Probiotics can be found in certain foods and beverages and in the form of supplements. While eating probiotic foods can help with overall gut health and general nutrition, if you want to ease digestive symptoms, you can try to take a probiotic supplement as well.

A study published in the journal Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology in June 2018 found that when participants contracted the common cold, the consumption of a probiotic drink substantially decreased cases of upper respiratory infection and flu-like symptoms compared with those who did not take probiotics.

Here's how to add more probiotics to your diet.

Make use of Kefir

A tart and tangy cultured milk drink, Kefir is packed with various strains of beneficial probiotics and live cultures. Whenever possible, choose plain kefir, as the flavored varieties often contain added sugar. She recommends adding it to a smoothie for a nutritious (and good-bacteria) boost if you find that kefir tastes too tart alone.

Make yogurt a staple

Plain yogurt with live active cultures can also be transformed into a key ingredient in salad dressings, dips, and cold sauces from a breakfast meal. Just know that any recipe requiring heating of the yogurt will kill off its good bacteria in any way. Stick to no-cook recipes in order to reap the most benefit for the gut.

Up your Kombucha intake

Kombucha is a probiotic-rich fermented drink made with tea, sugar (most used up during fermentation), bacteria, and yeast - making it the perfect vegan option to other probiotic-rich dairy products, such as kefir or yogurt. You can swap your afternoon coffee with the refreshing probiotic drink or a happy hour cocktail.

Learn to love Sauerkraut

You can buy sauerkraut or make it with traditional cabbage or sub in other veggies to give a lot more flavor to any meal. Great condiments can all be made from fermented daikon radishes, turnips, cucumbers, okra, and string beans. They can also be consumed as a snack or added to a salad.

Practice making Miso

With hot water and miso paste, Miso soup is easy to make and adds a probiotic punch to any meal. In Japan, it can be served anytime. Just remember that high temperatures can kill probiotics, thereby eliminating their health boosts. Just before serving, add the miso paste and avoid excessively hot temperatures to preserve as many beneficial microorganisms as possible.

Prebiotic-rich sources

Prebiotics are nondigestible components found in some fruits, veggies, and other foods that encourage the growth of good-for-you bacteria in the intestine. Good prebiotic food sources include raw apples, bananas, asparagus, beans, artichokes, garlic, onions, and leeks, as well as whole wheat and soy foods.