We usually heard that germ causes disease but not all germs! The wrong microbe at the wrong place may cause health issues but the right microbe at the right place can provide benefits. Here comes the role of probiotics. Probiotics are live, good microorganisms that are generally present in our body to prevent certain illnesses. It promotes a healthy gut system and boosts immunity.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts when ingested in adequate amount provides health benefits. There are always two types of bacteria in our body – good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut when it is disrupted. You can get probiotics from various supplements as well as from foods prepared by bacterial fermentation.
Types of probiotics
There are so many types of probiotics but these are some specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics. These include –
Some probiotics are prepared from yeast also named as –
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Best sources of probiotic foods
Here are some best probiotic foods which you can eat to stay healthy and balanced –
Yogurt is one of the best and easily available sources of probiotics. It is prepared from pasteurized milk which is fermented by two strains of bacteria namely lactobacillus and Yogurt is very useful to build muscles and bones. In children, yogurt can reduce and control diarrhea caused by antibiotics. But not all yogurts provide probiotics as some are heat-treated which typically kills good microbes so be sure to check the label for the phrase “live active cultures.”
2: Traditional buttermilk
It is commonly drunk in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. It is simply a leftover liquid from making butter. Traditional buttermilk is rich in probiotics, minerals, and vitamins.
Pickles are the traditional form of probiotics which is commonly prepared in India. It is usually fermented with help of sea salt and water. Make sure that vinegar shouldn’t be used while making it as may not contain probiotics effects. Pickles are low in calories and high in vitamin K and sodium.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with black or green tea and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). You should purchase a low sugar, refrigerated Kombucha for great results.
Kimchi is a fermented food rich in probiotics that provide a wide range of health benefits. It is Asian fermented food which is made mainly from cabbage and radishes. Kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchi, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that may benefit digestive health. Kimchi made from cabbage is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and iron.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage which boosts the healthy flora in the guts, raise your immune system, and even improves your overall health. It is rich in lactobacillus even more than yogurt. It also contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which keeps your eyes healthy.
Many kinds of cheese are prepared by fermentation but that doesn’t mean all types of cheese contain probiotics. Soft cheeses that are made from unpasteurized milk—such as cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, etc. are typically contained beneficial bacteria. Remember, the longer the cheese ages, the more beneficial bacteria for your belly.
If you are a lactose-intolerance then Kefir would be the best choice. Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir has been found to colonize the intestinal tract, which makes them more likely to confer their healing benefits to your gut.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics may benefit you in various ways, such as boosting your immunity, maintain your intestinal flora, etc. Here are some probiotic benefits to maintain your health.
Probiotic treatment is the best treatment for diarrhea to shorten treatment and rapid recovery. Lactobacillus has great probiotic action on infectious diarrhea and gastroenteritis in infants and children. Not only diarrhea but also constipation can be treated by probiotic.
Helps in Irritable bowel syndrome
Probiotic therapy may also help people with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Clinical trial results suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease.
Mental health problems
Studies suggested that there is a link between probiotics and the central nervous system. Some researchers suggest that probiotics could support the treatment of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and possibly some neurological conditions, too.
Reduce the Raised cholesterol levels
Foods containing probiotics Lactobacillus bacteria can reduce levels of bad cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.
Manage High blood pressure
Probiotics can help to manage blood pressure and also plays an important role in treating and preventing heart disease. Lactobacillus also helps to lower blood pressure.
Probiotics Vs Prebiotics
Probiotic foods deliver beneficial live bacteria into the guts. Probiotics are generally found in yogurt or fermented foods. Prebiotic foods promote healthy gut bacteria by feeding them externally. Prebiotics are the types of fiber present in vegetables and fruits. Foods rich in prebiotics that feed good bacteria include bananas, onion, legumes, red wine, honey, oats, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.