Free Downloadable Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods List PDF

Probiotic Foods List PDF (Free, Downloadable, and Printable) – With Product Links & Recipes

o-If you’ve made it here, I’m guessing you’d like to download/print a copy of my free Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods List PDF!

But before you do so, make sure to read this article so you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and understanding required to help you get the most value out of the PDF.

Disclaimer:  This article was written for general educational purposes, not to replace medical or nutritional advice. Make sure to consult with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to receive custom guidance and recommendations tailored to your individual needs!

Affiliate disclosure:  This article contains several affiliate links*.  As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.

What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Probiotics are a type of live microorganisms which have been proven to benefit human health.  They live in our gut, but they can also be consumed via certain types of fermented foods, beverages , and supplements.  

Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits, when consumed regularly in the right quantities. 

On the other hand, prebiotics are non-digestible fibers and antioxidant polyphenols (also found in certain types of foods, herbs, and supplements).  

Prebiotics FEED the beneficial probiotic microbes, helping them to grow, thrive, and multiply in your gut.  

Prebiotic constituents exist naturally in foods; however, probiotics may exist in food only as a bi-product of an ancient, traditional food preservation technique called lacto-fermentation.  

So probiotics (unlike prebiotics) can’t occur in food without lacto-fermentation, an extra step which must happen via human intervention.

(Feel free to check out my more detailed explanation of the key differences between probiotics versus prebiotics here.)

Are they better as foods or supplements?

Both prebiotics and probiotics can be found in certain foods, AND they’re also widely available on the market in a large variety of supplements.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to zoom in specifically on probiotic and prebiotic foods!

Which is better – prebiotics or probiotics?

When it comes to prebiotics and probiotics, they go hand-in-hand.  We need BOTH!

One doesn’t out-rank the other, because they must coexist symbiotically (in ways that mutually benefit each other)  in order to sustainably give us the promised benefits!.

(This is one of the reasons why I recommend and encourage taking prebiotics and probiotics together.)

There are also certain foods which happen to provide us with prebiotics AND probiotics in one!  

Just make sure to first check out all my insights and advice below, for the full low-down on all things probiotic and prebiotic foods before diving into my Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods List PDF. 😉

Which foods are probiotic?

Probiotic foods are those which have been lacto-fermented or “pickled” – without the use of vinegar or chlorinated water – and thus serve as a “functional food” source of probiotics.  

  • The traditional lacto-fermentation process is what allows for the growth of beneficial probiotic microbes such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in an anaerobic (“without air”) brine of just water (or naturally occurring fruit/veggie juices) and salt.
    • Adding vinegar and/or chlorine would interfere with the microbial fermentation and thus the by-production of probiotics.

In order for lacto-fermented foods to provide us with probiotics, they must also be RAW and unpasteurized (with the exception of kefir and yogurt which can use pasteurized dairy before the fermentation process), since pasteurization sterilizes microbes.

Feel free to check out some common examples of probiotic foods below!

Raw, vinegar-free lacto-fermented fruits and veggies

Lacto-fermented dairy and plant milk alternatives 

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir

Recommended reading:  Best Low FODMAP Yogurts for IBS – Comprehensive Brand/Product List & Guide

Fermented probiotic soybean products

  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Tempeh

Probiotic drinks

  • Fermented tea – i.e. kombucha (fermented tea and sugar)
  • Beet kvass (fermented beet juice)

Which foods are prebiotic?

You’ll notice this list was extracted from my prebiotic foods and herbs list PDF blog post, to give you some context for the purposes of this article. 

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Green banana flour
  • Kiwi
  • Mango

Veggies

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Dandelion greens
  • Jerusalem artichokes / “sunchokes”
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Whole grains and starches

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava flour
  • Oats
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tapioca starch
  • Whole wheat

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts

Beans and legumes

  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Peas

Herbs and spices

  • Burdock root
  • Cacao powder
  • Chicory root
  • Dandelion root
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green tea & matcha
  • Licorice root
  • Marshmallow root
  • Psyllium husks
  • Seaweed
  • Slippery elm
  • Triphala

Sweeteners

  • Raw honey

Prebiotic drinks

  • Cacao drinks
  • Loose-leaf green tea
  • Matcha latte (hot or iced)
  • Olipop soda*

Probiotic and prebiotic foods and drinks: List (with recommended product links, recipes, and suggested food combos)

Most people don’t realize that you can lacto-ferment almost any type of prebiotic food to make a prebiotic + probiotic creation!

The following food products and recipes contain prebiotic ingredients which have been lacto-fermented, producing a natural abundance of probiotic microbes.

There are endless options; please take what you need, and leave the rest!

(As a reminder, this is also included in my Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods List PDF which you can download for free, at your convenience!)

Raw, vinegar-free, lacto-fermented probiotic and prebiotic fruit recipes

For the record, you can lacto-ferment any fruit! 

This list specifically features fermented fruits that are highest in prebiotics, so you’ll have a prebiotic and probiotic fruit concoction. 

Just make sure not to add vinegar or sugar to your creation, since that will interfere with the probiotic microbe production.

You can learn more about how to ferment fruit here.

