Probiotics are foods and supplements containing friendly bacteria that offer several health benefits. These live microorganisms, when administered in sufficient amounts, are good for health, predominantly for the digestive system. Probiotics are usually bacteria but there’re yeasts too that can function like a probiotic. Read on to see the benefits of probiotics and also some easy recipes to add probiotics to your diet. Prebiotics are equally the contributor to your gut health, check what are prebiotics. Also, exercise and practice yoga for digestion daily to improve your digestive system.
Benefits Of Probiotics
1. Healthy Immune System:
The good bacteria play a crucial role in the development as well as maintenance of the mucosal immune system in the gut, by restoring the gut bacteria’s natural balance.
2. Reduction Of Weight And Belly Fat:
Probiotics may aid in weight loss through different mechanisms. Some probiotics avert the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine. These can also give you a feeling of being fuller for a longer period, in addition to helping you store less fat and burn more calories.
3. Psychological Health Support | Gut Brain Connection:
Our guts are heavily related to our brains because the gut produces a higher amount of serotonin (mood influencing neurotransmitter) than the brain. Due to this profound inter-relationship, taking probiotics may aid in improving symptoms of mental health disorders like stress, depression, and anxiety, among others.
4. Healthy Heart:
Probiotics may help in maintaining heart health by lowering bad cholesterol. Bile, a naturally found fluid that mostly contains cholesterol, helps digestion. Probiotics break down bile, preventing it from being reabsorbed in the stomach. Consuming probiotics can also lower blood pressure to a modest extent.
5. How Probiotics Helps Your Digestive System:
Probiotics are widely acclaimed for their efficacy in preventing diarrhea or lowering its severity. Diarrhea is a common outcome of taking antibiotics as they can adversely affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the stomach. According to several studies, the use of probiotics can contribute toward reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well as other types of diarrhea not related to antibiotics.
Probiotics can also be beneficial for patients with irritable bowel syndrome, a common digestive disorder. They can help reduce bloating, gas, constipation and other symptoms of digestive disorders.
Probiotic Foods To Add To Your Diet:
If your gut is distressed, start including probiotic foods in your diet to reestablish your gut flora to the optimum levels. Here’re some delicious, easily available options of probiotic foods that can be added to your diet to improve your gut health.
Made with tea leaves, yeast, bacteria and sugar, this trendy drink not only provides a nice buzz similar to caffeine but works great for the digestive system as well. Fermentation of sugared tea with a symbiotic culture of yeast and acetic acid bacteria is the key source of the benefits.
Dairy-free yogurts are not only easy to make but cheap and highly delicious too. Regular intake of dairy-free yogurts, made with probiotic capsules, can work wonders in keeping your gut flora at the optimum level.
Made with cucumber or Nappa cabbage, kimchi is a good source of probiotics. As a fermented food, it’s rich in gut-healthy probiotics and comes loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from the cabbage.
Some Homemade Probiotics Recipes:
Probiotic Kimchi Recipe:
You rub the lemons with coarse sea salt, then pour hot water over it, and put the sealed jar away for at least three months. Slowly, the lemon skin softens and becomes much like nimbu achaar, except there’s no oil here. It’s excellent chopped up and thrown into a salad or made into a paste for dips and marinades.
Spiced Sauerkraut (Fermented Salad Dressing):
- 1 large head green cabbage, approximately 1kg, shredded
- 3 small heads cauliflower, grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 100 g fresh ginger root, grated
- 40 g fresh turmeric root, grated
- 1 medium purple onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp red chili flakes, 2 tsp whole pepper, 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp sea salt
- Toss together all the vegetables in a bowl.
- Coarsely grind the spices in a stone grinder until the seeds are broken but still have chunky bits.
- Combine the vegetables with the spices and salt, mashing them with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, until the juices start to come out of the vegetables.
- Separate into 3-4 mason jars. Press the prepared vegetables down into the jars, causing the juices to rise over the top. Aim for about one inch of liquid to collect.
- Cover the jars with a cloth, securing with a rubber band. Set them out in a cold and dark place to ferment for 1-2 weeks, checking them along the way, until they reach your desired flavoring.
- Once ready, cover with a lid and refrigerate. Top your salads with them.