Researchers from the University of Maryland recently calculated the number of beneficial microorganisms in many fermented foods.
The results were published in the scientific journal Integrative Medicine in 2016.
Kefir took the first position for the highest number of living beneficial bacteria, ahead of kombucha, yogurt, beet kvass, and even the most potent probiotic pills on the market.
Popular supermarket brands of both cow’s and goat’s milk kefir had 1.2 trillion viable bacteria per pint, according to the study.
The most powerful probiotics contain about 50 billion colony-forming units per capsule or 1.5 trillion per container.
That means 2 cups of kefir equals month’s worth of the highest-quality probiotic pills.
Kefir was found to hold the most extensive variety of bacterial species of any of the fermented foods tested, 10 in cow’s milk kefir and 11 in goat’s milk kefir.
The brands tested for the best bacteria counts were Redwood Hill Farm (goat) and Green Valley Organic (cow).
For a small amount of money ($3), you’re receiving the same number of beneficial bacteria as you would in a $30 bottle of probiotics.
According to healthline.com, these are the health benefits of probiotics:
Sauerkraut had similar unsubstantiated claims have been made about it but was not tested in the study.
Dr Mercola, a famous holistic health guru, reportedly sent his homemade sauerkraut to a lab to have it analyzed in 2012.
“We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria,” Dr Mercola explained in a video.
If the claims are correct, it means that a pint-sized jar of homemade sauerkraut equals eight bottles of probiotics.