If you’re wanting to find out a little more about how your favourite food can benefit your overall health and wellbeing, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to take a look at what exactly goes into making probiotic yogurt, how it can benefit you and how exactly to choose the right yogurt brand out of the thousands available on the market right now. And keep reading till the end to uncover our top recommendations for probiotic yogurt in 2020.
What are probiotics?
First, let’s understand what probiotics are. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria living throughout your body, mostly colonising your intestines. You can have trillions of good and bad bacteria in your gut and the mix is completely unique to you, so it’s super important that you maintain a healthy balance. When there’s too many bad bacteria in your body they can cause all kinds of illness and discomfort. Here’s some of the benefits of probiotics:
- Better production of essential vitamins
- Optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients
- Healthy immune response
- Regulated hormones
- Managing and reducing symptoms of common and chronic conditions and infections
These are just a few of the benefits and if they sound good to you, we’ve got some great news! If you’re a yoghurt-lover, you may already be consuming probiotics regularly as yoghurt is one of the most popular and effective probiotic foods on the market right now. Below we’ve answered a few of the most common burning questions about probiotic yogurt.
Probiotic Yogurt FAQ’s
Yoghurt is made by combining probiotic cultures with milk which creates a fermentation process that results in the smooth, creamy consistency you know and love. The most common kind of cultures added to yoghurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which each have their own benefits, however, yoghurt can often contain a few more added species of probiotic depending on which brand you buy.
Absolutely! The strains of probiotic most commonly found in yogurt have been deemed safe for human consumption. The only guideline we’d recommend is to be careful about consuming too much yogurt as it can sometimes be high in fat, sugar and even additives. If you choose a reputable brand and pay close attention to the ingredients list, though, you should be able to avoid this issue easily.
Everyone from adults to young children can enjoy probiotic yogurt and, conveniently, there are products on supermarket shelves that cater specifically to certain age types to take the guesswork out. Probiotics are present in the body from birth so even babies can benefit from a few more healthy bacteria in their diet, however, always be sure to consult your doctor first before adding something new to your baby’s diet.
Probiotic yogurt generally isn’t as high in probiotics per serving as a probiotic supplement usually is, so you may want to boost your probiotic intake by combining the two in your daily routine. Anything over 10 billion colony forming units (CFU), meaning the amount of viable organisms contained in the product, is considered to be the daily minimum for you to be able to feel the results of your friendly bacteria. Play around with this number and see what suits you and your health needs best.
How can I pick a good probiotic yoghurt?
If you’re new to the probiotic game and want to know exactly how to scour the supermarkets shelves like a pro then we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you find the perfect probiotic yoghurt.
- Steer clear of added sugar – This can lower the potency of the probiotics contained in your yoghurt, besides the fact that excess sugar isn’t that great for your health in general. It’s best to opt for a plain yogurt, and you get bonus points if it’s low or no fat. Both these choices will lower the amount of sugar in your yogurt and allow your probiotics to work to their full potential, however, make sure they haven’t compensated for lack of flavour by adding extra sugar. A good guideline is to aim for less than 12g of sugar per 100g for flavoured yogurt and around 6g per 100g for natural or plain yoghurt.
- Check for live cultures – This is an important one! Make sure that the ingredients list specifies that there are live and active cultures included. Some brands may create their yogurt through processes that can kill off all the good bacteria so you have to double check you’re buying a brand that preserves the probiotic content in their products.
- Avoid added ingredients – To get the most out of your yogurt you may want to avoid any fillers like artificial flavours and dyes, stabilisers and preservatives. These are simply extra ingredients that won’t benefit you and don’t need to be included in the yogurt. The ingredients list should be short and simple! Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in weight order, meaning the first ingredient in the list is the one that the product contains most of and so on.
Which probiotic yogurt brands are the best?
We’re so glad you asked! Below we’ve rounded up the top 7 probiotic yogurts for 2020 so you know exactly where to start – keep reading to get acquainted.
7 best probiotic yogurt brands in 2020
Now that you know what probiotic yogurt is and have a few tips on how to find a good quality one, let’s take a look at a few of our top recommendations for this year.
#1 Editor’s Choice – 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Milk Yogurt, Plain, 32oz
This product gets our top spot on this list for sheer simplicity and goodness, not to mention its high customer satisfaction! This yogurt is unsweetened and contains only 3 ingredients; cultured pasteurised organic whole milk, pectin (a natural thickener found in fruit) and added vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
Despite the short ingredient list, this yogurt is jam-packed with 6 different probiotic strains! In each serving you will consume S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus, L.casei and L.rhamnosus which all have their own unique health benefits but will also assist with better digestion and immune support at the very least. We’d recommend this brand to anyone looking for a simple, great-quality probiotic yogurt to add to their daily routine!
- Contains only 3 ingredients
- Contains S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus, L.casei and L.rhamnosus
- No added sweeteners
- Only around 4g of sugar per 100g
- Added vitamin D to boost calcium absorption
- High customer satisfaction with over 2,600+ reviews on Amazon with a 4.7/5 star rating overall
- Some customer prefer sweeter yoghurts
#2 Brown Cow Cream Top Plain Whole Milk Yogurt, 32oz
The second yogurt on this list is very similar to the first with a few key differences that set it apart. Brown Cow focuses on making the most creamy, rich yogurt they can with whole milk from their Jersey cows. It’s so creamy that it actually has a cream layer on top when first opened up, hence its name. There’s some added vitamin A which helps with healthy skin, vision and a supported immune system plus 5 probiotic strains; S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus and L.paracasei..
