Ask the doctors
I'm trying to add more probiotics into my diet. Is cheese a good source?
A. Probiotics, good bacteria that can contribute to gut and overall health, can be found in some types of cheese as well as in dietary supplements, fermented foods, and yogurt. Typically, probiotics are in cheeses that have been aged but not heated afterward. This includes both soft and hard cheeses, including Swiss, provolone, Gouda, cheddar, Edam, Gruyère, and cottage cheese.
Adding probiotics to your diet can potentially improve your health by helping to foster the growth of good bacteria inside your gut. Your gut contains some 100 trillion bacteria, but in some cases, the balance between the helpful and harmful bacteria falls out of balance. When this occurs, experts believe it may be linked to a host of conditions, such as allergies, mood disorders, and arthritis. Eating foods that contain probiotics, such as cheese, can help restore this natural balance. The only caution when it comes to cheese is to not overdo it. Cheese tends to be high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
To read more about probiotics, see the Harvard Medical School Guide The Benefits of Probiotics: Using good bacteria for better health.
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