When you consider your well-being in total, the digestive system may not be your first thought. But that’s just where proper nutrition and good health begin. Yakult is a probiotic health drink that can be helpful in balancing your digestive system. People have been drinking Yakult for more than 75 years, as part of a daily diet to balance the flora in the digestive tract.
Yakult is created with fermented milk. It contains over six billion good Lactobacillus casei bacteria that can reach your gut while they’re still alive. That’s what makes it effective as a healthy, probiotic drink.
Is Drinking Yakult Healthy for You?
Yakult is healthy, yes, aside from sweeteners and a few additives. It has high amounts of artificial sweeteners, flavorings and sugar. It is believed that its benefits outweigh its additives. In addition to probiotic organisms and artificial sweeteners and flavorings, Yakult ingredients are skim milk powder, sugar and water.
There are two types of Yakult:
Regular – This contains 50 calories and 11 sugar grams in each bottle.
Light – This contains 30 calories and 4 sugar grams in each bottle.
The Regular Yakult serving size is 65 ml in each bottle. The sugar content is 18g per 100g. The Food Standards Agency in the UK considers 15 per 100g of sugar to be HIGH, meaning that the concentration of sugar found in Yakult is quite high.
In comparison, Coca-Cola or orange juice contain about 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product, and they have larger sized servings, about 250-300 ml. So, even though Yakult has a higher sugar concentration, the serving size is very small.
If we want to more fully answer that question “Is Yakult good for you?”, we need to look into more nutrition facts.
Sweeteners in Yakult
For regular Yakult, sucrose is the sweetener used. Yakult Light is sweetened with Reb A, which is extracted from the Stevia leaf. There is much debate about artificial sweeteners today, as some have been linked to possible cases of cancer. Stevia is a natural sweetener, and believed to be one of the safest.
Rebaudioside-A comes from the Stevia leaf and is Generally Recognized as Safe (GASE) for beverages and food. It is 250 to 300 times as sweet as sucrose, according to caloriecontrol.org. It has no calories, so it can really lower the calorie count in the foods in which it is used.
Stevia leaf sweeteners also don’t contribute to calories or carbohydrates in your diet. So, they won’t cause any blood glucose surge or corresponding insulin response. That makes it easier for diabetic people to use, giving them many foods to choose from, while still sticking to eating healthy.
You can purchase Yakult in a variety of flavors. The flavorings in the beverage are natural or nature-identical. They are added to make sure that the flavor is consistent while the product is being fermented. The nature-identical flavorings in Yakult are created using synthetic materials that mimic natural flavors.
Lactobacillus Casei Bacteria Strain Shirota
This bacterium is currently only used in Yakult, out of all probiotic drinks. The bacteria have been proven to have these benefits:
- Maintain the balance of good & bad flora in the gut
- Aid in digesting
- Improve bowel movements
- Reduce the risk of infection in the body by strengthening the immune system
- Help to reduce toxins in the body
What Are Probiotics? And How Do Yakult Probiotic Drinks Help You?
Probiotics are also known as good bacteria, and include bifidobacteria. Probiotics are also the opposite of widely-prescribed antibiotics, used to fight infection in your body. Probiotics grow within the gut, and live there naturally. Normal bacteria found in the body break down foods and help the body to absorb nutrients and suppress bad bacteria within the intestines.
Bifidobacteria are routinely used in treating disease, since good gut flora is often killed. Antibiotics kill bad AND good bacteria. Probiotics are recommended whenever you take antibiotics, to minimize good bacteria death.
Who Can Drink Yakult?
You have answered the question “Is Yakult Good for You?”. Now take a peek at who takes it, and what it does for them. Adults and children can drink it, and so can lactose intolerant people, since it only contains a small amount of the lactose that affects them. If you have a serious medical problem, consult your physician before taking any supplements, including Yakult.
Yakult is safe enough for infants and babies to drink, as long as you start out with smaller doses and increase gradually to one bottle. If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor about using Yakult before you start.
Suggested Uses of Yakult
Yakult is recommended to be used daily, at one or two bottles each day, during meals or after them, for adults. Children should not drink more than one bottle a day. The same rule applies to infants eight months or older and toddlers. When it comes to babies less than eight months of age, gradually incorporate Yakult into their diet and then increase to only one bottle a day.
Yakult was not designed as a thirst quenching drink. It is a probiotic drink only. It will not replace milk and yogurt, but can and should be used along with those products. Since the servings are small, it can easily be made part of your balanced diet.
Yakult is sold in small bottles, each providing one full dose. There is no waste. If you buy probiotic drinks in large bottles, and they are not finished right away, they may harbor bad flora that could make you ill.