What is Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially for your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad.
Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
Substances and Organisms introduced into the body that contribute to intestinal microbial balance are Probiotics which are good for health.
Benefits of Probiotic ?
• By colonizing in the gut, these friendly bacteria compete with the pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria and yeast for space and nutrients. There by keeping their numbers under control and preventing diseases.
• To restore flora of good bacterias, doctors prescribe probiotics during or after an antibiotic therapy.
• Balance in intestinal flora is important for good health. Beneficial bacterias dominate the gut in a healthy state.
• Probiotics help maintain this balance, by producing inhibitory substances such as organic acids, hydrogen peroxide and other bacterias that prevent bad bacteria from colonizing the gut.
• Helps in curing Diarrhea, Colitis, Acidity and varying Gastrointestinal symptoms.
Dietary sources of probiotics
Fermented food are the natural way of eating probiotic food. They are a good source of helpful bacterias. But at the sametime, not all fermented food qualifies as probiotic.
• Home made yoghurt (curd, dahi) is a good and familiar sources of probiotics
• Soft Cheese (yoghurt based cheese)
• Seasonal sour Pickles like radish or other veggies
• Dishes like soaked poha with yoghurt, Panta Bhaat or fermented rice gruel
• For those with lactose intolerance, yoghurt containing live cultures is a good substitute to milk.
Myth - All yoghurts are probiotic.
Probiotic food and supplements are available for commercial sales to general public. In case of illness, do not take probiotic supplements without medical practitioner's guidance.
While we are not sure of the claim made by commercial probiotic food, we can include it in our diet in the form of home made curd (Yoghurt).