There are a few hundred trillion microorganisms present in your gut. While some are good, others are bad. These microorganisms mainly comprise yeast, bacteria, and fungi and the good microbes play a crucial role in maintaining your digestive health and improving your immune system. Foods that contain these beneficial microorganisms are called probiotics.
Probiotics help in:
- The digestion process and allow better absorption of the nutrients.
- Ensuring that an ecosystem of healthy microorganisms is created in the digestive tract.
- Activating various enzymes that are essential for proper digestion.
- Neutralizing toxins from your body.
- Preventing the chances of allergies and inflammation.
- Preventing infections and illnesses by reducing the chances of growth of pathogenic or harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Restoring your stomach health after any infection or illness.
- Diarrhoea – It is important to consume probiotics for gut health. By slowing down your gastrointestinal tract contractions, probiotics can help to prevent diarrhoea.
- Constipation – Probiotics can help to provide relief to people suffering from constipation. Since it allows the food to pass through the digestive tract faster, reabsorption of water decreases, and hence, the stool stays softer and can pass easily.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – If you are suffering from bloating, gas, abdominal pain, cramping, or constipation, consuming probiotics can provide you with a lot of relief.
- Lactose intolerance – Consuming probiotics for health can help lactose-intolerant people by reducing bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – People consume probiotics for digestion. They can help to provide relief to people suffering from IBD as it is anti-inflammatory.
- Diarrhoea due to antibiotic therapy – Various antibiotics kill the good bacteria present in your gut. This can result in diarrhoea. Eating probiotics will replenish your gut microbiota and help you to prevent diarrhoea.
Sources of Probiotics
People eat various food items like fruits, flavoured yoghurt, nutrition bars, juices, fruit yoghurt, etc. to increase the probiotics content in their bodies. Mentioned below are a few great sources of probiotics:
Foods – If you want to consume foods that are good sources of natural probiotics, you can eat fermented foods. These include all types of dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, milk, ice cream, buttermilk, fruit yoghurt, milk powder, yogurt drinks, cheese, etc. Make sure that you buy good quality dairy products only from renowned brands like Lactel. Besides yoghurt drinks and other dairy products, you can consume foods like idli, dosa, and dhokla as well. Pickles, nutrition bars, and soy-based products are a few other rich sources of probiotics.
Supplements – You can consume probiotic supplements as well to increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. They are available in various forms like:
- Foods and drinks
- Capsules or pills