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Let’s see what probiotic foods are and how they can help your gut health and overall wellbeing.

Probiotics are live microorganisms with promising health benefits, if consumed in good quantity. Probiotics are found in curd and dietary supplements, fermented foods and even beauty products.

Early clinical trials suggest that probiotic consumption may improve your blood glucose control. Consuming probiotic supplements may lower your blood sugar levels by modifying your gut microbiota, according to a study.

Bacteria and other microorganisms are not always harmful germs. Many indeed are very helpful. Some bacteria help you digest food, some destroy disease-causing cells and some produce vitamins. Many of the microorganisms found in probiotics are the same as or quite similar to microorganisms that naturally live in your body.

Types of Bacteria in Probiotics

There are many types of bacteria that are classified as probiotics. They all have different health benefits, but most come from two groups. The most common among them are bacteria that belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Lactobacillus

It’s probably the most common probiotic that you find in your home-made curd and other fermented foods. Certain strains of it can help relieve diarrhea and digest lactose, in case you’re lactose-intolerant.

Bifidobacterium

It’s found in some dairy products. It might help ease the symptoms of your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions that you might suffer from.

What Probiotics Do to Help

Different probiotics may act in different ways. One of them is that probiotics help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movement. There are common health conditions which may be treated with probiotics. They are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Diarrhea caused by antibiotics

Research also shows that probiotics can be useful for problems in other body parts. They are:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

Let’s explore top 5 probiotics that might help you with your health.

1. Curd

Your home-made curd is full of gut-friendly bacteria, which can improve your gut-health and overall health.

Curd contains lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, probiotics that help relieve you of diarrhea and help you digest lactose, a sugar in milk.

2. Paneer

Panner is out-and-out an Indian probiotic food, rich in protein and fat. 100 grams of panner will give you 11 grams of protein.

Because panner contains a great amount of calcium, it may help children with teeth and bone formation.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented Indian drink, removed of its fat content. It’s your cheap but healthy probiotic superstar!

Buttermilk may be low in fat and calories, but contains important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus.

4. Kefir

Kefir is a drink made out of fermented milk of a cow, goat or sheep. kefir has a slightly sour flavour and is created through a fermentation process.

It’s a good beverage for your digestive health, and it contains about “30 unique species of good bacteria” which are known to improve your gut health and may even aid your digestive processes.

5. Pickles

Let’s get it right: pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics. Only naturally fermented salt pickles encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut.

Traditional Indian pickles contain vitamins and minerals too. Pickles also tend to be high in sodium, so eat your pickle in less quantity.

 

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Our million thanks to all the talented Folks, exceptional Nerds and seasoned science Bloggers at The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), WebMD and My Food Story, without whose help this article might have not happened.

 

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