Your physician, family member, nutritionist, or a friend might have recommended you to use probiotics to stabilize your digestive system or maintain a healthy gut. The health benefits associated with probiotics, a living microorganism, are making it a popular healthy option for people who want to boost their immune system and improve their digestion. You can also find probiotics in beauty products, diet supplements, and fermented foods. When you start experiencing better digestion activity, improved immune system, higher levels of energy, and a calm mood, those are the signs probiotics are working.
- Better digestion: Probiotics neutralize diarrhea from the after-effects of antibiotics and viral infections. They help restore the stability of good bacteria, improving gut health.
- Improved immune system: A healthy immune system necessitates better absorption of Vitamin B, Zinc, and other nutrients. Probiotics heal gut inflammations from leaky guts by balancing bacteria function in the gut, thereby preventing the loss of nutrients. Probiotic strains trigger secretion of the Secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA), an immunity antibody that protects mucosal membranes. The higher the levels of SIgA, the better the immunity of your body.
- High energy levels: Probiotics improve the rate of absorption of nutrients and vitamins from the digestive system into the bloodstream. Microorganisms boost vitamin B production that promote energy production in the body. Since the body’s cells suffer from energy drains when fighting harmful gut bacteria, probiotics promote healthy bacteria in the gut that lead to positive cell activity.
- Calm mood: The brain and the gut have correlating neurotransmitters known as the gut-brain axis. An unhealthy gut causes a negative neurotransmitter response that destroys the mood of the body by causing anxiety and depression. By improving the health and function of the gut, probiotics induce a flow of positive energy by boosting the secretion of serotonin that improves your mood.
Probiotics contain different types of healthy bacteria like Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Saccharomyces boulardii, which can work in sync with each other. Bifidobacterium are known for their powerful effect in facilitating the production of vitamins, immunity against infection, and help in the digestion of dietary fiber. Meanwhile, Lactobacillus bacteria produces lactic acid through the enzyme lactase. Saccharomyces boulardii, on the other hand, is usually found in yeast and can be beneficial in treating and preventing diarrhea.
Bifidobacterium ease the processes that take place in your intestines. Your body cannot independently digest complex carbs and fiber, and these living organisms are responsible for digestion. Consuming fiber can protect you from chronic diseases, heart ailments, and diabetes risk factors. During the digestion of fiber, Bifidobacterium secrete short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that improve gut health and help the body relax. The bacteria facilitate the production of healthy fatty acids and vitamin B, as well as produce antitoxins that protect the body from other bacteria like E coli from being absorbed into the bloodstream. You can readily get these living microorganisms in probiotic supplements.
Often referred to as acidophilus or L acidophilus, you will find Lactobacillus Acidophilus in common food supplements, yogurt, and fermented foods. Like their Bifidobacterium counterparts, these living organisms are also found in the intestines. As its name suggests, Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacteria produce the enzyme lactase responsible for the secretion of lactic acid. This enzyme breaks the lactose type of sugar present in milk into body-friendly lactic acid. It also ensures intestinal walls remain intact, protecting them from possible rupture by harmful bacteria. Acidophilus in the intestines can increase the number of other health bacteria useful for your gut. Lactobacillus also has the following benefits to your body’s overall health.
- Regulates Cholesterol: Lactobacillus Acidophilus is known to reduce levels of cholesterol in your body. Having high cholesterol can lead to heart attacks since it can increase fatty deposits in your blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries. Consuming probiotics that contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus can promote the growth of good bacteria that can help regulate your cholesterol levels.
- Manages Diarrhea: Some infections can cause diarrhea and that can dehydrate your body. Through its role in improving the overall health of your gut, certain probiotics can help prevent or manage diarrhea by fighting infections.
- Helps You Lose Weight: Probiotics contain good bacteria that’s beneficial in helping you lose weight and belly fat. It can also reduce bloating due to the bad flora in your gut.
There are different ways that probiotics affect our body, but these are mainly found in our gut and our intestines, mostly the large intestines. Probiotics can also be found in the vagina as it can be beneficial in treating Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), an occurring vaginal imbalance issue in women.
There are two main sources of probiotics, which are from eating food that contain probiotics or from diet supplements. Consuming specific types of food can help you increase the number of probiotics in your body. Some foods you can eat include
- Soft cheeses
- Natto (fermented soybean product)
- Traditional buttermilk
- Pickles (cucumbers pickled in water and salt solution)
- Kombucha (fermented green or black tea)
- Sauerkraut (shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria)
Most fermented foods contain a level of probiotics because the fermentation process allows the growth of microorganisms.
On the other hand, getting probiotics from supplements has some advantages compared to consuming foods rich in probiotics. Supplements enable you to control which specific strain of bacteria you’ll ingest, which is beneficial when you’re addressing a certain health issue. Probiotic supplements also give you the opportunity to take in a blend or a diverse bacterial strain, unlike foods like yogurt, which may contain only one or two bacterial strains.
Probiotics contain healthy bacterial strains that have various health benefits that can help your body. For example, probiotics improve the state of your digestive system, which is essential in avoiding different health complications. You can easily find probiotics in certain foods or in supplements. They can also improve your mood, increase energy levels in your body, boost your immune system, and promote better digestion.
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