Why Vegan Probiotics Are More Effective Than Dairy Probiotics
Your gut is at the heart of your health and probiotics play an essential role in improving your gut health.1 Whether you are vegan or not, choosing plant-based probiotics is better for you and for the planet.
Here we’ll answer all your pressing questions. Including:
• What are probiotics?
• Are all probiotics vegan?
• What are vegan probiotics?
• Should vegans take probiotics?
• How to get vegan probiotics?
As you’ve probably guessed… the vegan probiotic world can be a little difficult to navigate. But that’s why we are here. This guide has been designed to help you easily enjoy the benefits of a healthy gut.
We are here to help you #loveyourgut!
• Why Vegan Probiotics are More Effective?
Vegan probiotics are better for your gut and for the planet for two simple reasons …
1. Dairy is a Gut Irritant
Many probiotic foods contain dairy or animal products. Yet, dairy is a leading stomach irritant.
The main carbohydrate in dairy is lactose, which many of us struggle to digest. In fact, lactose intolerance is thought to affect up to 75% of us!2 And, lactose intolerance is present in at least half of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) patients.3
Lactose is an irritant for your gut in many ways, causing gas, bloating, diarrhoea and discomfort.4
We thought; why take something full of dairy if you want to improve your gut health?
For us, it’s not just about what’s inside our probiotic drinks … it’s about what’s taken out as well. That’s why Biomel is dairy-free and gluten-free. We also add beneficial nutrients that are traditionally found in dairy, like Calcium - so you’re not missing out.
2. Vegan Probiotics are Better for the Planet
Our diets are a huge factor in our personal environmental footprints and collectively are a key driver of climate change.5
As we have seen, most probiotics in the supermarket are yoghurt and dairy-based.
Yet, a study by the University of Oxford found that producing a glass of dairy-based milk creates almost 3 times as many greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based alternative and uses 9 times more land.6
Choosing plant-based alternatives can help you do better for the planet and yourself.
• What are Probiotics?
Let’s go back to the beginning … what are probiotics?
Probiotics are living bacteria that help restore the natural balance in your gut by increasing the quantity of “good bacteria” in your microbiome.7 When consumed regularly and in adequate quantities, probiotics can help improve your health in many ways!
The good bacteria in your gut can help keep your body healthy and happy by contributing to digestive health, immune health, serotonin production (‘the happy chemical’) and disease prevention.8
Probiotics have been used for decades to help alleviate the symptoms of digestive disorders such as bloating, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and diarrhoea.9 They have also been used to strengthen the immune system - a healthy gut is linked to benefits including resistance to infections and colds, and recovery after illness.10
Whereas, an unbalanced gut can lead to digestive issues, allergies, weight challenges and more.11
If you want more information about the benefits of probiotics or the importance of gut health, follow these links to jump to our other guides:
> The Importance of Gut Health?
• Are all Probiotics Vegan?
To put it simply, no.
Traditionally, when you looked for probiotics in the supermarket, you’d find dairy products. Many probiotic foods contain dairy or animal products.
That’s why when you think “probiotics” you might think of yoghurt or yoghurt drinks, like Actimel or Kefir.
We share your frustration; before we started Biomel we were on the hunt for an easy and delicious way to incorporate vegan and dairy-free probiotics into our diet, but all the probiotic food and drinks on the market were packed with dairy, tasted bland and were loaded with sugar.
But don’t fear - there are great dairy-free and vegan probiotics out there, and the truth is … they may be better for you and the planet!
That’s why we started doing things differently. Our gut boosting probiotic drinks are 100% plant-based and made from all-natural ingredients.
Skip forward to ‘How to get probiotics as a vegan?’ if you want to jump ahead and see the other sources of vegan probiotics that can help you improve your gut health.
• What are Vegan Probiotics?
Vegan probiotics are live bacteria strains that occur from vegan sources, unlike traditional dairy varieties.
They are often grown through a fermentation process and you can easily incorporate vegan probiotics into your diet through probiotic food, probiotic supplements and probiotic drinks.
