Remember how our grandmother used to force us to have curd, buttermilk and cheese? Apart from her immense love, it was because these probiotic foods products are good for our body. Probiotic foods are the ones that contain good bacteria which act on our digestive system, supporting nutrition absorption and the immune system. Food products including kefir, cultured vegetables (kimchi and sauerkraut), kombucha, coconut kefir, natto (fermented soybeans), yogurt, kvass (a fermented beverage) and raw cheese are rich in probiotics.Due to modernized agricultural practices and the need for refrigeration, our food today contains very little or no probiotics. In fact, most of our food contains elements that kill the good bacteria inside our body. Loss of probiotics can cause skin ailments, digestive disorders, auto immune diseases, candida as well as frequent flu and cold.
Let’s see what the major benefits of adding probiotics to your diet are:
1. Happy Gut
The stomach is the main part of our digestive tract. Did you know that there are more than 1000 kinds of bacteria living in our digestive tract? They help in breaking down the incoming food and absorb nutrients. When we take antibiotics or decrease the intake of probiotic food, the number of these necessary bacteria in our digestive system reduces to a great extent and causes disorders like diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. In the long run, these disorders can prove very harmful to the overall health of the body. So, go ahead and eat probiotics for digestion of food.
2. Stronger Immunity
Yes, you read it right. Eating probiotic food also helps in stimulating the immune system of the body. The ‘good’ bacteria help maintain the healthy constitution of the digestive tract. As an example, a small study was done among students where it was found that the students who were given fermented dairy drinks instead of milk showed an increased amount of lymphocytes in their body. This was a mark for increased immunity in them. If you regularly suffer from minor ailments like cold and indigestion, it might be a good idea to go for probiotics.
3. Naturally Healthy Skin
Several studies have highlighted the relationship between the intestinal bacteria and healthy skin. Many people, mostly adolescents, face the problem of acne which is correlated to gastrointestinal problems. While your skin, brain and immune system are interconnected, keeping your gut happy will eventually keep your skin healthy. Studies have also found a relation between healthy gut and psoriasis.
4. Boon for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes terrible disorders like bloating, cramping and diarrhea. Apart from being irritating, these disorders can prove to be life-threatening if not treated in time. IBD is prominent in people who neglect probiotic foods in their daily intake. Probiotics maintain the gut flora and keep it functioning healthily. Eating a variety of probiotic food like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, raw cheese and kvass maintains the bacterial inhabitation in the digestive tract.
5. Reduced Weight
Probiotics, as explained earlier, help in restoring the balance of your intestinal ecosystem. They help in accelerating the metabolism which causes proper digestion of food. An unhealthy gut will cause hormonal imbalance and decreased metabolism rates. Consumption of vegetables like kimchi reduces gut inflammation and reduces weight. Kefir, too, is known to fight inflammation, increase in cholesterol as well as rise in weight.