When most people think of stomach bacteria, the image that comes to mind usually involves the aftermath of eating some spoiled food. What many people don’t know, though, is that not all stomach bacteria are bad!
Although bacteria tends to get a bit of a bad rep, there are just as many good bacteria as there are bad bacteria. The difference is that good gut bacteria keep your stomach strong and your body functioning properly, whereas bad bacteria contribute to sickness and inflammation.
Good bacteria are commonly referred to as probiotics, which literally translates into “good biotics (bacteria).”
Probiotics are commonly found in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, and others. While many probiotics are vegan-friendly and come from plant-based sources, some come from dairy.
Certain probiotics may also use animal by-products like gelatin in capsules or as binders.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you some of the best vegan probiotic supplements on the market. I’ll also explain why probiotics are so important and how they can improve your overall health!
Should Vegans Supplement Probiotics?
I know some of you are probably thinking something along the lines of, “My stomach is fine. I don’t have IBS or stomach pains. Do I REALLY need to take a vegan probiotic supplement?”
In short, YES. Vegans (and non-vegans, for that matter) should supplement with probiotics.
Keeping your gut healthy and full of good bacteria is about more than just preventing stomach aches. Your gut health determines a lot about your overall health.
For example, when your stomach doesn’t have a lot of good bacteria, it can trigger inflammatory responses throughout your body. This can result in muscle aches, and fatigue, and may result in you injuring yourself more frequently.
Low probiotic levels in your stomach also correlate with reduced immunity, which means you’ll get sick more often and have a higher risk of contracting viral infections.
Of course, probiotics are also great for your stomach health. Supplementing with probiotics can prevent indigestion, gassiness, and bloating, and can dramatically reduce symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
The Link Between Probiotics & Mental Health
Did you know that a healthy gut biome is associated with better mental health?
Anxiety and stomach issues are often one and the same and each can affect the other. Anxious thoughts can lead to increased acidity in your stomach, giving you that “worried sick” feeling.
Conversely, a healthy, strong stomach full of good bacteria is associated with reduced levels of anxiety and anxiety-link depression!
In my opinion, it’s just another great reason to supplement with vegan probiotics.
Taking Vegan Probiotics Can Improve Your Skin
At this point, we’ve discussed how probiotics can improve your immunity, relieve IBS symptoms, and even improve feelings of depression and anxiety… Vegan probiotics are also a great way to improve your skin health, though!
Often, what happens inside of our bodies is expressed outside on the surface of our skin. Stress, hormonal fluctuations, and an unhealthy gut are some of the top factors that contribute to inflammatory acne breakouts, rosacea, and cysts.
Vegan Probiotics & Prebiotics: What’s The Difference?
Many of the vegan probiotics on my list below also contain vegan prebiotics.
Prebiotics are supplements that create a favorable environment for probiotics to live in your stomach. Typically, the best prebiotics is forms of dietary fiber. These help the probiotics move around your gut and help your body “pass” the bad bacteria through your stool.
A vegan probiotic + prebiotic supplement is the perfect one-two punch that will ensure your body’s ability to absorb and keep the maximum number of probiotics and good bacteria!
|Vegan Probiotics||Vegan Prebiotics|
|Healthy bacteria that reside in your gut.||Supplements and compounds that help your body absorb more probiotics.|
|Can improve your stomach health and relieve symptoms of IBS, gassiness, bloating, etc.||Ensure that your body has more probiotics and can do its job better.|
|Come from plant-based fermented food sources like natto or are extracted from plant-based fermented foods.||Typically come in the form of dietary fiber or herbal supplements.|
Can Lactobacillus Be Vegan?
Lactobacillus is, by far, one of the most popular probiotic bacteria strains.
While lactobacillus can be cultured from dairy products, it can just as easily be obtained from culturing plant-based foods, such as kimchi or sauerkraut!
For this reason, lactobacillus is just as commonly found in vegan probiotic supplements as it is in non-vegan probiotics.
The Best Vegan Probiotic Brands To Try This Year 2023
Alright, so now that you have a better idea of why vegan probiotics are important for everyone to add to their daily supplement regimen, here are some of the best vegan probiotic brands of 2023!