There’s some debate about what the best dairy-free and vegan probiotics are!
When choosing probiotics, we recommend looking for those with high CFU’s (Colony Forming Units) that are well researched.
Every serving Biomel is cultured with billions of live active vegan probiotic cultures, including Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bacillus Coagulan and Lactobacillus Plantarum. Don’t let the names of our cultures fool you, in the world of bacteria strains ‘lactose’ isn’t referring to dairy. They are all naturally occurring vegan bacteria!
• Should Vegans take Probiotics?
68% of UK adults consider gut health to be essential to overall health.12
Regardless of dietary preferences, we are all waking up to the beneficial role probiotics can play in supporting our health and wellbeing.13
These benefits include:
The good news is … vegans are more likely to have well balanced guts, as they generally consume more fruits and vegetables (which are rich in fibre – a key gut nutrient).17
However, vegans don’t eat the most common probiotic-rich foods, like yoghurt and kefir. So, there may be a risk that you have fewer probiotics in your vegan diet.
But don’t worry… we have that covered!
• How to Get Probiotics as a Vegan?
Tons of delicious probiotic-rich food and drinks are vegan. Making it easy to incorporate probiotics into your vegan diet!
We recommend adding vegan probiotic food and drinks to your daily routine to increase the quantity of “good bacteria” in your microbiome and keep your gut balanced.
Here’s a handy list of vegan probiotic foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet:
1. Fermented Foods
The great news for us is … the majority of fermented foods are plant-based.
Fermentation is an ancient technique for preserving food, which involves breaking down the carbs and sugar with bacteria and yeast (this is the brine used in the fermentation process). This promotes vitamin and bacteria production and creates probiotics.18
Our favourite vegan fermented foods include:
• Tempeh – a traditional Indonesian soy-based food made from fermented soybeans
• Kimchi – delicious fermented spicy food made using cabbage and spice
• Miso – a traditional Japanese’s seasoning made using fermented soybeans (we love this in stir-frys and soups!)
• Pickles – pickled veggies fermented in brine!
• Sauerkraut – rich in good bacteria strains Vitamin C, K and Potassium
Fermentation typically results in a strong, tart or sour taste.
Love Your Gut Tip: If you’re going to cook with your fermented foods make sure you don’t use high heats or boiling water, or you’ll kill the beneficial bacteria (whoops!).
2. Probiotic Supplements
Like vitamins, you can find probiotics in supplement form.
Probiotic supplements are typically dry tablets that contain dormant probiotic cultures. They are not all the same, the types of probiotic strain and quantity of probiotic cultures will differ between supplements.
Make sure to be careful, they are not all vegan!
Some probiotic supplements include other ingredients to bulk them out. These ingredients can include lactose, a form of dairy. The probiotic cultures themselves can also come from non-vegan sources, as they are often grown on dairy ‘mediums’. This should be clearly labelled!
3. Probiotic Drinks
Probiotic drinks like Biomel are functional beverages that contain live bacteria to support gut health, particularly your digestive and immune health.
We’re all busy people, and making changes to our daily habits is hard … So, while in an ideal world you’d be whipping up batches of sauerkraut and stocking your fridge with gut health foods, the reality is that most of us don’t have the time or energy.
That’s where Biomel comes in. We created Biomel to give you a delicious and effective vegan alternative.
Available in handy on-the-go shots and take-home bottles, it’s easy and convenient to drink every single day, allowing you to improve your gut health without missing a beat in your busy life.
Unlike many fermented foods, Biomel has a sweet taste. But, more importantly, it is a vegan probiotic drink, with billions of live active cultures Vitamins B6, D and Calcium.
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21229254, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15481739 & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5526216/
11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19091823, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576554/ & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24070562
15. G Vighi,* F Marcucci,‡ L Sensi,‡ G Di Cara,‡ and F Frati‡, Allergy and the gastrointestinal system & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24780623
16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974015 & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5526216/