Although gut bacteria have always played an important role in digestion, it has recently become a trending health awareness topic. Your digestive tract basically breaks down food into smaller parts to make it easier to process by the gut microbes which live in your digestive system. So yes, it is extremely important to know how to restore your gut bacteria because let’s face it they do an awesome job of ensuring that we get all the nutrients we need.
Your diet plays a huge role in the type of bacteria that colonize your gut which then affect your mood, energy levels and immunity.
Eat your way to good gut health
If you are trying to modify your gut microbiome and get with it health-wise, you should begin with probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They are the safest and your best bet.
Turn to probiotic foods
Yogurt, you can’t get enough of it! Yogurt can be really delicious especially when it’s combined with honey which imparts a sweet flavor along with antibiotic properties.
Kimchi is a staple in Asian restaurants. It’s extremely tangy and spicy and loaded with probiotics.
You can also try kombucha tea which is a Japanese traditional technique in which black or green tea is fermented and sweetened to deliver a dose of probiotics to your digestive tract.
Miso soup is another popular traditional Japanese soup made with fermented rice, beans and seasoning. It is filled with good bacteria which can restore gut health.
Apple cider vinegar, is also high on probiotic qualities because it contains an ingredient called pectin which helps the body to break down foods and helps in digestion.
Cottage cheese or paneer can also be a good source of probiotics. Paneer is really fun to work with especially if you come from a vegetarian household and want to make something fun for your kids. You can try adding a western twist to it to. The best part about paneer is it’s so easy to make at home.
Whey or takra/mattha is the liquid remaining after the curds and cream have been extracted from milk that has been allowed to go sour. You can use it in soups, add it to steamed vegetables, or drink it on its own with some roasted + crushed cumin.
Without even realizing it, a lot of our Indian food is fermented and we’re sure you’ve realized by now that most probiotic foods are fermented.
So eat away at your idlis, which are made of fermented rice and lentils and then steamed. You can serve them with a chutney, which is again a traditional Indian fermented food and sambhar. Learn how to make quick and easy idlis here.
Dosas can also be made with a similar batter that is used to make idlis. They are generally served with potatoes and are a big hit with the kids.
Pickles are a great source of probiotics. They are generally a part of the staple Indian diet. You can try homemade pickles which are tangy, spicy and a great mix with a rice and lentil curry (dal).
Get your Fiber on
One of the best ways to restore gut health is by including fiber in your diet. So here’s the catch, humans cannot digest fiber because we lack the enzymes to break it down. Your gut bacteria, however, have those enzymes required to break down fiber and use it as fuel.
Onions, leafy greens, berries, bananas and whole grains are also some of the best probiotics for women and men. So get with them everyone!