Improve Gut Health with 10 Probiotic Foods in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 17/04/2024

A healthy gut signifies healthy digestion and overall good well-being. However, changes in season and climate can affect your gut health, causing an impact on nutrient absorption, immunity, and digestion. Additionally, changes in lifestyle and eating habits can also result in affecting your gut health.

With the help of this article, you will know why it is important to have a healthy gut and how conscious changes in lifestyle and diet will help you reset your gut health. You will also learn about beneficial bacteria and foods that are rich in them and are readily available in the Indian diet.

What is the Gut Microbiome?

The human body is a host to many microorganisms. A lot of the bacteria are good bacteria and help us carry out many bodily functions and remain healthy. Similarly, our gut has a variety of microorganisms living inside the intestines called the “gut microbiome.” Every human body has approximately 200 different species of these microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Yes, some microorganisms are harmful to the body, causing a variety of nasty infections. However, the gut microbiome is essential to promote gut health. Research suggests that having a diverse gut microbiota helps with a lot of lifestyle illnesses like psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, etc. Foods naturally high in probiotics are a great source of these good bacteria. Including such foods in your everyday diet can help improve your gut health.

Significance of the Gut Mircobiome

The “good bacteria” in the gut not only help in digestion but have a lot of impact on our overall health and well-being. This is why it has become increasingly important to learn more about it. Here are the effects of gut bacteria on our health:

  • A healthy gut helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

  • It also helps you improve heart health.

  • An unhealthy gut can cause diseases like gut dysbiosis and result in weight gain.

  • It can help you with various mental health disorders.

  • It has been found that gut health is related to cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, endocrine conditions, and cancer.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics have live bacteria or yeast that are good for your body. We usually have both good and bad bacteria, but when we lose balance between the two, probiotics are often recommended by the doctor to restore gut health.

These can be found in probiotic foods like yoghurt, which can be consumed to replace the good bacteria. They also help the body fight off bad bacteria and prevent infections or inflammations.

Types of Probiotics

With distinct benefits, probiotic bacteria mostly come from two different groups. They are:

Lactobacillus: These are the most common types of probiotics prescribed by doctors to relieve digestive problems. These are commonly found in curd and other fermented foods.

Bifidobacterium: These types of bacteria are commonly found in some dairy products. They help in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

10 Best Sources of Probiotics in India

Other than probiotic supplements, gut health can be restored and maintained by making some simple changes and inclusions in our diet. There are many foods naturally high in probiotics, and having them regularly will save you some visits to the doctor’s clinic. Here are the 10 best natural probiotics in India:

1. Paneer:

Paneer or cottage cheese is commonly eaten in an Indian household. While it is a rich source of protein, it is also a great source of probiotics. Paneer is made through a process of fermentation and, thus, is an exceptional source of probiotics.

2. Curd

Homemade curd is the storehouse of lactobacilli, with over 250 strains of it. This makes curd the best source of probiotics. It is consumed on an almost daily basis and is widely known to help many digestive problems.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk has many amazing benefits like being low fat and rich in antioxidants and Vitamin B12. Other than that, it is also loaded with probiotics. The traditional buttermilk that is made from the remaining liquid while making butter has carboxylic acid and lactic acid bacteria.

4. Idli and Dosa

These foods are made of fermented rice and lentils like urad dal. It is a staple food in the Southern parts of the country and is a decent source of probiotics. Along with that, it is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

5. Beetroot

Beetroot is a great source of non-dairy probiotics because of its high fibre content. People with lactose intolerance can consume beetroot juice or raw beetroot to improve their gut health. While promoting the growth of good bacteria, it will also improve digestion and reduce constipation risks.

6. Whole Wheat Bread

While many consider bread as an unhealthy food item, it actually is not as unhealthy as people think it is. Whole wheat bread has fermented soluble fibres, which act as a good source of good bacteria. The fermentation process forms small chains of fatty acids, which promote the growth of bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.

7. Kefir

Kefir is one of the best sources of probiotics. It is a creamy drink derived from kefir grains. It has yeast, carboxylic acid, and 61 strains of bacteria, making it a rich source of probiotics. It helps in improving metabolism, digestion, immunity, and managing body weight.

8. Green Peas

Green peas are a rare source of plant-based probiotics. Having just one serving of them can give you the required probiotics for the day.

9. Pickles

Pickles are loved across India and many vegetables are used in different parts of the country to make it. It goes through a process of fermentation, which makes it a source of good bacteria. Pickles are, therefore, one of the most popular probiotic rich foods in India.

10. Apples

Apples are another fantastic source of probiotics and dietary fibres. They have short-chain fatty acids, which boost digestion and improve gut health. Additionally, it also generates favourable pH conditions, which facilitates the growth of good bacteria.

Signs of Unhealthy Gut

If you do not have enough probiotics in your diet, there are chances that you might experience some symptoms. Consider changing your diet and lifestyle if you:

  • Are facing stomach issues like bloating, aches, constipation, and diarrhoea

  • Are having GI-related conditions

  • Get UTIs or yeast or bacterial vaginal infections.

  • Struggling with acne, eczema, or psoriasis

  • Constantly feel like having no energy or experiencing fatigue.

  • Have suppressed immunity

  • Experience constant mood changes or suffer from mental health problems like anxiety.

Benefits of Probiotics for Women

There are many benefits of probiotics in improving women’s health. Let us look at some of them now:

Helps prevent UTI and yeast infections

UTIs and yeast infections are very common among women. A lot of times, these infections are a result of an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome. Research has also shown that women with less number of Lactobacilli in their microbiome are more prone to such infections.

In such cases, probiotic foods help restore the balance of bacteria and help fight the infection-causing bacteria.

Helps achieve clearer and glowing skin

Poor gut health can result in gut dysbiosis, which can, in turn, cause inflammation and other skin conditions. If you want to fight the acne on your skin, assess your diet and check if you have been missing probiotics in your diet.

Consuming foods naturally high in probiotics can help reduce inflammation, improve intestinal permeability, and rebalance the gut microbiome. This will eventually lead to healthier-looking skin.

Helps in improving digestion

Probiotic foods improve your digestive system and boost your metabolism. Since indigestion is usually the result of the low good bacteria in your lower intestine, having probiotics can improve it. It will also help reduce bloating, gas, and constipation.

Boosts fertility

Since having good gut health is directly linked with vaginal infections, it helps you balance the vaginal microbiome. The microbiome also affects oestrogen levels. Thus, probiotic supplements or foods can help you manage conditions developed due to inflammation and improve fertility.

Conclusion

In conclusion, improving gut health can be done by consciously making diet and lifestyle changes. By regularly incorporating foods rich in good bacteria or probiotic supplements, we can ensure that the gut microbiome is balanced. There are many benefits of good gut health, such as improved digestion, better mental health, better heart health, and many more. In short, it impacts on our overall well-being.

Moreover, as we start on our journey towards improving our overall health, it is crucial to safeguard ourselves and our families against unprecedented illnesses. This is where Tata AIG’s health insurance policy comes into play. Tata AIG offers a safety net for families by providing a health insurance plan with features like tax benefits, cashless treatment, quick claim-settlement process, online policy purchase and renewal process and much more.

Additionally, for those who are contemplating their medical insurance needs, Tata AIG assists with tools like the health insurance premium calculator. It offers valuable insights into selecting the most suitable coverage for you and your loved ones.

FAQS

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics act as food for the bacteria in your gut and mostly come from fibres. They promote the growth of good bacteria.

Does the gut microbiome vary in individuals?

Yes, the microbiome varies and is affected by factors such as diet, environment, stress, sleep, and genetics.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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