Probiotic food is excellent for ailments

If you have digestive problems, we bet that your doctor has advised you to increase your intake of dairy products, especially curds.

What he is referring to is an increase in probiotic foods in your diet. Probiotic comes from the Greek language and simply means 'pro life'. Probiotic food is excellent for ailments like constipation, diarrhea, and even the common cold, as it enhances the growth of friendly bacteria when you take in antibiotics. So what happens if you're lactose intolerant, what do you eat? Probiotic food does not necessarily include only milk and curds, there are other foods that you can include. Let's take a look at them.

Dark chocolates:
You can naturally restore your cells and improve your digestive track by consuming dark chocolate. The secret to this 'bitter water' is antioxidants and flavonoids, they have the power to restore cells and destroy bad cells or free radicals. Moderate consumption of chocolate can flush out the colon.

Who knew fermented cabbage is probiotic! Though the process of making this German delight may not be appetizing, it is loaded with good bacteria. Just like curds, lactic acid destroys sugar in the cabbage, but don't worry, fermentation increases the growth of good bacteria. The added bonus is that Sauerkraut is a rich source of vitamin B12.

Pickles and Chutney:
It goes without saying; all our moms make the best chutneys and pickles. It is relished with food or we love to dip our fingers in the jar and eat it all up. When vegetables are pickled, the process is called lacto-fermentation. What happens is that when salt is added to vegetables, lactic acid converts sugar into energy.

Granola and snack bars:
These bars are increasingly available in Indian towns and cities today. Stock up on them as these bars help in the digestive process as they are high in fiber and loaded with probiotic bacteria. If you're lactose intolerant, you should munch on these bars, but not without checking content. Some bars do include milk solids. A word of caution: Look at the calorie content and include these in your diet only after accounting for calorie budgets.

Beans, rice, barley or wheat:
Pulses and cereals are naturally healthy, but when they are fermented they come under probiotic food. In Japan, Miso soup is probiotic as they use fermented soya bean paste. If you can't prepare Miso you can opt for soy milk or fermented tofu. An added bonus is if you have a recipe that uses fermented grains.

Fermented food:
The key to probiotic food is fermentation; it may seem unappealing, but you need live organisms for good health. Your digestive track has several good bacteria that help in the digestive process; hence it is important to maintain the growth of good bacteria. A happy body results in a happy you.

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