Probiotics are considered as a new superfood as it is highly nutritious and contributes to a healthy gut and a healthy body. Let’s dive straight into what probiotics are and what’s the fuss surrounding it. Is it just another fad that is going to fade in a few days or is it here to stay?
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics nowadays are often spelled out in the same breath with good gut health. There are billions of bacteria thriving in our stomach. Gross, right? Not exactly! Some of the bacteria are beneficial to our digestive system boosting immunity, promoting good digestion and keep away diseases. While the bad ones disturb our digestive process. The ratio of the good vs bad bacteria is determined by the food we eat, our drinking habits, medications, and stress. A bad lifestyle and food habit promote the growth of bad bacteria and our health goes for a toss. But Probiotics are an external source of promoting good bacteria growth in our gut when consumed.
What are the natural sources of Probiotics?
There are a number of exotic foods available that are filled with probiotics like kimchi, kefir, blue cheese, miso soup, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut and more. Although they are extremely rich natural sources of probiotics neither of these is native to India.
So we’ll give a list of food items available in India that have probiotics in them. These are the foods that we eat on a day-to-day basis but were least aware of its goodness.
Yogurt or dahiis a staple in most Indian meals. But we have been unaware of the fact that it is one of the best natural sources of probiotics found. As it is fermented by the good bacteria, it is beneficial to the digestive and gut health. It prevents constipation, diarrhea, IBS and can also be consumed by those who are lactose-intolerant. It is best to ferment yogurt at home rather than buying it from the store as the store-bought ones are often devoid of probiotics.
“Pickles are bad for health”, Who said so, remind me again? Another staple in an Indian kitchen, pickles have been the most underrated healthy food option for ages. It is a very good source of healthy bacteria that boost the good bacteria production in the gut.
“To sport a flat stomach, achaar dalo! Naturally rich in probiotics, it helps you accelerate fat burning and reduces bloating” – Rujuta Diwekar, Celebrity Nutritionist.
Ah, the good old buttermilk or chaas! Indians prefer having a glass of it every day. Since it is a fermented dairy product, it packs a good punch of probiotics in it. It improves immune system balancing the ratio of good and bad bacteria in ten gut microbiome.
Most of the South Indian dishes like idli, dosa, and uttapam are very good sources of probiotics. They are made from fermented rice and pulses that make it an appropriate environment for the growth of good bacteria. These foods are ideal for boosting good gut health.
Dhokla is another option as it is also traditionally made from fermented rice, pulses, barley, and yogurt.
5. Dark Chocolate
This is an amazing pro-biotic food that improves our gastrointestinal flora. It maintains a healthy digestive system. Don’t feel guilty, have a dark chocolate slice every day.
The key to having probiotics is to include small amounts of it in your everyday diet. Excess probiotics will lead to bloating, flatulence and indigestion.
Eat Smart! Be Healthy!