Probiotics are live microorganisms living in the human intestines. They provide health benefits by restoring and improving gut flora. Probiotics help build immunity, strengthen biological processes, regulate inflammation, rejuvenate skin, reduce gastrointestinal discomfort, and relieve constipation. The right probiotic must be natural, dairy-based, and include more quantity and diversity of bacteria. Indian probiotics are indispensable to natural and healthy living. Food with probiotics can help you improve your health and your brain. Probiotic Indian foods are important for getting these nutrients. Keep reading to know the List of super healthy probiotic food items.
Top 13 Probiotic Indian foods
The following is a list of some of the greatest probiotic foods that you can eat in order to maintain your health and equilibrium:
Dahi or Yogurt –
Yogurt is prepared from milk and is a storehouse of active and live eubacteria and bifid bacteria. Homemade yogurt is a wealthy source of probiotics as it contains over 250 strains of Lactobacillus bacteria. It is one of the best Probiotic Indian foods for your system, containing 10-30 CFU of bacteria. This is because homemade yogurt is fermented for at least twenty-four hours, which allows the usage of most milk sugars and strengthens the probiotic culture. On the other hand, pre-packaged yogurts may not contain enough active and live bacteria. Yogurt makes bones stronger and reduces the risk of polygenic disorders and cancer.
Cottage Cheese or Paneer –
Raw cheese, like cottage cheese (paneer), is an excellent source of probiotics. On the other hand, processed, cooked, melted cheese is devoid of bacteria. The high fat preserve and low cheeses’ acidity nurture healthy bacteria’s growth and development. Raw and unpasteurized milk yields the best cheese with many probiotic bacteria. Paneer is incredibly important for heart, bone, and teeth health.
Though buttermilk is low in fat and calories, it contains many vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, anti-pernicious anemia factor, riboflavin, etc. Buttermilk is a good carrier of 10-30 CFU of probiotics, especially carboxylic acid, and lactic acid bacteria. The ancient and traditional buttermilk was obtained after creating butter. The leftover liquid is called ‘grandma’s probiotic’ due to the presence of various probiotic bacteria. However, the processed and cultured buttermilk available in supermarkets nowadays doesn’t contain any probiotic bacteria.
Dhokla is a famous dish created and served in Gujarat. Although indigenous initially, it is now served in all fancy restaurants and hotels and is considered a healthy and tasty cuisine due to its health benefits. It is also considered one of the important Probiotic Indian foods. Dhokla is prepared by mixing the batter of fermented gram flour (besan), rice or pulses (dal), and yogurt (Dahi). The fermentation process is responsible for the probiotic nature of the food, as it allows the live culture to settle properly for growth. Yogurt adds an extra coat of probiotic bacteria. Dhokla is preferred as an evening snack and is a bit spicy. It helps to provide instant energy and also helps in weight loss.
Dark chocolate is a dairy product rich in both quality and quantity of probiotics and antioxidants. Manufacturers add probiotics to dark chocolate and process it at low temperatures. The probiotic food item can contain up to four times the amount of probiotics as other types of dairy. That is why probiotic chocolate bars are stored in refrigerators in supermarkets. A study from the International Journal of Food Microbiology (2010) stated that probiotics in dark chocolate survived through the stomach and small intestine better than those in liquid milk.
Pickle or achaar is a non-dairy-based recipe that contains around 10 million good bacteria. Achaar is an underrated and usually misunderstood dish, as most people believe it to be just oil and salt. However, that is far from the truth. It uses any vegetable or fruit like mango, carrot, lemon, garlic, or chili. The preparation includes soaking the desired fruit or vegetable in oil, sea salt, herbs, and spices and being allowed to dry under the sun. This helps the fermentation process and helps the growth of good bacteria. It contains 10 million CFU and 1-3 strains of probiotic bacteria. Pickles are low in calories and are a rich source of naphthoquinone, a nutrient necessary for blood clotting. Homemade pickles are better than canned pickles as they contain natural carboxylic acid bacteria. Pickles prepared with vinegar do not contain live probiotics. It is better to avoid them.
It is rightly said, “An apple daily keeps the doctor away.” Apples are a wealthy source of dietary fibers and probiotics due to the presence of 100 million bacteria. The consumption of apples results in the production of short-enchained fatty acids and generates favorable pH conditions that facilitate the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Idli and Dosa are staple foods of Southern India. It comprises fermented hard rice and lentils (Urad dal). It is a decent source of probiotic microorganisms (carboxylic acid bacteria), antioxidants, and fiber. The food is low in fat and calories, so it nurtures the growth and development of live cultures of healthy bacteria. Idli and Dosa are served with chutneys and sambar, made from hard ingredients. These condiments are also a great source of enteric microorganisms. The consumption of idli and Dosa has many benefits; it boosts the immune system, reduces the chances of stroke, rejuvenates skin, reduces gastrointestinal distress, and promotes weight loss, among others.
Kefir is derived from the Turkish word ‘keyif,’ which means ‘feeling good. Kefir is a soured probiotic milk drink containing 61 strains of bacteria. It is a thick and creamy drink with a mix of yeast and carboxylic acid bacteria. It is produced by adding kefir grains to cow or goat milk, producing up to 10 billion CFU of bacteria. It improves digestion and metabolism, boosts the immune system, and reduces body weight. It also helps to treat digestive disorders like pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastritis.
Kanji, or ‘rai ka pani,’ is a fermented Punjabi drink rich in probiotic bacteria. It contains 1 million CFU and 16 strains of probiotic bacteria. It is made with black carrots and spiced with black salt, ground mustard seeds, and red chili powder. It is also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and manganese. As per Ayurveda, Kanji should be avoided during the summer season and consumed during the winter and autumn seasons. Kanji aids in healthy digestion, metabolism, and weight loss. Moreover, it prevents eczema in children and protects them from cancer.
It is a common food consumed in the summers in Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. It consists of partially fermented cooked rice, water, salt, green chilies, curd, mint, cucumber, lemon, fried onions, and cumin seeds. It helps in improving gut immunity due to the presence of live bacteria-rich curd and fermented rice.
Soy milk is an Indian drink made of hard-pressing soybeans. It is rich in probiotics and proteins and can be consumed by lactose intolerant people. It has been found that soy milk helps in improving kidney function in type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy. It contains Lactobacillus Plantarum A7, which reduces albumin in urine, a common symptom of kidney disease. It is one of the effective probiotic food items that also improves the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of kidneys, reduces bad cholesterol, and helps weight loss. Additionally, it provides antioxidants, omega 3-and omega 6-fatty acids to strengthen blood vessels.
Bread gets rejected by many people as an unhealthy source of food; the opposite might be true, according to many studies. Whole wheat bread contains soluble fibers fermented by gut bacteria to form small chains of fatty acids that are good for gut health. Therefore, it helps increase the number of good bacteria like bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus in the gut. Whole wheat bread is devoid of fat and contains a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, people consuming whole wheat bread are at lower risk of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease, thus, reducing the chances of stroke.
Also, Read Top 12 Foods That Burn Belly Fat.
The simplest way to maintain a healthy gut is to include enteric microorganism-containing dishes in your daily meals. These Probiotic Indian foods boost your immunity and allow you to digest food more efficiently. The probiotic properties of these Indian foods make them popular choices that are usually readily available.
You can use your ideas and create original recipes with these probiotic food items to make it even more interesting.