The best probiotics are those derived from fermented foods with live cultures unaffected by the manufacturing process, states Women's Health Magazine. Raw, lacto-fermented or unpasteurized are helpful identifiers on the packaging of these foods. Yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles are examples of fermented foods containing probiotics.
The digestive system normally contains trillions of beneficial bacteria that assist in digestion and protect from harmful organisms, according to Women's Health Magazine. Probiotics are known to treat irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections. They are also linked to aiding vascular health and possibly preventing some types of cancer. The everyday balance of gut flora can be negatively affected by stress, illness, traveling and ingesting antibiotics. Probiotics are also available in supplement form.