Probiotic Foods: An Ultimate Guide

NOVEMber 8, 2021

What are Probiotics? Probiotics are the key to a healthy life, no doubt. You should be taking probiotics if you care about your health and what your future holds. Health and Fitness oriented people like fitness trainers, professional athletes, bodybuilders, and even those who do not care so much about what they look like - all of them are trying to improve their health with helpful probiotics. But what is it? What is the method of taking bacteria which can improve our health?

Probiotics are such a healthy subject that they cannot fit into just one blog post. The importance and health benefits of probiotic use are too much to describe in just one article, but here we will try to jot down all the facts and myths you need to know about this wonder food.

Probiotic Foods - Increase your Good Bacteria

Good bacteria in the body are essential to our well-being. Many experts consider them to be a vital part of the human microbiome. Good bacteria play a crucial role in protecting us from invaders, but they can get out of balance when we get ill or eat animal products that have been processed incorrectly. Probiotics are "friendly" bacteria found in your gut. They aid in digestion and build up your immune system. When the beneficial bacteria of the digestive system are unbalanced by harmful organisms or harmful chemicals present in food, then probiotics must be taken.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are engineered to have a beneficial effect on the host organism providing them with specific health benefits. The most well-known probiotics are Lactobacilli and Streptococci, which are mostly found in dairy products. Lactobacilli and Streptococci reside in the mucus membranes of a variety of mammals including humans. Thus, these organisms can be found naturally in the human digestive tract performing various beneficial roles such as improving immunity by crowding out harmful microbes, aiding digestion by producing lactic acid, and maintaining a healthy gut environment. Although it is unclear as to whether or not these bacteria can live outside of the gastrointestinal tract, they do confer health benefits when consumed.

Opting for probiotic-rich foods over supplements is the best way to gain the benefits of probiotics for maintaining optimal health. Few foods high in probiotics are Yogurt, Soft Cheese, Sauerkraut, Tempeh, Sour Pickles, Miso Soup, etc.

Benefits of Probiotic foods

The growing popularity of probiotics is attributed to an increase in functional foods, use in dietary supplements, and their purported health benefits. Probiotic supplements, when used correctly, can benefit your overall health in a variety of ways. 

Helps Treat Diarrhea

Diarrhoea is a very common condition that can occur at any time and be caused by several different reasons. It can lead to severe dehydration if not treated with prompt rehydration therapy. While there are many diarrhoea treatments out there, under-the-tongue (sublingual) tablets combining zinc and an isotonic solution like the ones we offer provide an effective treatment for soft and watery stools, diarrhoea and stomach cramps, as well as mild vomiting.

If you suffer from diarrhoea, it can be distressing and debilitating. Depending on the severity and for how long you've had the diarrhoea, your doctor may recommend re-hydration therapy treatment and antibiotics to kill off the bad bacteria. When you combine a rehydration therapy treatment with just the right type of probiotics, you can start feeling the effect in as little as two days. Bacillus coagulans are the most used probiotic to treat diarrhoea.

Boosts Gut Health

Researchers, who studied the effect of probiotic strain Lactobacillus sp. on immune health, discovered that patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were likely to benefit from taking this probiotic strain. Probiotics are a way to promote the health of the digestive system and immune health. Lactobacillus sp. can help eliminate pathogens, which cause tummy aches or diarrhoea and boost the growth of friendly bacteria in your guts. 

Best probiotic foods are useful to boost gut health and promote better immune health. However, it can take as long as 12 weeks to start experiencing the positive effects of probiotics on gut health. The best way to integrate natural probiotic foods into your daily routine will depend on many factors including your healthcare provider, the state of your gut health, and the severity of your symptoms.

Helps Treat Constipation

Constipation is a symptom of larger underlying issues, and its presence can put a strain on your fitness goals. It often gets triggered by a disruption in the balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics help restore the balance by replenishing probiotic microorganisms in the gut thus helping relieve constipation. To lower your risk of bloating, abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome, make sure you choose a probiotics flavorless formulation which passes through the stomach without reacting to acidity levels.

Probiotics help relieve constipation with Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. These probiotics can show their effect within a week’s usage after you consume the first dose of it. Probiotics also help fight off infections and boost immunity and energy levels in both children and adults.

Helps to Reduce Bloating

Bloating is the feeling of fullness with gas in the intestinal tract. This can be caused by eating foods that are difficult to digest or having small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, in which bacteria that are normally in the large intestine move into the small intestine where there is less food.

