What Foods Contain Lactobacillus

What Foods Contain Lactobacillus?

For those interested in gut flora, Lactobacillus is not an unfamiliar term. Yet, do you know how to naturally introduce more of these bacteria into your body?

The article below will provide further information regarding the benefits and common Lactobacillus strains and answer the question: What food contains Lactobacillus?


Key Takeaways

  • Lactobacillus helps improve digestive health, prevent cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, and regulate the immune system.
  • Lactobacillus can be found in everyday foods such as fruits, yogurt, kimchi, sourdough bread, kombucha, and cheese.
  • Another way to supplement Lactobacillus is through consuming dietary supplements in capsules, tablets, or powder.
  • Consuming Lactobacillus-rich foods daily is entirely safe and does not cause side effects.

What is Lactobacillus and What Are Its Benefits for Human Health?

Lactobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive, facultatively aerobic, or microaerophilic, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming bacteria belonging to the Lactobacillaceae family.

They are beneficial bacteria naturally found in many parts of the human body, such as the intestines, vagina, and mouth.

Research shows a large presence of Lactobacillus in the vaginal area of women, where they form a biofilm, tightly adhering to the vaginal mucosa, providing a first line of defense against potential pathogens [1].

benefits of lactobacillus for human health

There are many different Lactobacillus species, each with unique characteristics and functions. Some of the most common Lactobacillus strains include:

Lactobacillus Gasseri:

Naturally occurring in the gut, this strain stands out as a type of bacteria capable of resisting high acidity, promoting weight loss, and maintaining safe body fat levels.

Additionally, L. Gasseri ensures the presence of certain acids in the stomach, boosts the immune system, and prompts favorable reactions to allergens.

Lactobacillus Plantarum:

This strain is also found abundantly in the gut and is notable for its ability to move through the digestive tract without being affected by the high-acid environment in the stomach. L. Plantarum stimulates the immune system and fortifies the gut's protective barrier.

Lactobacillus Reuteri

Mainly supports oral health with flexible properties like reducing bad breath, promoting the balance of oral microbiota, and supporting gum.

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

A part of the intestinal microbiota, it plays a crucial role in maintaining digestive health. It assists in the breakdown of food, absorption of nutrients, and defense against harmful bacteria. L. Rhamnosus can also help enhance the immune system..

Lactobacillus Crispatus

This strain significantly populates the vaginal microbiota, promoting an acidic environment, producing hydrogen peroxide, inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, and maintaining vaginal health. It also supports the balance of vaginal flora and prevents other discomforts in this sensitive area.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

L. Acidophilus naturally exists in the digestive tract, emerging as a potential approach to various digestive issues, such as reducing abdominal discomfort and symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.

Lactobacillus Salivarius

This strain stands out in humans' oral microbiota. Within the mouth, they help maintain a balanced bacterial ecosystem, encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing bad breath by counteracting odor-producing bacteria.

Supplementing with Lactobacillus can offer numerous health benefits, specifically including:

  • Improving Digestive Health: Lactobacillus has been proven to improve lactose intolerance conditions, regulate the balance of gut bacteria, and aid in improving digestive tract diseases [2].
  • Regulating Immune Capability: Lactobacillus limits the invasion of pathogens in the body, increases immune response, and controls metabolic disorders and intestinal inflammation.

What Foods Contain Lactobacillus?

You can supplement this beneficial bacteria naturally by incorporating the following foods into your diet:


yogurt contains lactobacillus

Yogurt is produced by fermenting milk with lactic acid-producing bacteria and bifidobacteria. It is one of the best sources of probiotics that you can easily purchase or make at home. However, the beneficial probiotic count may decrease if the yogurt is processed by heat.


Sauerkraut is a side dish rich in friendly bacteria, including several strains of Lactobacillus, providing an effective source of fiber, vitamin B, iron, and manganese. You can make it at home or find it in supermarkets to accompany sausages or Reuben sandwiches.


Kefir grains contain many lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Though the specific organisms' composition varies, it is a food rich in Lactobacillus.

Another way to use kefir grains is by adding them to a sugar water solution to create a carbonated, fruit-flavored, slightly sour vegan and dairy-free drink.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is easy to digest and rich in beneficial Lactobacillus and other nutrients made from four main ingredients - flour, water, salt, and starter culture.

Although beneficial bacteria may decrease during baking, sourdough bread remains a rich source of beneficial gut bacteria, blood sugar regulation, etc.


A traditional Korean side dish, kimchi is made from fermented cabbage mixed with spices and other ingredients.

