Probiotics are known as live microorganisms that are supposed to have numerous health benefits. Probiotics are naturally found in our bodies. It is also seen in the food we eat dietary supplements and in skin creams. We think all microorganisms are harmful to us.
But the truth is many microorganisms help to function our body properly. Especially the bacterium found in our intestine helps in digestion and kills unwanted microorganisms, helps in absorption of essential nutrition. Our body is full of good and bad bacteria. Large numbers of microorganisms live on and in our bodies.
Probiotics are said to be good bacteria, which helps our gut function normally. When we lose our good bacteria from our gut, intake of probiotics in the form of food or health supplement will help to restore it. So many bacteria are classified as probiotic bacteria. But the most common are lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
How to include probiotics in our diet?
When we think to restore good bacteria in our gut, the first thing that comes to mind is taking some probiotic supplement but, there is no use in adding lots and lots of bacteria to our without changing our habits like drinking more alcohol or taking antibiotics continuously. Good and beneficial bacteria need a firm environment to grow.
There is a pH factor that should be maintained between 6.7 and 6.9 in our gut. The neutral level is considered as 7. If the pH level is below 7, it is considered acidic, and above is considered alkaline.
The colon should be a little acidic to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, etc., There are two ways to add probiotics to our diet. One is through traditionally fermented foods and the other is to add the best probiotics in Malaysia that are available in the market.
Food rich in Probiotics
Yogurt is one of the most important sources of adding good bacteria into the gut. Yogurt can be prepared in a traditional way by fermenting the milk or it is available as a readymade one.
While choosing readymade yogurt, watch for live and active culture yogurt because some companies will pasteurize the product which kills so many good bacteria. Also, it is better to avoid flavors that contain sweeteners. From ancient times yogurt is added to the diet to cure gastrointestinal problems. Prostaglandin E2 is a substance found in yogurt that helps to cure ulcers.
Cottage cheese is another source of probiotics that is full of calcium, protein, and minerals. Whey is a liquid-like substance that remains after taking out the curd from the clabbered (turning unpasteurized milk to sour one at a specific humidity and temperature). This is also a good probiotic source that can be added to soups. Add kefir seeds to the milk and leave it overnight for fermentation. Kefir is considered a milky beverage filled with probiotics.
If gut can’t handle sour fermented milk, then we can go for non-dairy fermented food. Pickles made from cucumber, garlic, beetroot, radish, and corn relish can be added to the diet.