The first thought that the term bacteria evokes is about illness. However, certain bacteria a good for the health and are necessary for staying healthy. Foods that contain the good bacteria are known as probiotics – bacteria that are pro life. Don’t reach for that carton of probiotics drinks from the market shelf just yet – here are some probiotics food sources that you consume on and off. Surprised? Read on to know more about probiotics benefits, probiotics sources.
Probiotic Foods Sources:
Multiple food sources such as yoghurts are found to be rich in good bacteria – the bifidobacteria and the lactobacilli species. Once ingested, these good bacteria reside in the gut and help in digestion. However, antibiotics and other reasons eliminate these bacteria from the body which is why they need to be replenished from time to time.
There are various Indian natural probiotics foods that you can add to your regular diet and the best part is they are all available quite easily.
Curd or Yoghurt or Dahi
Curd or Dahi is prepared with the lactobacillus found in milk and is a favourite food across India. Consume Dahi as such or as prepare lassi or chaanch along with your meals. Always go for the homemade curd after it has been left for fermentation for at least 24 hours. The store bought variety has chemicals and are not fermented for the requisite hours either.
Dhokla are made from gram flour or besan, lentils or dal, rice and curd. A delicacy from the Indian state of Gujarat, Dhoklas are as tasty as they are rich in probiotics. Again, prefer homemade ones and if you are wondering – yes, the recipe for Dhokla is available on the internet.
Pickles or Achaar
Pickles or Achaar though high on salt and oil content, are a great source of probiotics as they are made to ferment in the sun for a good period of time. Achaars are usually set as per traditions in a family and albeit they are the tastiest. Avoid store bought pickles as they are processed in a way that makes them devoid of enzymes.
Idlis and Dosas
These mouth smacking recipes are made by fermenting a mix of urad dal (lentil) and rice which gives it that particular sour flavour. Plus, idlis are steamed and really healthy for you.
Gajar (Carrot) Kaanji
A famous drink from the Indian state of Punjab, Kaanji is made from black carrots and mixed with a good proportion of sea salt and mustard seeds before it is left to ferment for up to a week. Exercise caution in its intake for it has a high sodium content.
Benefits of Probiotic Foods
You would be surprised at how many ways probiotics can help to make your health and subsequently life better. From improving digestion to treating stress, probiotics have been known to benefit in multiple ways.
As the good bacteria resides in the gut, it helps in digestion and better absorption of nutrient in the food that we consume. Improved digestion translates to lesser bowel irritation and stomach aches and problems.
One of the benefits of probiotics is that they allow less fat to be absorbed in the intestines and into the body. This helps to reduce weight and lessen obesity.
Studies conducted on Probiotics have shown that they can alter the composition of gut bacteria and reduce the risk of allergies to a great extent.
Stress alters and affects the composition of our gut bacteria among triggering many other problems in our body. Probiotics can replenish the lost bacterium and help in dealing with stress in a very physical manner.
Probiotics improve the sleep pattern so that you feel more rested and refreshed in the mornings. Studies conducted on the correlation of sleep and probiotics have found that those who include probiotic foods in their diet had longer sleep restorative cycles in their sleep pattern than those who did not consume probiotic foods.
A slight change in your diet to include probiotics foods can cause a sea change in the way you feel in a positive way.