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Probiotics- The Hidden Truth

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Probiotics

There’s a lot of buzz around probiotics. They’re endorsed by celebrities and fill grocery stores aisles. Manufacturers make steep claims about their benefits. They include digestive health, strengthened immune system, weight loss and reduced cancer risk. But can a supplement really do all that? Let’s see-

Bacteria have a reputation for causing diseases. So the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem literally and figuratively a hard pill to swallow. But scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. These beneficial microorganisms are called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning for life).

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics

Courtesy- Shutterstock

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut. Scientists believe they could unlock a deeper understanding of our health. Probiotics are found in some foods and drinks, like yogurt or tea.  Just like vitamins, probiotics are available as supplements. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms generally don’t make us sick as most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep harmful microorganisms in check and contribute to immune function.

Benefits Of Taking Probiotics

Not all probiotics are the same. Different strains of the bacteria have different effects. For example, one strain may fight against cavity-causing organisms in our mouths and don’t need to survive a trip through our guts. Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of-

  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcers
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections etc.

Surprising Facts of Probiotics:

Supports immune function

Courtesy- Pinterest

Can you believe that the vast majority nearly 80%of your immune system is located in your gut? Because so many of your immune cells inhabit your intestinal tract, a healthy and balanced immune response is largely dependent on strong communities of beneficial bacteria existing within the gut environment. A high-quality supplement works to crowd out the bad guys and support the foundation of your health at its core.

Maintains your mood

Courtesy- Living Plate

First of all, your gut feeling is more than just a word. In fact, your mental and emotional balance depend on a healthy gut.  The good guys in your intestinal tract support the production of hundreds of nervous system chemicals that alter your moods. Indeed, almost 95% of your body’s happiness chemical also found in the brain is seen in your gut. Hence supporting them often is one of the best things you can do.

Freshens Breath

Courtesy- Youngistan

You may be surprised to learn that our mouths are home to an incredible amount of bacteria. Studies show that certain probiotics can help support the oral microbiome by helping to suppress the growth of bad breath-causing microbes. Unlike mouthwash or mints that simply mask bad breath odor, probiotics can help with this occasional, yet embarrassing, issue by encouraging long-term equilibrium of oral bacteria.

Reduces fatigue

Probiotics

Courtesy- Pinterest

Have you ever felt tired even after getting enough rest? Well, it turns out that a balanced gut can help reinvigorate you. That’s because fatigue and the resulting irritability are often signs of poor digestion, which occurs as a result of an unhealthy gut. The good news? Taking beneficial probiotics can help support your body’s ability to properly digest and process all the healthy nutrients you eat so you can maintain your vitality.

 Improves the appearance of your skin

Courtesy- Hans India

Your skin is your largest organ, and it protects your body from countless external threats. It is an important reflection of your health. Skin problems can result from nutritional and hormonal imbalances, immune system disruptions ets. All issues that begin in the gut. Therefore by helping you to better absorb the nutrients from your foods and supporting immune system response, probiotics can help you achieve healthier-looking skin that glows.

The Real Truth Is-

Everyone’s microbiome – the collection of bacteria in their body is different and exists in a delicate balance. In other words probiotic supplement that helps one person might not help someone else. Therefore a probiotic supplement will have a positive effect on your digestive system sometimes but it’s likely it will have no effect. Consequently it even displaces some of the good bacteria you already have. Hence, this could result in an upset stomach or problems with digestion to feeling bloated.

 

 

 

 

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Food

Vegan Diet For Beginners- Here’s How To Start!

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The vegan diet has become very popular. Increasingly more people have decided to go vegan for ethical, environmental or health reasons. When done right, such a diet may result in various health benefits. This includes a trimmer waistline and improved blood sugar control.

However is it all that great? Let us understand how this diet works.

What Is The Vegan Diet?

Veganism is defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose. For these reasons, the vegan diet is devoid of all animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy. In simple words, the diet includes only plant-based products.

Vegan

Credits- BBC Good Food

If you are planning to turn vegan, here is a sample menu that you can follow.

Monday

  • Breakfast: Sandwich with tofu, lettuce, tomato, turmeric and a plant-milk chai latte.
  • Lunch: Spiralized zucchini and quinoa salad with peanut dressing.
  • Dinner: Red lentil and spinach dal with rice.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with fruit, fortified plant milk, chia seeds and nuts.
  • Lunch: Seitan sauerkraut sandwich.
  • Dinner: Pasta with a lentil bolognese sauce and a side salad.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Mango and spinach smoothie made with fortified plant milk and a banana-flaxseed-walnut muffin.
  • Lunch: Baked tofu sandwich with a side of tomato salad.
  • Dinner: Vegan chilli on a bed of amaranth.
Vegan

Credits- Mealz

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Whole-grain toast with hazelnut butter, banana and a fortified plant yogurt.
  • Lunch: Tofu noodle soup with vegetables.
  • Dinner: Jacket sweet potatoes with lettuce, corn, beans and cashews.

Friday

  • Breakfast: Vegan chickpea and onion omelette and cappuccino made with fortified plant milk.
  • Lunch: Vegan tacos with mango-pineapple salsa.
  • Dinner: Tempeh stir-fry with bok choy and broccoli.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Spinach and scrambled tofu wrap and a glass of fortified plant milk.
  • Lunch: Spiced red lentil, tomato and kale soup with whole-grain toast and hummus.
  • Dinner: Veggie sushi rolls, miso soup, and salad.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Chickpea pancakes and a glass of fortified orange juice.
  • Lunch: Tofu vegan quiche with a side of sautéed mustard greens.
  • Dinner: Vegan spring rolls.
vegan

Credits- Healthy Nibbles and Bowls

However, following this diet certainly has some strong drawbacks. Many people following this diet develop certain deficiencies.  Those following a vegan diet may want to be extra careful to ensure they are consuming enough iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegans are also at a high risk of developing a Vitamin-B12 deficiency. Also, following a vegan diet can be unsustainable for some individuals. It’s not a very pocket-friendly diet.

