Probiotics have been in the spotlight since the last few years as one of the most important dietary intakes for a healthy digestive and immune system. Being aware of its health benefits, people are trying to accommodate their daily dose of probiotic supplements in their dietary intake.
Probiotic, for most of us, is a health tag that is mostly attached to yoghurt and we believe that we are getting a good supply of probiotic health boost by including yoghurt in our diet. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many of the yoghurt-based products that are available in the market today. Yes, there is a catch in yoghurt consumption too that you need to be aware of.
Let's begin with explaining probiotics. These are live & active cultures of microorganisms that are in favour of your health and are usually present in yoghurt. Yoghurt is prepared by adding live cultures to pasteurised milk to get the milk fermented to give a live and active food that is easier to digest than milk or other dairy products. It also has reduced lactose content due to the lactose consumption by the microbes.
The problem with depending on store-bought yogurt is, some brands of yogurt might have live cultures and some may not. The lack of live cultures happens when they pasteurise the yoghurt after it has been fermented which kills the probiotics in it. The key is to look out for the label that indicates the probiotics are still active or make yoghurt at home which you can trust blindly.
The second problem exists only if you have a sweet tooth. If you choose to have your yoghurt sweetened with sugar, corn syrup or any artificial sweeteners, remember that sucralose in the sweetening agent kills the probiotics and you will end up having a dead food.
If you are looking to get some good dose of probiotics from the yoghurt you consume, then it is recommended to have unsweetened plain yoghurt or plain Greek yoghurt with any natural sweetener if needed.
Speaking of fermented foods, especially dairy, cheese is another important health food. It is not just a chunk of fat as they call it. When it comes to aged cheese the fat portion of grass-fed cheese is actually good for your overall health.
Fermented dairy products are generally the easiest to digest since they have already been pre-digested by the microbes in the fermentation process. A truly aged cheese that has gone through multiple stages of fermentation from various forms of microbes is a good aid to your dietary needs.
It's said to be the best, if the yoghurt or cheese is made out of milk from grass-fed animals, as the fat content in these products will also contain important nutrients for a healthy heart, for cancer protection and body fat reduction.