The Many Health Benefits Associated with Consuming Probiotics
As more research regarding the health benefits of consuming probiotics is performed it is becoming clear that maintaining healthy probiotics within the gut (digestive tract) results in benefits throughout the body. Probiotics are microorganisms that live in the human digestive tract and help us digest foods and absorb nutrients from foods. However, the benefits of these tiny organisms that live within us go far beyond their core function in the gut. To live a healthy life, it is important to ensure you are consuming foods that contain probiotics to bolster the probiotics within your stomach and digestive tract.
Health Benefits Associated with Probiotics
The following are the health benefits associated with maintaining a healthy number of probiotics within your gut. One key takeaway is the realization that having an adequate number of probiotics in the gut has benefits in other parts of the body and a person’s overall well-being.
- Helps the stomach and digestive tract function to their fullest ability and makes them less prone to infection from bad microorganisms that cause illnesses.
- Prevents or reduces the severity of diarrhea.
- Boosts the immune system by helping immune system cells that are part of the body’s natural defense against infections.
- Helps with weight loss by preventing fat from being ingested, by helping the body burn calories, and by providing a feeling of fullness so you don’t eat excessively.
- Improves mood, overall mental health, and brain function.
- Reduces bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and lowers blood pressure.
- Reduces impacts of eczema and some allergies.
- Reduces symptoms of digestive disorders such as mild ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Probiotics Have Many Health Benefits
Obtaining Probiotics from Your Diet
The following are examples of some of the fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. Try to work them into your daily diet. Yogurt mixed with fruit is an easy and healthy way to routinely consume probiotics via your diet.
- Soft cheeses, such as Gouda
- Kefir, which is a fermented milk product that can be made from dairy and non-dairy sources
- Sourdough bread
- Sour pickles
- Unpasteurized Sauerkraut
- Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
- Drinks and foods that are fortified with probiotics (check labels)
One of the Best Probiotic Foods Is Yogurt
Prebiotics Help Probiotics Flourish in Your Gut
Prebiotic foods provide nourishment to the probiotics that already live in your digestive tract allowing them to flourish for your benefit. Prebiotics include common foods such as oatmeal, honey, bananas, and legumes like peanuts. Eat them along with probiotics to ensure you are getting the most from the probiotics in your system. For many, this is probably not going to require a change in diet since these are rather common foods. If necessary, be creative by doing things like eating oatmeal as a snack or putting honey on a slice or two of bread as part of breakfast or a snack.
Probiotics Supplements Can Be Helpful In Some Situations
Probiotic supplements can be used to provide a boost of probiotics in the gut; however, a healthy diet that includes probiotic foods or drinks is often all one needs to maintain probiotics at healthy levels. Supplements can be useful if one has a short-term gastrointestinal problem due to unhealthy microorganisms being present in the digestive tract that cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea. They can also be helpful if one is taking antibiotics to treat a health condition since antibiotics can have the unintended consequence of killing good probiotic microorganisms while they are helping the body fight a health condition. If that is the case, probiotic supplements will help restore healthy bacteria to the gut.
Just do your research and consult a medical professional before starting probiotic supplements, since they vary in quality and some supplements have particular microorganisms that are most beneficial to treat specific medical conditions. There are also some medical conditions that might be impacted negatively by probiotic supplements, so check with your medical professional before taking any supplements.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 John Coviello