When eating probiotics first got hot, around 2012, the beneficial bacteria were mostly found in traditionally fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi. Now they're popping up everywhere, most recently in packaged products like energy bars and chips. That's good, right?

Actually, you may be better off taking a pill: "Most of these snacks are the equivalent of sprinkling a probiotic supplement onto your food," says Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian and host of public television's Ellie's Real Good Food. "While they're likely not harmful, you don't always know the amount or type of bacteria you're getting." Supplements, though, typically list their dosage and specific strains, so you can find the best kind for your body. "If you try one and it doesn't agree with you, you can adjust from there," Krieger says. Since many Americans don't eat a lot of foods naturally high in probiotics, she recommends a combo of supplements (consult your doctor to find the right mix) and traditional sources. Try Coconut Cult's ultrarich plant-based yogurt, with 25 billion probiotics per serving ($24 for 16 ounces; TheCoconutCult.com for stores). Your gut and your taste buds will thank you.


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