Certain probiotic strains have been shown in clinical studies to reduce bloating. Research has also shown that some cases of gas can be eliminated with the use of certain over-the-counter antacids. In most cases, however, you need to treat the underlying cause of the bloating and wait for your body to naturally eliminate it. We recommend visiting a doctor before buying any over the counter medicines like antacids.

Probiotics help Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Probiotics are categorized as “live bacteria which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Numerous studies have shown that the use of probiotics may be beneficial for individuals with certain gastrointestinal (GI) inflammatory disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infectious gastroenteritis, Clostridium difficile colitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, Helicobacter pylori-associated ulcers and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

It has been theorized that altering gut flora might also help lessen symptoms such as bloating and pain associated with IBS. The scientists for this study investigated the effectiveness of an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using Lactobacillus acidophilus in patients with IBS. Although there are many probiotic strains available, not all of them are effective. Probiotic strains like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and two strains of Streptococcus thermophiles produced significant improvement in both constipation and diarrhoea. It is recommended to consult your doctor before consuming any probiotic products.

Probiotics for Oral Health

Oral health does not only refer to the dental health of a person. Oral diseases can also cause various problems to other parts of the body. Probiotics for oral health have been proposed as a tool to maintain a healthy oral microbiome. The microbiome refers to the collective genetic material, cells and environment that work together as a functional unit.

Oral Health UBL

The first aim of a probiotic dental regimen is to utilize pre-existing oral bacteria resistant to the effects of general mouth hygiene. These targeted microbes can help with waste management, attention response to pathogens and tissue regeneration. Some probiotics are effective in restoring healthy levels of beneficial bacteria as a treatment for oral infections as well as aiding in periodontal therapy. Oral probiotics help prevent cavities, bad breath and various other oral diseases while combating the development of oral pathogens. following cases:

  • Prevent cavity and plaque
  • Prevent oral cancer
  • Manage inflammation of gums
  • Prevents overgrowth of Candida

10 Probiotic Superfoods That Are Good For You

Now that you know, eating probiotic foods is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most enjoyable ways to improve gut health. But it's also easy to feel overwhelmed by the possibilities! The confusion can lead you to wonder what probiotic food is the best for your needs. So here we are, sharing with you our selection of 10 probiotic superfoods that are good for you.

  • Yogurt / Dahi

Dahi with a variety of names and tastes is a simple dish, which can be made with homemade or store-bought curd. Being nutritious, versatile and easy to prepare with many ingredients that are considered especially good for health, the dish is a favourite with most Indians. The curd used in preparing dahi can be based on cow’s milk, buffalo’s milk, goat’s milk or mixed milk.

Homemade curd is considered to be the best kind but sometimes it may not be possible to make it at home because of various reasons like lack of starter cultures of lactic acid bacteria or simply because one does not have time to spare to make it. Thus, store-bought curd can also be used in making dahi or yogurt at home. Let the milk ferment for a day (24 hours) so that the entire lactose is used and the strength of the probiotic culture is established properly.

Dahi UBL
  • Idli and Dosa

Incidentally, many popular probiotic foods are fermented. But if you’re not a big fan of curd, perhaps you can steal a few ideas from here to include fermented foods in your diet. One of the most popular dishes from southern India – idlis & dosas – has a cult-like following!

They are prepared by fermenting rice and urad daal (split black lentils). The fermentation helps break the starches down into simpler sugars which make them a source of good bacteria. These dishes are great for your gut health.

Idli Dosa UBL
  • Kaanji

Punjabis drink Kaanji and it tastes and smells like a common pickle. Hailing from Punjab, India, Kaanji is a traditional salty-flavoured beverage made from black carrots and salt. Although originally made from barley grains, today it is prepared using mustard seeds, spices and salt. The process involves boiling the carrots until tender before it is soaked in water for 24 to 48 hours. The resulting dark-brown coloured liquid has a tangy aroma that smells like pickles. It is one of the best foods that have probiotics and aids digestion also.

Kaanji UBL
  • Indian Cheese / Paneer

The food that you eat can influence your digestion. Some foods are known to be suitable for good bowel movements, while others are believed to create more waste in your intestines. Although most types of cheese are fermented, it does not mean that all of them contain probiotics. But Paneer is one of the easy to get foods with probiotics in them.

The chief characteristic of Indian cheese or Paneer is its lactic acid fermentation. Paneer is made using milk that contains bacteria. The bacteria are then allowed to ferment the milk, causing the lactose to break down into lactic acid. You can use paneer in curries or kebabs for its mildly sour flavour.

