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Thousands of bacterial species live in the human body, and many provide health benefits to humans. The helpful bacteria present in the digestive tract not only improve the digestive system but are really beneficial for improving overall health. They help reduce gas problems, maintain good cholesterol levels, aid the regulation of hormone levels, help in the formation of vitamins, aid in the production of the enzyme lactase, and also boost the immune system.
 
Probiotics are bacteria that play an important role in controlling the activities of organisms in the intestines. Various factors like stress, medications, environmental toxins, and a diet filled with preservatives can deplete the number of these beneficial bacteria. This depletion in beneficial bacteria can cause gut dysbiosis by upsetting the delicate balance in the guts.
 
What are probiotic foods?
 
Probiotic foods are foods that contain live microorganisms. While this may seem a little scary at first, these organisms have lots of benefits. Probiotic foods are fermented, which is the process by which a substance — in this case, some type of food — is broken down into a simpler form.
 
If you’re trying to add more probiotic foods, you do need to make sure that it has a high enough concentration of live active cultures. By eating probiotic foods, you get the live active cultures as well as the other nutrients in the food, which can be a better option.
 
Both dairy and non-dairy yogurt might contain probiotics.
While there are several different classes and types of probiotics, some of the most common include:
 
?Bifidobacterium
?Lactobacillus
?Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a type of yeast
 
Food manufacturers may also call probiotics “live culture” or “active cultures.” Many fermented products contain probiotics, which means the bacteria in them are still living.
 
Often, the food production process destroys living bacteria. If a product is available on a shelf and is not refrigerated, it may not contain live and active probiotics.
 
Best Natural Food Sources of Probiotics:
 
▪️Yogurt ?:
Yogurt is one of the most well known natural food sources of probiotics. Good bacteria like lactobacillus helps immensely to keep a healthy balance in your gut. Yogurt is a semisolid food prepared from bacterial fermentation of milk. It is a great source of protein, calcium, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium. It prevents osteoporosis, colon cancer, reduces blood pressure, prevents vaginal infection, and reduces the problems of constipation and diarrhea.
 
▪️Garlic ?:
This is found in almost every Indian household. It is one of the natural ingredients that are used in the majority of food items in our country. It contains natural probiotic components that are good for improving the healthy bacteria in the body. Other than this, garlic can also be used to treat common cough and cold, reduces infections, pains, and so on. It can be consumed both raw or cooked and is good for health and improving gut bacteria.
 
▪️Dark Chocolate ?:
The majority of us love chocolates but dark chocolates are a storehouse for health. Dark chocolate helps in improving probiotics and other than that it also helps in weight loss, treating depression and anxiety. The natural components contained in dark chocolate are very good for gut health. It helps the lining of the stomach and boosts the production of healthy bacteria.
 
▪️Broccoli ?:
Broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family are in the list of probiotic food in India as they are rich in fiber. So it is recommended that you include cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage regularly to your diet. You may eat the vegetables in different forms like stir-fried, roasted, steamed, or raw with salads.
 
▪️Radish ?:
Radish is a very good food for gut health. It is rich in fiber and contains a special compound called RsPHGPx which helps clean our stomach and liver with its detoxifying properties.
You may eat radish in several ways such as soups, chutneys, stuffed parathas, curry, dry vegetables, and also by adding it to salads and raitas.
 
▪️Banana ?:
Bananas are heavy in potassium and magnesium. Due to its rich content in potassium and magnesium, it aids against inflammation.
Bananas help reduce bloating. It can also support weight loss weight because it tends to make feel full easily and therefore controls our appetite. Bananas are one of the most easily available probiotic food in India. It is a good option to eat it as a mid-day snack instead of eating unhealthy junk food.
 
▪️Kimchi ?:
Kimchi is fermented cabbage. It is made using several different spices and ingredients. Common ingredients include salt, chili powder, onion, garlic, and ginger. It is sometimes made with a fish stock base, but it’s easy to find a plant-based version is more common and available in stores.
 
So, add a little probiotic in your daily diet. Your gut will thank you for it!