I’ve used most of these over the years and have seen varying results with all of them, so I’ll give you my first-hand take on each one.
1) Deva Vegan Probiotic with FOS Prebiotics (link)
- Supplement Type: Vegan Capsules
If you’re looking for a great all-around vegan probiotic supplement that’s suitable for both men and women, then Deva Vegan Probiotic With FOS Prebiotics is the perfect match.
For one, it’s very affordable. Each jar comes with ninety capsules, which is equivalent to three months worth of probiotics… all for under $20! Secondly, it’s 100% certified vegan-friendly.
The capsules are made from a plant-based gel, so you don’t have to worry about any gelatin or other animal-deriving binding agents being used.
Another thing I really like about this supplement is that it contains an all-natural prebiotic called inulin. Inulin is a starch-like substance that’s found in a variety of vegetables, roots, and herbs.
As a form of dietary fiber, inulin acts as a natural laxative and can regulate your bowel movements. It also helps to rid your body of bad bacteria, paving the way for more good bacteria!
The only drawback of this product is that it only contains one variety of probiotic bacteria, bacillus coagulans. While this is an incredibly healthy probiotic, some of the nicer vegan probiotic supplements contain up to ten or more varieties of healthy bacteria.
- It’s affordable.
- Suitable for both men and women.
- Contains plant-based inulin, which acts as a prebiotic.
- 100% vegan capsules.
- Only contains one strain of bacteria, bacillus coagulans.
2) Gut Flora Health + Enzymes by MaryRuth’s (link)
- Supplement Type: Vegan Capsules
Dollar for dollar, MaryRuth’s Gut Flora Health + Enzymes Vegan Probiotic Supplement is one of the highest quality probiotics on the market.
It’s a complete gut health supplement that contains twelve strains of healthy bacteria, prebiotics, and a blend of healthy enzymes designed to support your digestive system!
Since this vegan probiotic features twelve different healthy gut bacteria, you’ll be arming your system with more “soldiers” to help fight off the bad bacteria.
Additionally, it contains a proprietary blend of all-natural, non-GMO, herbal-based prebiotics.
Unlike most vegan probiotic + prebiotic supplements that just contain inulin or dietary fiber, MaryRuth’s Gut Flora Health + Enzymes supplement contains fructooligosaccharides, alfalfa extract, fulvic acid (a great source of minerals, by the way), papaya juice, and ionic minerals.
These all work together to regulate your bowel movements, rid your body of toxic build-up, and process out unhealthy bacteria. All of this allows the good probiotic bacteria to come in and take over your gut!
MaryRuth’s unique, all-natural enzyme blend consists of protease, cellulase, chitosanase, and serrapeptase. These are especially good if you’ve been struggling with indigestion or acid reflux, both of which can be caused by your body’s inability to digest certain foods.
The main downside to this product is that it’s a little more expensive than discount probiotics (such as Deva’s), and contains fewer capsules. That being said, if you’re looking for something strong and effective to make a drastic difference, then quality should be your main concern.
- Contains twelve probiotic strains.
- Contains a blend of natural prebiotics.
- Contains gut enzymes to help with digestion.
- 100% plant-based, non-GMO, and made using organic ingredients.
- It’s a little bit more expensive than cheaper brands like Deva.
3) Physician’s Choice Vegan Probiotics 60 Billion CFU (link)
- Supplement Type: Vegan capsules
Physician’s Choice Vegan Probiotics are one of the strongest vegan probiotic supplements that I’ve ever tried. Each dose contains over sixty billion CFU (colony-forming units) worth of probiotics.
That’s a ton of healthy bacteria, that’s more than capable of overwhelming any bad bacteria in your stomach and improving your gut health!
This supplement contains ten different strains of bacteria, including varieties of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, all of which come from plant-based sources. This means that the product is 100% vegan and dairy-free.
It also contains three different sources of all-natural prebiotics to aid in the digestive process and create a positive environment for healthy bacteria to thrive. Fiber from Jerusalem artichoke root, chicory root, and acacia senegal work together as a powerful prebiotic combination.
Plus, all of them are 100% organic, which means you’ll never have to worry about nasty chemical additives leftover from the farming process!
