Dr. Trishala Chopra is an alternative medicine specialist commanding a decade of success in managing Diabetes, Obesity, PCOD/PCOS, Metabolic Disorders, Gut-health and Sleep-disorders. As a Health Coach, Dr. Trishala empowers your body’s potential to heal itself through a balanced ‘Gut-Mind-Body’ approach to help you achieve your wellness goals. [To connect with Dr. Trishala, Call/Message: (+91) 9930831317 or Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Thank you, dear Readers for an overwhelming response to last week’s article, which was the first in the Gut-series. Indeed, the Gut is one of the most under-rated organs that needs your attention! Having covered the basic understanding about the microbiome and the foods that benefit your gut and therefore, your over-all health, let’s now discuss the ‘Good Bacteria’ or the ‘good guys’ that nurture your gut.
‘Probiotics’ and ‘Prebiotics’ have become buzzwords these days – all over social media, health food stores, etc. What do purpose do they serve? Are these products worth the hype? Let’s find out…
Probiotics are positive-serving bacteria that are naturally present in your gut. There’s a whole family of these lovely bacteria within your body, taking care of you. They work hard – guarding you, helping your immune system function well, breaking down food and extracting the best out of them to keep you going.
So, if they’re already present in our gut, why is there a whole market out there for this? Is it a scam??? No. It’s not a scam. Due to various life events, our gut microbiome gets altered. For eg., when you undergo a bad bout of food poisoning, your entire gut flora wipes out and bad bacteria take full control. Even after a course of antibiotics, your good bacteria get wiped out. Unless you replace these in your gut, they will not flourish. This is where we need Probiotic supplements. A medically supervised course of probiotics taken restore your gut health.
But, is that enough? How will they multiply? Won’t they need food to grow in the body? What do they consumer? It’s natural for such questions to pop up in our minds. Just a dose of over-the-counter probiotic supplements or probiotic foods will not help. They need Prebiotics to grow!
What are Prebiotics? Prebiotics are non-digestible food particles that promote these bacteria to grow and multiply. What is not digested is consumed by our bacteria to survive! If your diet is rich in processed foods, sugar and inflammatory oils – your gut bacteria population will find it difficult to survive. They don’t consume these foods. They cannot live around sugar. If your diet is rich in veggies, whole grains, pulses and fermented foods – you will have the best bacterial profile!
So, the next time you are prescribed a supplement or if you are tempted to pick up probiotic-rich food from a health store, don’t forget to buy some prebiotic food as well! While you get probiotics in the form of supplements, you also need foods that are rich in prebiotics! You need expert advice to know what supplements works for you, but adding the following lovely food items to your diet is something you can do right away!
Yoghurts: An excellent lactobacillus (good bacteria), responsible for curdling the milk so you can enjoy your curds. Include a bowl of yoghurt daily in your diet to ensure you’re receiving your daily dose of lactobacillus!
Fresh Cheese: Love cheese? Excellent! Consuming fresh cheese is an excellent way to introduce some lovely bacteria to your gut. It’s not only a great source of probiotics, but it’s also a good source of healthy fats. It keeps your gut and heart happy!
Miso: This is a sauce made of fermented soya beans and barley/rice malt. The word ‘ferment’ means bacterial activity. There are food products that become more beneficial when these bacteria do their magic. Make your broth with miso paste or add miso soup to your diet thrice a week and you’re riding the gut game!
Sauerkraut: This is basically finely cut cabbage which is fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It’s one of the finest sources of probiotics. Add it to your meal as a side dish or in a salad. It’s easily available at most health shops.
Kefir: It is a dairy-based product which is fermented using lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. It is similar to yoghurt, but has a superior bacterial profile, making it more beneficial than yoghourt.
Kimchi: A Korean dish made of fermented cabbage, radish, spring onion and cucumber. It’s like sauerkraut but with a different taste, as it is more tangy, making it more popular. If your tastebuds like it, your gut will love it!
Apple Cider Vinegar: Known as a superfood, this one is truly super for your gut! It’s easily available and one of the most widely used fermented foods. However, be careful as not all apple cider vinegars have gut-boosting properties. Always opt for the one which specifically mentions ‘With Mother Culture’. Ensure to read the labels to pick up the right product.
I consult innumerable clients daily who suffer from gut issues that have been ongoing for years! When we start working on the basics, they feel better within just 3-5 days! They feel it’s my magic wand that does the work but it’s not me – it’s the gut bacteria that help! If you are going through chronic indigestion issues and nothing seems to help, please try fixing your gut. You will start seeing a difference!
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