(I don’t yet know of any store-bought fermented probiotic and prebiotic fruits, but if I find any, I will be sure to add them to the list!)

Raw, vinegar-free, lacto-fermented veggies (store-bought products and recipes)

It’s exponentially more cost-effective to DIY (make your own) probiotic lacto-fermented veggies – so I’ve included some recipes in addition to a few of my favorite go-to probiotic food products!

Store-bought probiotic and prebiotic veggie products (round-up)

Probiotic and prebiotic veggie recipes (round-up)

Note: you can make these with or without the garlic and other herbs/spices!

Best lacto-fermented probiotic dairy/dairy alternatives

Below is a round-up of my favorite types of yogurt and kefir (regular and plant-based) from a holistic nutrition standpoint.

For example, I recommend yogurts and kefirs that are organic/grass-fed, and plain or naturally sweetened.

Since these foods are probiotic but not prebiotic, I also encourage you to add a prebiotic food (such as fruit, flaxseeds, nuts, or granola) to make it prebiotic AND probiotic snack/meal!

Kefir and yogurt

Go for plain or naturally sweetened; grass-fed and/or organic options if possible!

Dairy-based

Recommended reading:  9+ Potential Yakult Benefits & Possible Side Effects

Coconut milk-based
Cashew milk-based

Raw fermented soy

(While I don’t work with soy a lot in my practice, you can find a variety of fermented soybean products in most local grocery stores.)

  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Tempeh

Raw fermented tea

Add a glass of probiotic kombucha on the side with a meal containing prebiotic foods in order to reap the most benefits!

Raw fermented fruit/veggie juice

Suggested foods combos for probiotics AND prebiotics

  • Yogurt with raw honey and/or berries, and/or granola, and/or almonds/walnuts/ground flaxseeds
  • Kefir smoothie with berries and raw honey
  • Meal with prebiotic veggies and a glass of kombucha
  • Granola, yogurt, and berry parfait
  • Overnight oats made with yogurt instead of milk
  • Salads/sandwiches/burgers topped with raw sauerkraut/kimchi or enjoyed with a side of probiotic pickles
  •  A sandwich or burger with a side of veggies, prebiotic potato salad, and a raw probiotic pickle.

Contraindications and safety considerations

Remember that due to bio-individuality, one size never fits all!

Make sure to review the safety considerations below and consult your healthcare team in case any of the following contraindications apply to you.

FODMAPs

You may or may not need to steer clear of certain types of prebiotic foods (like onions and garlic) and probiotic foods (such as sauerkraut and kimchi) that are high in FODMAPs, if you’re navigating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and following a low FODMAP elimination diet.

Histamine

If you have a histamine intolerance, you’ll want to proceed with caution before trying out fermented foods which are naturally high in histamine.

Tyramine

If you’re taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medication, you will need to limit the amount of tyramine in your diet, since monoamine oxidase is the primary enzyme responsible for breaking down tyramine in the body.

Fermented foods are naturally high in tyramine, so avoid and consult a health professional before trying out fermented foods.

Sucrose/maltose

Some prebiotic and/or probiotic foods may contain significant quantities of sucrose and/or maltose.  These should be limited and avoided among folks with a sucrose intolerance.

This applies only to folks who have a congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID) or an acquired/secondary sucrase-isomaltase deficiency.

(Check out my list of foods high in sucrose and starch to learn more about which probiotic and prebiotic fruits and veggies are lowest in sucrose and maltose!)

Sulfur

Some prebiotic and probiotic foods (such as cabbage, garlic, sauerkraut, kimchi, broccoli, and cauliflower) increase sulfur production in the body.

While this is generally safe and even beneficial for most healthy adults, folks with a sulfur intolerance (and/or hydrogen sulfide SIBO) should avoid foods high in sulfur. 

Listen to your body and consult your healthcare team if you’re unsure how to navigate a low sulfur diet.

Sodium

A lot of lacto-fermented foods call for a lot of salt in order to create the proper brine.

While this is fine for most people, folks who are following a low sodium diet for health reasons should be mindful of the high amounts of salt in just a few tablespoons of fermented fruits/veggies.

Consult your healthcare team if you need help navigating the sodium content in probiotic fermented foods.

Probiotics and SIBO

In my clinical experience, some folks with SIBO feel worse after consuming probiotic foods and supplements.

Just because a probiotic and prebiotic food is on this list doesn’t mean it’s good for YOU!

Always listen to your body, and consult a qualified healthcare practitioner if you’re unsure how to navigate the complex terrain of probiotics, prebiotics, and SIBO.

Final thoughts

There are infinite ways to consume probiotic and prebiotic foods for health and overall wellbeing.

While this list isn’t exhaustive (since there are infinite ways to consume probiotic and prebiotic foods), hopefully it has given you some extra insights, ideas, and inspiration!

Remember that one size doesn’t fit all, so you may not love or tolerate (from a health standpoint) every single type of prebiotic/probiotic food listed in this article.

Always listen to your body (and your taste buds, too). Consult a healthcare professional when you’re navigating food intolerances and/or a medical condition. 

Stick with what works well, and ditch the rest!

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