This side dish contains a significant amount of gut-friendly bacteria, primarily Lactobacillus. Some Lactobacillus strains are even named “Kimchi” based on this dish.


fruits are a rich source of lactobacillus protein and fiber

Apples are a typical fruit that contains many beneficial bacteria, notably Lactobacillus. Apples are a rich source of fiber and protein, nurturing probiotics. To diversify your menu, you can make apple cider vinegar, add it to salads, or pair it with yogurt or cereals.

Furthermore, other fruits like raspberries, bananas, dried plums, figs, etc., are also fruit sources rich in beneficial digestive system bacteria.


Kombucha is a sweet fermented tea originating from China. Thanks to fermentation from tea, sugar combined with Scoby, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast forming after fermentation, it produces many probiotics, including beneficial Lactobacillus strains for health.

Some Cottage Cheese

Cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, Swiss cheese, or gouda provide probiotics for digestive health. If possible, try fresh cheese, as it is not aged or heated, maintaining many probiotics.


Miso is a kind of paste widely used in Asian cuisine to add color and enrich the flavor of dishes. It is made by fermenting soybeans with some beneficial bacteria and salt, offering many beneficial gut bacteria, notably Lactobacillus [5].


Tempeh is a food product made from fermented cooked soybeans, which has been studied for its ability to increase good bacteria levels [6]. It offers an excellent source of fiber, protein, and iron. You can try cooking delicious dishes from Tempeh, such as spicy Tempeh stir-fry, baked Tempeh, etc.

Other Ways to Take Lactobacillus

supplements is another way to take lactobacillus

In addition to supplementing Lactobacillus through food, you can consume yogurt containing live microorganisms, especially naturally fermented yogurt containing the correct strains of Lactobacillus needed by the body.

Additionally, you can enhance the Lactobacillus content in your diet by adding probiotic powders or liquid probiotics to smoothies, fruit juices, etc.

It's important to store them at the appropriate temperature and choose the right probiotic for your drink to not affect the bacteria's activity.

Another way is to use dietary supplements that contain Lactobacillus. This is the most common method and approach to increase the beneficial probiotic content in the body.

Many types of Lactobacillus supplements are available on the market today, existing in forms such as capsules, tablets, powders, etc., meeting all your usage needs.


What Is the Best Yoghurt for Lactobacillus?

The best yogurt for supplementing Lactobacillus is naturally fermented yogurt that has not been heat-treated, as this process can kill beneficial live bacteria. Greek yogurt is recommended because it contains a lot of L. Acidophilus and is a great choice to combine with fruits and nuts.

Is It Safe to Consume Lactobacillus-Rich Foods Daily?

It is safe to consume foods rich in Lactobacillus daily as the gut benefits greatly from these "friendly" bacteria daily, addressing digestive tract issues and discomfort effectively.

The gut may take a few days to adjust to a significant increase in beneficial bacteria, which can lead to stomach pain or bloating. This is a sign that beneficial bacteria colonize the gut and protect your health.

What Happens If You Don't Supplement Lactobacillus?

Without enough Lactobacillus in the body, the digestive system may struggle to function and digest food properly.

Lactobacillus helps maintain normal digestive activity, preventing the risk of abdominal discomfort, indigestion, intestinal blockage, and other digestive issues. Therefore, lacking Lactobacillus can lead to numerous side effects and health-related issues.


This information should help answer the question: What Foods Contain Lactobacillus? Alongside this are great food suggestions to increase the amount of beneficial probiotics in the body. Hopefully, you now understand the benefits of Lactobacillus and can choose a suitable menu for yourself.


[1] “Lactobacillus - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.” Www.sciencedirect.com, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/lactobacillus.
[2] Gao, Huijuan, et al. “The Functional Roles of Lactobacillus Acidophilus in Different Physiological and Pathological Processes.” Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 32, no. 10, 30 Aug. 2022, pp. 1226–1233, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9668099/, https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.2205.05041.
[3] Mann George. “Studies of a Surfactant and Cholesteremia in the Maasai.” Sciencedirect, May 1974, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000291652333507X. Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.
[4] Wagner, R D, et al. “Biotherapeutic Effects of Probiotic Bacteria on Candidiasis in Immunodeficient Mice.” Infection and Immunity, vol. 65, no. 10, Oct. 1997, pp. 4165–4172, https://doi.org/10.1128/iai.65.10.4165-4172.1997.
[5] Frias, Juana, et al. “Immunoreactivity and Amino Acid Content of Fermented Soybean Products.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 56, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 99–105, https://doi.org/10.1021/jf072177j.
[6] Kuligowski, Maciej, et al. “Evaluation of Bean and Soy Tempeh Influence on Intestinal Bacteria and Estimation of Antibacterial Properties of Bean Tempeh.” Polish Journal of Microbiology, vol. 62, no. 2, 2013, pp. 189–194, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24053022/.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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