Our gut microbiome is one of the most crucial parts of our body and is usually inseparable from the health of the rest of the body as there are trillions of bacteria living in our gut. Many scientists observed that the bacterial communities that we live with are associated with everything from bodyweight to asthma and even to acne. There are some bacteria in the gut that is good for us while some are bad for us and raise the risk for disease. Thus, to keep us well in the long term it is essential to have the right balance of these bacteria and maintain gut health.
The gut-friendly foods contain pro- or prebiotics, which help you maintain gut health.
Probiotics – Probiotics are live microbes which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits to host. These are beneficial as it helps in keeping our gut healthy. We need probiotic every day because they remain in the body for a shorter period of time then flushed out from the body. There are two types of probiotics which include lactobacillus (found in fermented food products such as yogurt) and bifidobacterium (found in dairy products).
Prebiotics – These are a type of plant fiber often found in vegetables that nourishes good bacteria (some good sources of prebiotics are chickpeas, bananas, and artichokes).
Our gut health is shaped through our everyday diet. A well-balanced and nourishing diet helps to give our body the required amount of nutrients for optimum functioning. A typical Indian everyday meal consists of chapati, vegetables, lentils, salad, and yogurt. Each food group provides nutrition for daily requirement and yogurt among them is one such essential food that is an intrinsic part of almost every diet plan. Consumption of creamy, homemade yogurt can do wonders for our body. Not only is it eaten as it is, but it is also made part of various Indian delicacies like curries, raitas, kebabs or smoothies. It is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-2, which makes it super nutritious food. Yogurt is also quite light on the stomach as it serves as a probiotic.
Yogurt is a complete superfood and it needs to be a part of your healthy diet. Much research has proven the benefit of yogurt on many gastrointestinal conditions, including constipation, diarrheal diseases, lactose intolerance, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, and on many allergies. Not only is it versatile, but it is also full of health benefits. Some of the benefits include:
Yogurt is a fermented food and it helps ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The microbes present in yogurt produce short-chain fatty acids that get absorbed into the bloodstream and help reduce inflammation while strengthening the immune system.
It boosts digestion and can reduce the effect of diarrhea and bloating. It also helps healthy bacteria to flourish in your gut which improves the gastrointestinal system.
It is a probiotic and has detoxifying properties which make it great for weight loss. And it is also good for your skin.
It is loaded with good bacteria which helps smoothen our digestion and when combined with vegetables like broccoli, it makes for a healthy combo that can even protect from colorectal cancer and tumors.
Yogurt is also rich in calcium which makes it good for strengthening your bones. It can even be a treatment for osteoporosis.
Yogurt also increases the absorption of trace minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium, and boosts your immune system.
In a nutshell, yogurt is a superfood and you should incorporate it into your daily diet in forms of buttermilk, raita or you can add fresh fruits or seeds to a bowl of plain yogurt for filling breakfast or afternoon snack.