6 Best Probiotic Indian Foods for your Gut Health
Your body is an amalgamation of microorganisms and has a profound effect on your well-being.
Microbes are found in the digestive tract, the inner lining of the intestines, the stomach and are beneficial for the human body. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote good health. You can get these through Probiotic rich Indian foods.
What are Probiotics?
The human microbiome is a vast ecosystem.
According to a study in 2014, it is said that there are 10 times more microbial cells than human cells and that an adult body will have approximately 100 trillion microbial cells compared to 10 trillion human cells.
Probiotics are microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed in edible form. They generally restore the gut flora and improve the digestive system of the body.
Probiotics come in the form of the diet we have and supplements if dietary routines are found to be insufficient. A decent balance of probiotic rich foods are essential for furthering good health and wellness.
Probiotics are generally safe, though in extreme cases, they might prove to be otherwise.
Some of the beneficial probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bacillus coagulans. These beneficial bacteria can be obtained from Probiotic Indian Foods.
What are Prebiotics?
With the rise of Probiotics, the eminence of prebiotics has grown manifold too.
Prebiotics are fibers that affect the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, which are essential and beneficial for the gut.
One of the major areas where prebiotics have a lasting effect in the gastrointestinal tract, where they can alter the composition of the organisms in the gut microbiome.
There has been an eternal debate that has raged amongst the scientific community about the efficacy of each one of them and which of them has a greater positive effect on the human body. 1
Differences Between Prebiotics and Probiotics
Probiotics are live microbes which already inherit the gut and support the gut function. You can find them from several probiotic Indian foods. Prebiotic is the food that provides energy to these microbes.
Nature has provided both in plenty through the food we eat. That would mean we can regulate the number of microorganisms and the energy being provided to them through our diet.
Both are also available as health supplements if dietary fulfilments are unsatisfactory or limited.
The debate of which one is better might rage on for time to come, but modern research has shed more light on the roles they both play. 2 And it has nothing but a good word for both of them.
Scientists are quite positive that both probiotic and prebiotic have enormous potential as disease-fighting elements.
Probiotics can fight infections in the gut and help ward off painful conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, can help the body save itself from salmonella and even bowel cancer.
However, more study needs to be done before we can be certain of the abilities of these supplements. What is confirmed is that both probiotic and prebiotic have tremendous scope when it comes to gut wellness and upkeep.
Benefits of Probiotic Rich Indian Foods
The most common place where one can find probiotics in the gut, mostly the large intestine. However, there are several other places in the body where good microbes can be found too. These are:
- Urinary Tract
Some of the listed benefits of probiotics are: 3
- Helps the body digest food better
- Keeps the bad bacteria from going rogue and harm the host
- Probiotics are known to create vitamin
- Prevents the lining of the gut from getting infected by bad bacteria which might have been consumed through food and supports the cells of the lining from stopping the bacteria from entering the blood
- Many medications rely on probiotics for breakdown and ease of digestion
- Help reduce heightened cholesterol levels
- Some studies suggest that probiotics have a role to play in the treatment of mental health problems
- Probiotics can also assist in reducing high blood pressure
- Treatment of diarrhea is one of the most common activities of probiotics
Let us now look at some of the Indian Probiotic Foods that are beneficial to the human body:
Probiotic Indian Foods
The following are some of the Probiotic Indian foods you could consume. 4
It is one of the rich sources of probiotics and is effective in improving the overall health of the individual. Yoghurt is fermented from milk with the help of good bacteria.
Not all cheese has probiotics even though most of them are fermented. Indian cheese or paneer, on the other hand, is a rich source of probiotics. One can even have paneer raw.
3. Idlis and Dosas
These South Indian probiotic rich dishes are created by fermenting rice and urad dal. This process makes them a good source of live bacteria which is beneficial to the gut. This is one of the most healthiest and probiotic rich Indian Foods you can ever find.
Pickle is a combination of vegetables, oil, sugar, salt and herbs. While excessive pickles may not be suitable for the body, a limited amount of them daily has a positive effect on the gut.
The process of fermenting the mix makes it a good source of probiotics.
It is made from fermented besan, dal or rice. There is curd added to it too, making it one of the best probiotic rich foods in India.
Traditional buttermilk is generally found in two forms: traditional and cultured.
The former is nothing but the leftover liquid from making butter and is the one that has probiotics.
Cultured buttermilk, the usual variety found in the western markets, is devoid of the bacteria found in the traditional ones.
Traditional buttermilk is a favourite drink and consumed in large amounts in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
The above mentioned are some of the probiotic rich Indian foods that are helpful to those who consume them.
There are vegan probiotics too that are popular among those who follow a vegan diet. Sauerkraut, kombucha et al are some of the popular vegan probiotic foods.
Probiotics are an essential part of human evolution and functioning.
The gut bacteria plays an important part in digestion and assists the body fight diseases. There are rich probiotic Indian foods that are commonly found and consumed across the length and breadth of the country.
The most popular of them have been mentioned in the list above. However, due to dietary restrictions, the requisite quantity of probiotics may not be consumed.
It is then advised that supplements be used to fill the nutritional gap.
The most common feature to look for in an effective probiotic is that it should contain a minimum of 1 billion colony forming units and have the genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii among its composition.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is the best time to take probiotics?
Probiotics are most effective when taken on an empty stomach to make sure the good bacteria makes it to the gut as quickly as possible.
The best time to take a probiotic is either first thing in the morning before breakfast or before going to bed.
2. Will probiotics help with gas?
Probiotic supplements can help improve the bacterial environment in the gut, which can help reduce symptoms of gas and bloating.
Consume a high fiber diet along with a probiotic supplement to reduce the symptoms of gas.
3. Do probiotics help you lose weight?
Since probiotics reduce the symptoms of bloating, there is a possibility of losing belly fat.
Several strains of probiotics in both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat.
Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be one of the most effective.
4. Can you take too much probiotics? Will too much make you sick?
Too much of anything is bad. But if you flood your gut with good bacteria or probiotics a balance is lost and you may experience symptoms like stomach upset or diarrhea.
There’s no daily recommended dose of probiotics because researchers are still studying which strains of probiotics help and how much you need.
Many over-the-counter probiotic products contain a range of 1 to 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs).
5. Is long term probiotic usage safe?
Probiotics are considered safe for long term use. Common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day.
Take just one dose of probiotics per day. It is recommended to take probiotics for 4 weeks and monitor your gut health. Long term use is generally for people with chronic conditions.
6. What happens when I stop taking probiotics?
If you stop taking them, your gut bacteria will likely return to their pre-supplementation condition within one to three weeks.