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People have been taking live cultures for centuries, mostly in the form of fermented foods such as probiotic yoghurt. Yoghurt has long been used around the world as a health food and is a natural source of live cultures as well as providing protein, Calcium and some B vitamins. Nowadays, we've come to understand that the friendly bacteria used to make yoghurt is good for our health, and this first led scientists to investigate the fascinating world of live cultures. You can read all about live cultures here.
The huge variety of yoghurts on offer, and often a lack of information about the specific species and strains of live cultures they contain, can make it difficult to compare them to probiotics supplements in terms of their natural bacteria value. How we consume live cultures these days is much more varied, and we have many choices available to us in the form of supplements, yoghurts, yoghurt drinks, kefir and kombucha - but which is the best for our health?
Natural bio-yoghurt has long been used around the world, and is a natural source of live cultures as well as providing protein, calcium and some B vitamins. Natural bio-yoghurts are a fantastic way to get live cultures into your diet, so we're big fans of these. On the other hand, where supplements may have the edge, is in providing some specifically researched strains of bacteria.
Yoghurts which add specific strains of friendly bacteria to their products are becoming ever more popular. You can find these on most supermarket shelves these days, and the choice is vast. These yoghurts can be a great way to take a specific live culture strain, but it's worth paying attention to other ingredients such as sugar or sweeteners, which may also be added to these foods.
Yoghurt drinks are probably the most popular way of consuming live cultures, and the choice available to shoppers is diverse. Many of the market leading brands contain some very well-researched strains of bacteria, but below we take a look at the whole picture and evaluate some points you should consider when choosing between the well-known yoghurt drink brands, and a quality live culture supplement.
A family of four would use 1460 plastic bottles per year and consume 17.5 bags of sugar if they each consumed 1 yogurt drink per day.
There are several things to consider when considering a yoghurt drink:
One difference between kefir and yoghurt is that typically kefir ferments at room temperature whereas yoghurts start their culturing process under heat. It is thought that kefir may be superior to yoghurt in terms of its probiotic qualities, and over all nutrient profile, making it a beneficial addition to any healthy eating plan. However, it is still difficult to know the exact strains of live cultures present in the product, which may mean that a good quality live cultures supplement, that specifies the strains it contains, could be a better option for those looking to improve specific health symptoms.
Whilst each of the fermented foods and drinks mentioned undoubtedly have health benefits, the exact impact is difficult to quantify, as there are so many variables and levels of friendly bacteria and other nutrients may differ from batch to batch, and from producer to producer.
When addressing specific health concerns a well-researched live cultures supplement offers a far more targeted approach, and provides the correct strains of live cultures to best support your individual health needs.
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