, such as iron, riboflavin, and vitamin K.
2. Load Up on Sour Pickles
Sour pickles aren’t just a popular ingredient in many dishes, but they’re also a great source of dairy-free probiotics. Here are some ways you can add sour pickles to your diet:
- Have it with burgers.
- Add it to salads.
- Enjoy it as a delicious and healthy treat on its own.
Keep in mind that sour pickles are different from vinegar pickles. Vinegar pickles don’t contain the probiotics sour pickles do.
Sour pickles go through a lactic acid fermentation process. This process allows the growth of all that good bacteria which make up probiotics.
3. Substitute Meat for Tempeh
Tempeh originates from Indonesia. It’s a soy product that has become a popular vegan substitute for meat.
The fermentation process binds the soybeans together to form a kind of cake. Tempeh has a rich and savory flavor, so you can slice or cube it for:
- frying (as a bacon substitute)
When you use tempeh as a meat substitute in your favorite dishes, you’re not only benefitting from probiotics. It’s also rich in protein, manganese, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus.
4. Fill Sandwiches with Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a popular German side dish. It is made from fermented, finely cut cabbage.
Here are a few ways to incorporate this slightly sour side dish to your diet:
- Pair it as a side dish with various savory meats.
- Add it to sandwiches (like the popular Reuben sandwich).
- Enjoy it as a condiment on sausages (similar to how others would put mustard or ketchup on their hotdogs).
Sauerkraut is a great source of non-dairy probiotics, fiber, manganese, and iron. Keep in mind though, only unpasteurized sauerkraut is rich in probiotics.
The process of pasteurization kills all the good probiotic bacteria along with the bad bacteria. So make sure you read the label before making your purchase.
5. Make Yummy Dishes with Miso Paste
Miso paste is a type of seasoning from Japan. This versatile paste is a staple in most Japanese homes and restaurants.
If you translate the word miso in English, it actually means fermented beans. Specifically, miso is made from soybeans that have been fermented with salt and a special type of fungus.
It’s famous for its unique umami flavor. You can use miso paste in the following ways:
- Turn it into soup.
- Use it as a sauce.
- Make it a salad dressing.
- Use it as a marinade for fish or meats.
Miso is a good source of probiotics, protein, fiber, copper, vitamin K, and manganese.
6. Slurp Up Vegan Yogurt
Regular yogurt is usually the go-to product for a quick probiotic fix. Unfortunately, it isn’t really an option if you’re lactose intolerant.
This is where vegan yogurt comes in. It is usually made from coconuts, almonds, soy, hemp, or cashew.
The texture and consistency of vegan yogurt are strikingly similar to regular yogurt. And depending on the brand you choose, it also comes in a variety of flavors.
Here are a few ways you can enjoy vegan yogurt:
- Add your own mix of fresh fruits to flavor your yogurt.
- Turn vegan yogurt into creamy smoothies.
- Freeze it and turn it into a refreshing ice cream substitute.
Just like regular yogurt, vegan yogurt is great for your digestive health. It’s a source of probiotics, protein, fiber, and calcium.
7. Pickle a Vegetable or Two
If regular pickles or cabbage aren’t really your thing, you can actually pickle your vegetable of choice!
- 4 1/2 cups chlorine-free water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
- Wide-mouth jar
- Sliced vegetable of choice (ex: red onions, jalapeños, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, etc.)
- Mix water and salt in a separate bowl. Dissolve the salt.
- Place sliced vegetable in the jar.
- Pour water into the jar. Make sure to leave 1 inch at the top.
- Cover the jar with the lid, but don’t seal it completely. Twist on the cap halfway.
- Store the jar in a dark place. It’s also important to store it in an area that maintains room temperature (around 75°F).
- Unscrew the cap once a day for 5-7 days.
Fermentation should be complete within 5-7 days. You can store your jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
One of the drawbacks of snacking on pickled vegetables is the high sodium content. So if you’re currently under a low-sodium diet for certain medical conditions, go easy on the pickled vegetables.
Tip: You can add other herbs and spices when you pickle your vegetables for a more flavorful result!
8. Drink Kombucha Tea
You don’t always have to eat your probiotics, you can actually drink them! Kombucha tea may be a source of lactose-free probiotics.
Kombucha is a type of black or green tea containing different types of probiotics. It’s popular in Asian countries such as Japan and China.
The fermentation process brings out a unique flavor in this tea drink. It’s fizzy, sweet, and tart at the same time.
While that may sound like a strange combination for some, others say that its flavor grows on you. Here are a few ways you can ease into drinking kombucha:
- Choose a flavor you are already familiar with and you enjoy.
- Don’t drink it warm. Chill for a few hours before drinking.
- Enjoy it as a refreshing drink in between meals.
Due to the fermentation process, traces of alcohol may remain in this tea drink. So much so that certain variants are categorized as beer.
And so, it may be unsafe for children, teenagers, pregnant women, and nursing mothers to consume.
9. Try Probiotic Supplements
If you want to experience the full benefits of probiotics, it’s important to take them regularly. But it may be difficult to get a consistent supply of probiotics from natural sources, more so if you’re lactose intolerant.
Even if a type of food is naturally rich in probiotics, the process of preserving it for commercial use can actually kill off all that good bacteria you want to take in. In addition, it may be difficult and tiresome to eat the same things over and over again.
Taking a probiotic supplement is a convenient way of getting your daily dose. If you’re lactose intolerant, be sure to choose a probiotic supplement that’s vegan to reduce the risk of exacerbating your symptoms.
How to Take Probiotics for Lactose Intolerance
1. Drink Filtered Water
Before taking your probiotic supplement, drink one glass of filtered water. This helps balance out the acidity in your stomach and helps the good bacteria survive.
2. Take Probiotics Before Meals
It’s best to take your probiotic supplement first thing in the morning and at least 30 minutes before your first meal. This prevents the probiotics from getting stuck behind any food you may be digesting.
Here are 9 reasons to choose BIOHM Whole Probiotics from BIOHM Health:
One of the benefits of probiotics is that it helps restore gut health by making your digestive system more functional. In other words, they help digest food and absorb more of their nutrients.
While most of the popular natural sources of probiotics are dairy products, there are other sources of non-dairy probiotics, including BIOHM supplements.
Do you have lactose intolerance? How do you get your regular dose of probiotics? Let us know how we can help in the comments below.