But, if taken care of, this diet can be extremely beneficial. So why not give it a try?

Also, check out how you can make veggie noodles with a spiralizer right here https://littleletterslinked.com/make-veggie-noodles-with-a-spiralizer/.

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Desi Avocado Recipes That You Need To Try ASAP!

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Avocado is a stupendous fruit. Despite being originated in the West, avocado is a glorious fruit in Asian countries too, especially in India from the past few years. Well, they are luscious, delicious and are the best match with anything that looks good- exactly like them. While consumption of avocados has skyrocketed in the past few years, most of them have been through the means of Western food. So here we present the best ways to enjoy this superfood without letting go of the flavours of your desi food.

1. Stuffed Avocado

Credits: Little Spiced Jar

Stuffing vegetables has been an age-long culture when it comes to making Indian Foods delectable. Well, here’s a boon too. With Avocado as an amazingly nutritious fruit, you can pretty well stuff it with everything and anything you like. So, go ahead make your breakfast or pre-lunch snack enthralling by making some amazing avo-stuffed dishes!

2. Avo Tikki

Credits: Times Food- Times of India

Avocado tikki is one such mouth-watering snack that’ll cheer up your mood anytime, anywhere. Made with the goodness of the green superfood, these tikkis are a nutritional food pool. Amalgamate the already wonderful taste with green chutney or tomato ketchup and watch your folks ask for more, and more!

3. Avo Raita

Credits: Archana’s Kitchen

This Indian version of the guacamole is a much-needed addition to your diet list this season. This now becomes a refreshing recipe that calls for a perfect dinner ahead. Thus, by simply adding some Indian spices to the Western avocado, one can relish a wholesome meal with kebabs, or naans or even paranthas.

4. Avocado Chana Chat

Credits: Home On My Range

Modify your chaat by incorporating these sour-sweet heaven drops in your bowl of amazement. Crispy, tangy and creamy, this is the perfect way to kill your junk craving with a healthy dose of savoury. Also, this serves as a fuller without adding even an iota of extra-calorie.

5. Avocado Egg Bhurji Sandwich

Credits: Martha Stewart

Here’s yet another reason to love avocado. You can smash them on toast with scrambled eggs or simply slice with shredded chicken. Either way, an avocado toast is just the perfect lunch or snack. Super quick to make and super healthy to have, this is surely the best food of all time.

Well, when are you experimenting with your favourite food?!

Also, Read: The “Unconventional Healthy Foods” And Their Health Benefits

 

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Why Yoghurt Needs To Get On Your Menu Right Now

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Yogurt

Yoghurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with a curd culture. It provides protein and calcium, and it may enhance healthy gut bacteria. Yogurt starts as fresh milk or cream. It is often first pasteurized, then fermented with various live bacteria cultures. Additionally, it is stored at a specific temperature to encourage bacteria growth. The culture ferments the lactose- natural sugar found in milk. This produces lactic acid, which gives yogurt its distinctive flavor.

Types Of Yoghurt

Low fat or non-fat- Low-fat, or reduced-fat yogurt, is made with 2-percent milk. Non-fat one is made with zero percent or skim milk.

Kefir- Kefir is a liquid yogurt for drinking. It contains probiotics and is easy to make at home by adding kefir grains to milk and leaving it to stand for 12 to 24 hours.

Greek yogurt- It is thick and creamy. This variant can withstand heat better than regular yogurt. It is made by further straining regular yogurt to remove the liquid whey. It is available in full fat, reduced or low fat and non-fat or zero percent.

Frozen yogurt– They are often seen as a healthful alternative to ice cream.

Not only is it high in calcium, it is also a powerhouse of protein. So before you indulge in the next scoop of goodness, we tell you about its health benefits.

Your Friend In Journey Of Weight loss

Courtesy- Kidspot

A recent study that was conducted on people eating yoghurt proved that if you replace an unhealthy snack in a day with yogurt, it helped cut down calories. This also helps burn belly fat. Yogurt specifically has been studied as a calcium-rich food that helps burn fat and promotes weight loss. They  naturally contains lactase, making it a healthy alternative for those who can’t tolerate other milk products.

Regulates Your Blood Pressure

Yogurt

Courtesy- Health Shop

Salt is the main culprit behind high blood pressure and if not monitored high BP can lead to serious health complications such as hypertension and kidney disease. The potassium present in yogurt helps remove the excess of sodium from our bodies. In fact, a recent study shows that low fat dairy helped people keep BP issues at bay. Eating Greek yogurt may be associated with lower blood pressure and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Builds Up Your Immunity

Courtesy- Freshcap mushrooms

The probiotics present in yoghurt works on building your immunity and lowers your chances of getting various illnesses. Probiotics have long been proven to work on strengthening gut health.It also had zinc and other minerals that are absolutely essential for good health. The recent research show that the gut bacteria play a major role in the overall immunity of our body.

But All That Glitters Is Not Gold

But having said that, Not all yogurts are healthful. Those without added sugar or unnecessary additives can be a healthful addition to the diet. But some products have high quantities of added sugar and other ingredients that may not be helpful. Natural ones can be a low-calorie, high-nutrient food packed with protein. However, many brands add sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that are not healthy. The lower the sugar, the better, as long as it does not contain any added sweeteners.

 

A Related article- The “Unconventional Healthy Foods” And Their Health Benefits

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