When we think about bacteria, the first thing that comes to our mind are harmful germs and diseases but there are good bacteria too and probiotics are one category of good microbes with great health benefits. In this blog, I will be telling you about the best probiotic foods in India, that are a rich source of probiotics and great for our good health.
Certain yeasts and bacilli are great probiotics but the most famous ones are the Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and the Bifidobacterium.
Why do we need probiotics?
Probiotics are essential for your good health. Let’s see why
- Probiotics are essential for the natural treatment of yeast infection diseases such as athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast, and various fungus in the nails.
- Probiotics make your immune system stronger for fighting against foreign diseases.
- Plays a vital role for people having allergies to certain types of food.
- A great treatment for bowel inflammation and constipation.
- Probiotics plays an important role in improving your digestive system.
Diseases that can be easily treated by probiotics
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics
- Hepatic diseases
- Believed to play a vital role in preventing cancer
- Treatment of high cholesterol
- Helicobacter pylori infections
As we can clearly see how important probiotics are for leading a healthy life. Probiotics are highly essential now due to the rise of Covid 19 cases in India. Increasing immunity and maintaining the digestive system should be our main aim now.
12 best Probiotic foods in India
1. Curd or Dahi
When we talk about curd (yogurt) or dahi, the packaged curd is not recommended because most of the time they are not set in the traditional way. Instead, you should go for the home-set curd, which is very easy to make at home.
Just boil milk and cool it down and then add some curd culture. Let it ferment till it sets completely ( for about 5-6 hours). Curd contains the bacteria Lactobacillus plays the role of probiotic in curd. It acts as an aid for your digestive system.
If you still did not get the method here is a tutorial for setting up the probiotic home-made curd.
Take this bowl of curd after a meal, or use it to make Chaas (buttermilk) or lassi after meals. Curd can also be made into items like kadhi, which again is another great source of probiotics.
A lot of people avoid pickles thinking about the presence of a lot of oil and salt. But pickles are regarded as one of the best sources of probiotics in India. In India, we have a culture of making seasonal pickles including certain fruits like Amla during winters or mangoes during summer.
We mix these fruits with spices and salt and keep them under the sun for 5-6 days. All these salt, spices, and the introduction of sun rays favor the growth of good bacteria in pickles and make them an excellent source of probiotics. It is best to make your own pickles at home instead of consuming the stored ones. Include a little bit of pickle every day as a daily dose of probiotics.
3. Fermented foods like Idlis, dosas, and dhoklas
South Indian food items like Idlis and dosas are made by fermenting rice and dal which makes them a good source of probiotics.
The Gujarati dish dhokla is made by fermenting ground flour or besan which makes it too an excellent source of probiotics.
But the instant mixes of idlis and dosas available in Indian markets do not contain any probiotics. Probiotics are only found in traditionally prepared foods. Include Idlis, dosas, and dhoklas in your diet as much as you can.
The world is running after probiotic drinks like kombucha and many more but we have our very own Indian in-house fermented probiotic drink called kanji. Kanji is usually prepared during winters in India.
The black carrots (also known as beetroots) are added to water along with some crushed mustard seeds and salts. Then the mixture is left in the sun to ferment for 5-6 days. This makes Kanji a great probiotic drink in India. Half a glass of Kanji in winters adds great probiotic supplementation to your diet.
Kefir is another dairy product made from milk. It is one of the best probiotic food in India. It is made from goat’s milk. It contains various antioxidants and good bacteria like Lactobacillus which acts as the probiotics in Kefir. Regular consumption of kefir keeps your digestive system healthy.
Paneer and cottage cheese are a great example of probiotic foods in India. Paneer is a major source of protein. Paneer contains less amount of fat. Paneer also contains calcium which is great for your bones and teeth. Paneer is also great for maintaining a great heart. It is a great source of probiotics.
ALSO READ – Tofu vs Paneer
Sauerkraut is nothing but cabbage basically fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It is basically sour in taste.
Sauerkraut is great for fighting allergies in the body. It is also known as sour cabbage. It contains Vitamin A, B, E, C with calcium and other essential nutrients required by the body. Sauerkraut acts as a probiotic and adds immunity and strength to the body. Sauerkraut is also great for a healthy heart.
8. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolates consist of a high amount of probiotics. Daily consumption of dark chocolate provides you with 4 times of probiotics. Dark chocolate plays a vital role in making your mood fine as well as act as great probiotic food in India.
Microalgae are also regarded as a superfood. This probiotic helps in keeping your digestive system healthier. Microalgae help in increasing the lactobacillus bacteria in your digestive system helping you in better digestion.
10. Miso soup
Miso soup is famous for making medicines in Japan. But recently it has been adopted in India. Consuming miso soup on a regular basis makes your digestive system strong. Miso fermented rye is added to warm water for the preparation of this soup.
You can add other vegetables like beans. Miso soup is a great source of Lactobacillus bacteria. This probiotic soup is great for preventing cancer in the human body.
11. Green peas
Well, green peas would have not made it to the list if the Journal of Applied Microbiology would have not referred to it as a probiotic. Green peas contain Leuconostoc mesenteroide, a potent probiotic that helps in easy digestion for your body. So try to add green peas to your diet regularly.
12. Cerelac for kids
Nestle company includes Bifidobacterium in one of their products named Cerelac which is basically a baby food. So Cerelac is a very good option for children if the parents want to give their child probiotic.
So here is the entire list of probiotic foods available in India. At least add one or two of the foods mentioned above in your regular diet especially in this Covid scenario.