You can also eat soft cheese. Soft cheese can survive in the intestines. This is one of the characteristics that make soft cheese better than yogurt. Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda and Swiss cheese are the selected cheeses that contain required pH levels and maintain & restore the gut flora. 

Paneer UBL
  • Achaar (Indian Pickle)

Pickle is a very common food item in Indian households. Family recipes make use of a variety of vegetables and fruits to create this tasty side dish. In India, pickles are made at home by adding vegetables and fruits to a mixture of oil, salt, spices, and lemon juice. After mixing everything, the product stays out in the sun to ferment. 

Experts say that fermented pickles are better than those directly dipped in vinegar solution, which makes the achaar the best option for probiotic food. If you are on a mission to improve your gut health, your snack must include a pickle or its Indian counterpart, Achaar. These lightly fermented condiments are found to be great for digestion as they contain probiotics, which are good bacteria that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Achar UBL
  • Green Peas

Green Peas are the most unusual veggie which has made this probiotic foods list. A study shows that green peas contain Leuconostoc mesenteroides, which is a potent probiotic, often associated with fermentation under low-temperature conditions. So include this easy to use vegetable in your diet.

GreenPeas UBL
  • Dhokla

Dhokla is the traditional fermented snack of Gujrat, India. It is made from fermented Bengal gram (chickpea) flour. It is usually lacto-fermented (a process similar to making yogurt using bacteria and yeast), but can also be fermented by storing it in a warm place for four to five hours, before cooking it in a steamer for one-and-a-half hours. It is a tasty dish that is full of nutrients and probiotics. Dhokla is made with curd, Bengal gram (chickpea), rice flour, ghee or oil, jaggery or sugar and flavouring agents. Kids are usually fussy eaters, but dhokla is one of the easiest to make probiotic foods for kids.

Dhokla UBL
  • Miso Soup

Miso, a Japanese seasoning, is made by turning fermented soybeans with sea salt and koji (a type of fungi) into a paste. Ancient Miso is made by combining soybeans with rice, barley, or rye fermented with the fungus Aspergillus Oryzae. This fungus produces enzymes known as protease. Protease plays an important part in digestion. It helps break down proteins into amino acids which are used to build muscles in the body. With age, our body's level of protease decreases, making us more susceptible to disease.

This dish has proven to help prevent several health problems. These might include diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. The probiotics in Miso also help push out the pathogenic bacteria in the gut and boost gastrointestinal health.

Miso Soup UBL
  • Buttermilk or Chaas

Buttermilk or Chaas is one of the favourite summer drinks in India. Buttermilk contains high levels of probiotic organisms in its liquid. These organisms in buttermilk can make it an excellent healthy food, even when you don't like milk. There are two types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured. Traditional buttermilk is nothing more than a leftover liquid from churning butter, which has the virtue of containing probiotics. On the other hand, cultured buttermilk does not contain probiotics.

Traditionally, buttermilk is thicker than milk, so you might have a hard time drinking it. When you mix yoghurt with buttermilk, the two combine well to create a smooth and thick white drink. The probiotics in buttermilk are the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that help in preventing diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. It is used to make various recipes like cottage cheese, blue cheese, tartar sauce, sour cream, etc. Buttermilk can be used for cooking recipes like pancakes, waffles, biscuits, pies, cakes, cookies and so on.

Buttermilk UBL
  • Kefir

Kefir is a sour milk drink. It is created by inserting kefir grains into cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains are not cereal grains; they are rather brands of carboxylic acid bacterium and yeast. Acidified milk is created by the production of bacteria during fermentation, so it’s got much more probiotics than unfermented milk. Kefir may have been invented in Russia or Turkey, however, nowadays it’s consumed all over the world. Nowadays people take advantage of numerous types of probiotic drinks like Kefir. It’s available at the local supermarkets, natural food stores, and online stores.

Kefir UBL

Benefits of Probiotics for Children 

Children who have lower amounts of the intestinal bacterium may be prescribed prenatal vitamins which help achieve the levels needed to maintain optimal health. Probiotics are helpful in retraining gut bacteria. The latest research has shown that overuse of antibiotics results in a harmful imbalance of your child's intestines.

These probiotic supplements for children can help keep things balanced while also relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which no child wants to have while going through the potty training stage. Probiotics can also help balance the growth and development of beneficial bacteria in children.

Every child's needs are different and therefore there is no generic amount or set doses of probiotics that can be recommended for children. Various factors contribute to this decision, such as health problems and if the child is taking other medications. It is also important to consider any allergies and proper weight maintenance. For questions regarding children's use of probiotics, parents must consult a physician, their child's pediatrician or primary care provider.