Natural Probiotic Foods You Should Know About

Leena Palande Nov 7, 2018
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It is good to include natural probiotic foods in your regular diet as they help prevent stomach and bowel problems and improve your digestive health significantly. Read on to know side effects of these foods.
There exist two types of bacteria, pathogenic which cause infections and diseases and beneficial bacteria which promote digestion. Bacteria are present in our surroundings, even in our skin. Beneficial bacteria are present in the intestine and they help in the process of digestion.
In fact, without the presence of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, we cannot digest food properly. Frequent consumption or high doses of antibiotics destroys pathogenic as well as beneficial bacteria from our body. This leads to various health problems. Natural probiotic foods help restore digestive health.

Foods that Contain Beneficial Bacteria

Probiotic foods are those foods which contain live microorganisms (bacteria) that promote digestion. These days, live cultures of microorganisms are added to certain foods and drinks; but natural probiotic foods are proved to be the best.
Probiotic supplements are also available in the market but like all other supplements, they might exhibit side effects. So it is better to include probiotic foods in your diet regularly or especially after a course of antibiotics.
The meaning of the word 'probiotic' is 'good for life'. Antibiotics and some other drugs can destroy beneficial bacteria along with the disease causing ones. Excessive consumption of processed foods or a diet low in fiber can make you deficient of probiotics.
Prolonged diarrhea or even stress can destroy probiotics in the body. Probiotic facts inform us that alcohol and drug abuse can cause probiotics deficiency leading to poor digestive system.

Health Benefits of Probiotic Foods

Bifidus regularis, lactic acid bacteria or Lactobacillus bulgaricusLactobacillus acidophilus are some common varieties of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria present in our intestine. These bacteria help curb the growth of harmful bacteria inside the body.
They help prevent diarrhea (resulted as an adverse effect of antibacterial treatment), stomach upset, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and other intestinal problems. They keep the digestive tract, especially the intestines healthy by preventing gastrointestinal infections
Probiotics promote fast recovery after illnesses. They work great for certain types of yeast infections. They significantly lower the risk of allergic reactions and also the chances of developing respiratory tract infections. They help fight urinary tract infections. Foods containing probiotic bacteria promote good absorption of nutrients from ingested food.
Regular consumption of these foods help prevent various health conditions like constipation, colitis, gastroenteritis, infections, diarrhea, gas, lactose intolerance, poor digestion and cancer, especially colon cancer. It is believed that these foods help reduce recurrence of bladder cancer.
Probiotics help strengthen your immune system. These foods help prevent or reduce the symptoms of eczema in children and pouchitis (a condition that one may come across after surgical removal of the colon).

Natural Probiotic Foods List

  • Dhokla (Indian snack made from fermented batter of chick-peas)
  • Cottage cheese (aged cheese is richer in probiotics)
  • Buttermilk
  • Dosa (traditional South Indian dish made from fermented batter of rice and black lentils)
  • Kefir (sour drink made from fermented milk, originated in the Caucasus region)
  • Miso (a fermented soybean paste, used as a sauce or spread, popular Japanese food)
  • Idli (Indian snack, made from fermented batter of rice and black lentils)
  • Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage fermented in brine)
  • Kim Chi (spicy, pungent fermented cabbage, a traditional Korean dish)
  • Natto (Japanese food made from fermented soy beans)
  • Yogurt (most popular food)
  • Tempeh (traditional Indonesian soy product made from whole fermented soy beans)
  • Unpasteurized pickles and olives (organic varieties without sodium benzoate)
When a breastfeeding woman takes antibiotics, the baby also may suffer from the side effects of antibiotics. Feeding the baby with probiotic foods helps alleviate the symptoms.

Probiotic Foods Side Effects

Foods that are rich in beneficial bacteria are used as complementary and alternative medicine. Probiotics are available in the form of capsules, tablets and powders. Excessive consumption of probiotic supplements can destroy naturally present probiotics in the intestines.
The type and quantity of friendly bacteria in the body varies from person to person. More studies are required to prove probiotics side effects; but it has been observed that excessive consumption of these foods often leads to mild side effects like bloating and gas.
Consumption of natural foods that are high in probiotic bacteria is more beneficial than consumption of probiotic supplements. If you are thinking of using any probiotic supplement for therauptic purpose, you should consult your physician in advance.
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