Other than the supplement itself, I really appreciate the packaging. Unlike most probiotic supplements, which need to be refrigerated after opening, the bottle is designed so that the supplement is shelf-stable and doesn’t need refrigeration.
The outer jar blocks out UV rays and keeps out moisture and air. There’s also an Activ-Polymer sleeve on the inside of the jar, which is designed to absorb any excess moisture that could be in the atmosphere.
All of this helps keep these vegan probiotics shelf-stable and fresh for a longer period of time!
- Ten different strains of probiotics.
- Three organic prebiotic fibers.
- Fairly priced.
- Smart packaging keeps the product fresh for longer.
- Doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
- It doesn’t contain the added enzymes found in MaryRuth’s probiotics.
4) up4 Vegan-Friendly Probiotic Gummies (link)
- Supplement Type: Vegan Gummies
At this point, I’m fairly used to taking herbal capsules and supplements as part of my daily routine.
However, it wasn’t always this easy. I used to hate swallowing capsules, and I’d have to toss them back one at a time, trying not to gag all the while. Eventually, I just got used to it, and it got easier, though.
If you share a similar disdain for capsules, then you’ll really enjoy up4 Vegan-Friendly Probiotic Gummies! Unlike the majority of vegan probiotics, which are in capsule form, these come in a tasty gummy form.
Don’t worry – the gummies are 100% vegan and gelatin-free. They’re made using pectin, water, unrefined cane sugar, sodium citrate, citric acid, natural flavoring, natural coloring, coconut oil, and cornstarch.
Each serving only contains 1 gram of sugar as well, so it won’t interfere with your diet.
Each two-gummy serving contains two billion CFU of bacillus subtilis and bacillus coagulans, along with two grams of all-natural chicory root. The chicory root is an insulin-containing prebiotic compound that serves as an excellent form of dietary fiber.
Additionally, each serving contains 33% of your daily recommended vitamin C, which means that these gummies can boost your immune system along with your gut health!
- Great-tasting gummies.
- Each serving contains 33% of your daily vitamin C.
- Contains two strains of probiotics.
- Contains chicory extract as a natural prebiotic.
- Low-sugar, vegan gummies.
- More expensive than capsules.
- Only two forms of probiotic bacteria.
What’s The Best Vegan Probiotic For IBS?
If you’ve been struggling with IBS symptoms, then I would say that MaryRuth’s Gut Flora Health + Enzymes Vegan Probiotic Supplement (see above, number two) is your best bet.
Not only does it contain all of the probiotics that you need to improve your gut health but it also contains a number of prebiotics to help your body get rid of bad bacteria and digestive enzymes.
The added digestive enzymes can really help if you’re having an IBS episode due to a certain food that you consumed!
If you want to see the best results, I recommend taking them on a daily basis. The more frequently you take them, the more the healthy bacteria will build up and the fewer symptoms you’ll experience.
What’s The Best Vegan Probiotic For Making Yogurt?
Yogurt is a great source of all-natural probiotics. The only problem is that it traditionally comes from dairy, making it non-vegan. Did you know that you can make your own homemade vegan yogurt using vegan yogurt cultures and plant-based milk?
Vegan cultures are bacteria additives that are very similar to the probiotic strains used in the supplements above. However, these come in powder form and must be added to your milk.
Once they activate, they’ll slowly curdle the plant milk and turn it into a yogurt-like substance!
Cultures for Health Vegan Yogurt Starter Culture is my favorite vegan yogurt starter. It’s affordable, all-natural, and 100% plant-based.
Simply add a package into a container of your favorite soy milk and let the mixture rest in a yogurt maker. By the next day, you’ll have your own homemade vegan yogurt!
Conclusion – What’s The Best Vegan Probiotic For Daily Use?
In my opinion, the best overall vegan probiotic for daily use are the Physician’s Choice of Vegan Probiotics.
Each serving contains ten strains of bacteria for a whopping sixty billion CFU serving alongside three all-natural prebiotic fibers to aid in digestion. Plus it’s a very affordable supplement!
Vegan probiotic supplements are a great way to get more healthy bacteria in your stomach. However, you can also ingest probiotics naturally by eating fermented foods.
One of my favorite fermented foods is natto, a Japanese delicacy made from fermented soybeans. To learn more about natto, read my latest post on Where To Find Natto next!