It’s only a touch higher than the sugar levels of the yogurt above, with about 5-6 grams of sugar per 100 grams so we’d recommend this to anyone looking for something a bit creamier as a special treat.
- Contains only 3 ingredients
- Contains S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus and L.paracasei
- No added sweeteners
- Only around 5-6g of sugar per 100g
- Added vitamin A for healthy skin, vision and immune system
- High customer satisfaction with over 700+ reviews on Amazon with a 4.8/5 star rating overall
- A bit more sugar than other brands
#3 Noosa Yoghurt, Lemon, 8oz
If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter and more exotic, this Australian lemon and honey yogurt might be the ticket to tantalise your tastebuds. It does have a fair bit more sugar than the above 2 options, sitting at around 12 grams of sugar per 100 grams, however, this is common with flavoured yogurts and shouldn’t be an issue if it’s only consumed as an occasional treat.
It contains S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus and L.casei as well as a bunch of natural ingredients like lemon juice, butter and fruit puree to give it a tangy, fresh flavour. We’d recommend this to anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth who’s wanting to satisfy their cravings between meals or after dinner.
- Natural ingredients
- Contains S.thermophilus, L.bulgaricus, L.acidophilus, Bifidus and L.casei
- Lemon and honey flavour
- Contains vitamin A, C, calcium, protein and iron
- Roughly 12g sugar per 100g
#4 Chobani Greek Yogurt Drink, Strawberry Banana 7oz
This is a great yogurt product for anyone on the go looking for a fresh, fruity yogurt drink from a company that knows their stuff! It comes in flavours to suit everyone, like strawberry banana, pina colada, pineapple coconut and mixed berry, and contains 5 different strains of probiotic (although Chobani don’t specify which 5).
Each bottle has around 20% of your daily calcium needs, which helps with strong teeth and bones, plus 10 grams of protein to help you feel fuller and more satisfied between meals. And with around 7 grams of sugar per 100 grams, this yogurt drink is a great staple for anyone looking to get a few more probiotics into their daily routine.
- Contains 5 different strains of probiotic
- Around 7g sugar per 100g
- Comes in different flavours
- Reputable yogurt brand
- Convenient when on-the-go
- Doesn’t specify which probiotic strains are included
#5 Redwood Hill Goat Milk Yogurt, Plain, 32oz
For anyone looking for an alternative to cow’s milk, this plain goat milk yogurt from Redwood Hill is an excellent option. Because it’s made from goat’s milk it contains less sugar, sitting at around 4g per 100g, meaning you can enjoy more of this yogurt without the sugar intake that comes with cow’s milk or flavoured yogurts.
It contains a huge 6 different species of probiotic plus vitamins A and C, it may also be a bit easier for some people to digest due to the slightly lower amount of lactose it contains than cow’s milk (with higher calcium and protein, too!). This is an excellent alternative for anyone looking to branch out a little without sacrificing on flavour, or those looking for a wider range of probiotic strains than is normally included in yogurt.
- Around 4g sugar per 100g
- Contains S.thermophilus, B.lactis, L.acidophilus, L,casei, L.rhamnosus and L.delbrueckii
- Higher protein and calcium than cow’s milk
- May be a bit easier to digest for those sensitive to lactose
- Not as sweet as other options
#6 Califia Farms Probiotic Dairy Free Drinkable Yogurt, Strawberry, 25.4oz
If you’re after a vegan, non-dairy, plant-based yogurt then this could be the one for you! Califia Farms have created a delicious drinkable yogurt from almond and coconut milk that comes in strawberry, plain, mango and super berry flavours! With over 10 billion CFU in each serving and 3 different strains of probiotic, you definitely won’t be compromising on flavour or the amount of friendly bacteria you’ll consume with this vegan option.
- Made with almond and coconut milk
- Contains potassium and calcium
- Contains S.thermophilus, Bifidobacterium and L.bulgaricus
- Higher amount of sugar than other options
#7 Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter, 1oz box (Pack of 3)
And for anyone looking for the ultimate flexibility, you might want to try this DIY freeze dried yogurt starter pack. You can use any kind of milk you want and each packet should make around 2 litres of fresh yogurt with 100 billion CFU per 100 grams! This is great for anyone wanting to customise the taste of their yogurt but still looking for a brand that packs their product full of probiotics.
- Contains L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus and L. acidophilus
- 100 billion CFU per 100g
- Each packet makes 2 litres of yogurt
- Can control the amount of sugar and what kind of milk is used to make yogurt
- Ingredients contain skim milk powder which some users may not prefer
Yogurt is a kitchen staple that has been loved for years and years, not just for its taste but also for all the probiotic goodness it can provide. This delicious, creamy food can boost your immune system and support your digestive system amongst a range of other health benefits. If you’d like to start feeling the benefits of probiotics, take a look at our recommendations above to get a bit of inspiration!