Probiotics, the good bacteria that help balance bacteria in the colon, can boost overall gastrointestinal health. Taken as supplements, probiotics are also found naturally in certain foods. If you’re lactose-intolerant or follow a dairy-free diet, you can still consume dairy-free alternatives that are just as effective. To ensure that you are choosing supplements that don’t have any dairy products in them, read the label carefully and look out for: lactose, or milk sugar, milk, whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids and nonfat dry milk powder.
The other option is to incorporate probiotics into your diet through dairy-free foods such as kefir, which contains live probiotic cultures called bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. You can also find dairy-free versions of yogurt and kefir made from almond, soy or coconut milk at your local supermarket and health food store. Kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha, sour pickles and sourdough bread are other non-dairy sources of probiotics. Incorporating these foods into your diet enables you to increase your probiotic intake, while maintaining a dairy-free diet.