As the name suggests-‘Probiotics’ — Pro means ‘favor of’, ‘biotics’ means living or life. Probiotics are the presence of live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, in your body, especially in your digestive system. When we think of bacteria, it scares us, since most of us think it is something that causes diseases. But the fact is, your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are naturally found in our body. They assist in your healthy living. There are some foods and supplements that contain probiotics.
Why do I need it?
It acts to boost our innate and acquired the immune system. If you had any of these health-related histories, then you need a regular probiotic supplement.
- Digestive disturbance
- Food poisoning
- problems due to Antibiotic usage
- Skin conditions
- Mood disorders
- Lower level of immunity
- Allergies like asthma
- Yeast infection
What if I do not include it in my diet?
As per an established concept, it is called as “gut-brain” connection. Herein we may discuss the foundation of probiotics. The concept says that microflora (probiotics) directly impact your brain-behavior.
Scientists have proved that the correction of healthy bacteria in the gut can optimize neurotransmitter function. This leads to a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress, and improve learning. It also sharpens focus and memory. If probiotics are not included in your diet, then, there may be changes of mood disorders or similar health problems. In case, your day-to-day routine is not appropriate or you are workaholic, the supplementary energy through probiotics is the only source for it.
Food Rich in Probiotics
Although the concept of including probiotics began in the late 90’s, the usage of them has picked up well everywhere now. There have been many food items that fulfilled the probiotic requirement of our body. Some of them are:
Tempeh as a Probiotic
Tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soybeans. It is a firm, white block that is usually used as a protein-packed meat substitute for vegetarians. It is a great source of vitamin B12, and can be easily sautéed, baked, or eaten crumbled on salads. Undoubtedly it has more calories but also has more protein, fiber, and probiotic potential than tofu. So it can be said that tempeh emerging to be a great substitute for meat or tofu.
The very commonly available food source acts as probiotics. It is very well known that probiotic foods can be prepared at home. While doing yogurt preparation, your mother transfers millions of live bacteriato the pasteurized milk. She maintains a proper temperature to ensure that the bacteria survives. Try avoiding fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, which have no nutritional value, and yogurt should be preferred.
2Probiotics in Sour pickles
It is hard to believe that the commonly known green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. The less commercialized the product is, the higher it benefits. Fermented foods are the major source of probiotics due to increased number of good microbes at an optimal temperature. That is the reason these pickles come to play their role. There was a time when grannies used to say that ‘a pickle as the last bite of any meal daily is very beneficial for health’. It may be an old saying but still remaining true and live. The theories and experiments on probiotics strongly support this now.
It is a Korean form of pickled vegetables. Kimchi is known to be extremely spicy and sour in nature which contains fermented cabbage, cucumber, radish. It is typically served alongside meals in Korea. Kimchi not only acts as a great source of beneficial gut bacteria but also is a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. It is a well known probiotic foods you can add to your diet.
It is a fermented dairy product formed from goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. It has a high number of lactobacilli and Bifidus bacteria which are known to soothe gut functioning. Kefir is also rich in antioxidants. You can search for a good organic version at your local health food store. It is known to be originated from Russia and Turkey, Kefir is thought to be an even better source of probiotics than yogurt. As per a famous research, kefir has been proven to help ease lactose intolerance in some adults.
It is a well-known traditional Japanese medicine which is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking. This is used as a digestive regulator. It is prepared from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley by adding a tablespoon of miso powder to some hot water. Whereas miso powder is soybeans fermented with brown rice, a popular seasoning used in Asian cuisine. The very hidden process of fermentation makes this condiment a source good microflora. It has a strong, salty flavor and lots of sodium to provide it with its authentic taste.
Poi is a staple food in Hawaii. It is prepared from cooked taro plant which has to be mashed until its consistency lies between the liquid to a dough. Strangely, Poi contains more beneficial bacteria than yogurt. As per sanitation issue due to its preparation methods, Poi is not well known for its benefits. But, if willing to have a true taste of Poi, one should certainly fly to Hawaii.
This is actually fermented tea containing a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase energy, wellbeing, and lose weight. It is a slightly sweet and fizzy liquid that with its ingredients prepared from fermented mushroom like a microbe.
It is prepared from fermented cabbage, some other vegetables can also be added. Sauerkraut has a medicinal value that it might help in reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C. When finely cut cabbage is fermented by lactic acid bacteria then a distinctive sour flavor. This results from the lactic acid produced as per fermentation of sugars in cabbage are achieved. This way sauerkraut changes its place from medicinal food to nutritional food.
These probiotics are known to survive the journey through your stomach to intestines. As cheese is a famous product of milk fermentation, it will not stand behind in the race of acting as probiotics. It has been scientifically proven that it boost your immune system. While buying it from the market one has to be very careful about the brand, manufactured date and the preserving shelf there.
It is a well said proverb that “Everybody has to deal with tough times. A gold medal doesn’t make you immune to any disease but good eating does. A skater is used to falling down and getting up again.” So take a good benefits of healthy eating and live a diseased free life.