Bacteria, yeast, microorganisms, these might not sound like the best things to be presented inside your body or in food. Heck, all your life you’ve been taught to stay clean and healthy by staying away from these microorganisms.
But wait. I have some news for you. There are some forms of these microorganisms which are actually present inside your body and in your food that are very good for you. These are what we call probiotics. The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro meaning promoting and biotic meaning life.
Just like antibiotics kill bad bacteria, probiotics promote good bacteria. In today’s post, we’ll be looking at the health benefits of probiotics and why they’re good for you.
I know the idea that bacteria are beneficial can be tough to understand. So, let me clear that don’t for you and take you through the benefits of probiotics.
Probiotics have been known to be most helpful with gastro intestinal and digestive diseases such as constipation, diarrhea, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, Crohn’s disease and flatulence. Studies have found that taking probiotics while using antibiotics reduce the risk of antibiotic related diarrhea by 60 percent. They help restore the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut by decreasing the number of bad bacteria which cause infection and inflammation.
It also extracts important nutrients from your digestive tract, leading to better digestion for the lactose intolerant people out there. Some research has also shown that probiotics may help with lactose intolerance as well.
You can take probiotics in the form of supplements or by eating foods such as yogurt, fresh sour dill pickles or kimchi. Healthy and tasty.
Did you know that the majority of your immune system resides in your gut? In fact, about 80 percent of your immune cells live in your gastrointestinal system. That’s a whopping amount. So, when you eat probiotics, you’re arming your gut with more good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria. In a recent study, it was found that probiotics proved to be effective in reducing the amount of time it took children and adults to recover from colds. Imagine being able to reduce the amount of time you’re sick so you don’t have to miss work or school all by just taking a probiotic.
3. Mental Health
It may sound weird that something which is so beneficial for the gut can be good for mental health as well. A recent study found that probiotics can reduce anxiety, relieves stress and improve mental outlook.
Another study found that probiotics reduced depression, anger, hostility and self-blamed and improved problem-solving ability. Researchers have attributed this to the communication between the gut and the brain, which affects not only just physical, but also mental health and behavior.
Good bacteria may be among the most trusted home remedies for natural anxiety, relief and a better mental health.
4. Blood Pressure
With the kinds of lifestyles that we have.Blood pressure has become a very common problem, affecting one in every three adults in the USA alone. Studies have shown that eating foods that contain probiotics have been linked to lower blood pressure. An imbalance in the guts colony of bacteria may lead to high blood pressure, but it can be controlled by introducing good bacteria and restoring the balance of the gut through probiotics.
It has a beneficial effect on blood pressure through lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, and helping to regulate the hormone system that manages fluid balance and blood pressure.
5. Heart Diseases
Just like the gut brain connection. There is a connection between the gut and the heart. Probiotics have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and inflammatory markers by helping to prevent cardiac damage and improve heart functioning. In this research, it was found that levels of people with high cholesterol who took the probiotics dropped by over eleven percent in nine weeks. So, part of how you have your most heart healthy day might just be to take probiotics friendly bacteria found in fermented foods, aged cheeses and supplements.
6. Skin Conditions
You might have heard the benefits of probiotics for things like digestion and immunity, but it’s only recently that the skincare world has embraced probiotics as the key to alleviate conditions such as acne, eczema, rashes and for healthy, glowing skin. If you suffer from such skin conditions, there is a good chance that your gut flora is altered to some extent. All you need is either oral or topical use of probiotics for an improved look and healthier skin. It can help reduce visible aging signs on the skin as well by building collagen to achieve stronger skin structure and add smoothness to your appearance.
7. Weight Loss
Going to the gym regularly but not seeing any satisfactory weight loss. Don’t worry. Probiotics are here to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Probiotics increase the amount of dietary fat that is released by the body through feces. According to a recent study, it changes the way the body utilizes food for energy, allowing for an increase in the use of existing fat stores for fuel. Probiotics can actually influence how fully you feel by regulating a signal to the brain and letting it know that the stomach is full.
This leads to a reduced appetite and stops you from bingeing on that delicious ice cream or your favorite bag of cookies.
8. Cleaner Teeth and Gums
Everyday mistakes that can ruin your teeth might include skipping your supplement of good bacteria.
A recent study found that probiotics can reduce some strains of harmful bacteria that cause gum disease. They may also prove helpful in decreasing cavities and bad breath as the good bacteria helps neutralize enamel destroying acid in your mouth and kill the bad bacteria.
No need to pop that mouth freshener the next time you go out. Just make sure your probiotic game is strong and you’re good to go. You can take probiotics in multiple forms like foods such as the very popular yogurt, soft cheeses, dill pickles, kimchi cum butcher.
And the less popular ones like miso soup, goofier and sauerkraut supplements that are sold over the counter, try incorporating probiotics into your day to day diet without depending on supplements. And remember not to overdo it. Have you tried any of the non-popular probiotic foods that we mentioned? Have probiotics helped you lead a healthier life?
Let us know in the comments section below.