You have to eat right, not less. 

Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

27th Oct 2022 • 05 Min and 37 Sec

Eating probiotics filled with bacteria can take you a long way. In this episode, let’s explore the benefits of probiotics and what’s the best way to get them.

We are all mortal who wants to improve our health and wellbeing with one simple thing without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it planking? or squats? Or drinking bacteria to develop mental health? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr. Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one simple thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.  

What if I say you can eat or drink bacteria? It sounds fishy, right? But yes, consuming probiotics filled with bacteria can take you a long way. In this episode, let’s explore the benefits of probiotics and what’s the best way to get them. 

Remember when grandma used to make fermented cucumber pickles in salty water for a week or so; I love when it’s homemade. You probably didn’t know that those pickles are loaded with probiotics with many health benefits, including improving the digestive system. They are also a great source of Vitamin K and other essential nutrients.  

Fermented foods are one of the easiest ways to generate probiotics; you can also consume other Indian probiotics like paneer and traditional buttermilk, which are fermented milk-based products.  

Fermenting has long been an excellent way of preserving food, but fermented foods have become super trendy these days. Consuming probiotics promotes weight loss, reduces gut inflammation, and, more surprisingly, impacts your mental health. Now let’s see the scientific reasons behind probiotics.  

Probiotics restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions. But what is the gut microbiome?  

In recent years, there has been a lot of research on the gut microbiome. There are thousands of different microbes that live in your gut and profoundly affect your health. The gut microbiome comprises 100 trillion microbes, a mixture of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, influencing human physiology, metabolism, and nutrition. Together, they weigh about 2 kilos, which is even heavier than your brain. They make up nearly half the cells in your body, so probably, you are half-human and half microbiome.  

A recent study states that feces is largely made up of dead bacteria. So when you empty your bowel, you become slightly more human than a microbe. 

The gut microbiome is like a complex rainforest; there is a rich diversity of microbes battling for survival. Some microbes are good for health, and others, not so much. Microbes can also influence your immune system; some can change the fibers into anti-inflammatory compounds. This is good because chronic inflammations lead to conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. The microbiome can even potentially influence your sleep.  

So now we know that the hidden world of microbiome shapes our behavior. There is an actual term called “Psychobiotics,” the name given to microbes that can impact our mood. A recent human study states that those who ate more fermented foods have the lowest social anxiety levels.  

Other fermented foods like Yogurt, Kimchi, Kombucha, Kefir, or Sauerkraut have a lot of science behind them too. If you haven’t had any fermented food before or have a low fiber diet, in the beginning, ease into the fermented foods, and don’t eat a whole at once. Since you may feel some gastrointestinal discomfort; other than this, there is no disadvantage to eating fermented food.  

Now get yourself some probiotics tomorrow. So, chop-chop; it’s about time you taste bacteria for numerous good reasons.  

That’s one simple thing to include in your daily routine to improve your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” to know one more simple thing for your better tomorrow.