Probiotics

Probiotics: What You Need To Know!

Having healthy digestive health is one thing that you need to be tick on your list of having a healthy lifestyle. In this article, I would tell you about Probiotics. Not everyone is aware of what probiotics can do to your body and what are the benefits that come along with it.

Probiotics can help with a lot of things, including weight loss, proper digestion, and can enhance your immune system and reduce the risk of diseases. The bacteria found in probiotics are good bacteria that can help with your gut health.

In this article, we will find out everything that we need to know about Probiotics and how it will help us build good digestive health, its benefits, side effects, and the probiotics that we can take and be part of our lifestyle.

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What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that will give you a lot of health benefits when you consume it. You will be able to get probiotics from fermented food and supplements and be found in beauty products.

Some people perceive that all bacterias are harmful because of germs, but it isn’t the case with Probiotics as they are helpful to our body. It helps digest food, can destroy unhealthy cells, and can even provide vitamins. Many microorganisms found in probiotics are similar to the organisms that we have in our body, so it is not harmful at all.

Different kinds of probiotic bacteria give many health benefits. Each group of bacteria has other species and has a lot of strains depending on the species. The different probiotics can address various health conditions, and it is why you need to know what specific probiotic you need to choose.

Aside from probiotic supplements, probiotic food is also an option, and there is a lot of food that has these like kimchi, yogurts, kefir, and sauerkraut. 

Why Are Probiotics Important?

why probiotics

There is a community of microorganisms in our digestive system, and it is called gut flora. The gut flora can be found in different parts of the digestive system like the colon and large intestine. It contains hundreds of different types of microorganisms, or there could be thousands of bacteria. 

Gut flora is an essential part of the digestive tract and is essential for your health. It helps to manufacture vitamins K and B and turn fibers into fats that will help your gut wall do well in their metabolic functions. The fats help the immune system and strengthen our gut's walls that prevent harmful substances from fully entering your body that may weaken your immune system.

Probiotics will be able to help your gut flora and will make your gut flora in its balanced state, but because the gut flora is highly sensitive, there are times that it will be unbalanced that can cause and be linked to certain diseases. To prevent this, consuming probiotics will help your gut be balanced and will allow it to function normally.

Probiotics Food

probiotic food

If you are not into taking probiotics supplements, you have the option to get probiotics from food. Here is the food that has probiotics.

Yogurt

Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by bacterias like lactic acid and bifidobacteria. It is one of the best sources of good bacteria that will help improve your health. 

Eating yogurt will help in bone health and help people with high blood pressure and help reduce diarrhea and help relieve irritable bowel syndrome.

Kefir

Kefir is a probiotic drink fermented and made from kefir grains and cow’s or goat’s milk that originated from Turkey. Its name means “feeling good” in Turkish. Drinking Kefir has a lot of health benefits like it can protect against infections, help with digestive problems, and improve bone health.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is one of the oldest traditional foods that came from Europe. It is usually a side dish paired with sausage but can be eaten alone. It is made from finely shredded cabbage and has a sour and salty taste. Eating Sauerkraut can provide you with vitamins and fiber and give you antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for the eyes.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soybean that has an earthy and nutty flavor. It originated from Indonesia and has become popular worldwide because it can be a high-protein meat substitute. Eating Tempeh will provide you vitamins and minerals that can also be found in meat, fish dairy, and eggs that can be a good substitute, especially if you are vegetarian.

Kimchi

Kimchi is a popular fermented Korean side dish that uses cabbage as a main ingredient but can be made from other vegetables like radishes, cucumbers, and many more. It has a lot of seasonings like garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper flakes. Eating Kimchi will provide you with lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus kimchii that helps digestive health. It also offers a lot of vitamins and minerals.

Miso

Miso originated from Japan and is commonly used as a seasoning. It is made from fermented soybeans that include salt and a fungi koji, and some miso can also be mixed with other ingredients like rice, rye, or barley. There are different kinds of miso that you can buy and it is usually used for Miso soup that Japanese often eat during breakfast. Eating miso can provide you with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. According to studies, eating miso can help lower breast cancer risk and reduce the risk of stroke.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been popular because of its health benefits. It is fermented by friendly bacteria and yeast. Since it is becoming popular nowadays, there are many tutorials on how to make your Kombucha. Drinking kombucha can give you a lot of health benefits that can benefit your gut health.

Pickles

Pickles are cucumbers that are pickled with salt and water solution and left to be fermented and will become sour because of the lactic acid bacteria. Eating cucumbers will improve your digestive health and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. 

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink, and traditional buttermilk is the leftover liquid that makes a butter. Traditional buttermilk has probiotics and is known as “grandma’s milk”. Do not be confused with cultured buttermilk because it doesn’t have any probiotics. Drinking traditional buttermilk will provide you vitamins, minerals and calcium.

Natto

Natto is a fermented soybean like tempeh and miso, and it contains a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis. Like miso, natto is a staple in Japanese food and is usually mixed with rice and served as a side dish for breakfast. If you eat natto, it will provide you protein and vitamin k2 that will help bone and cardiovascular health and help women from the risk of osteoporosis.

Benefits Of Probiotics

probiotic benefits

Probiotics have many benefits, so let me tell you each of them so you’ll be more aware why it is important to consume probiotics.

Digestive Health

According to studies, probiotics have a significant impact on digestive health because it can cure associated antibiotic bacteria especially when you take it for a long time. Antibiotics are known to kill the natural bacteria in your guts, making it unbalanced and allowing harmful bacteria to grow.

Probiotics are known to fight irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, reducing bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Not only that, according to studies, probiotics can also help fight against Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

It is best to take probiotics if you have digestive problems that can’t seem to go away, but it will be best to ask your doctor first.

Weight Loss

It is said that consuming probiotics can make an impact on weight loss. According to research, some probiotics can aid in weight loss. In studies, it is concluded that there is a decrease of excess belly fat when a probiotic like Lactobacillus gasseri is taken daily and resulted in a belly fat loss for over 12 weeks.

There are probiotics like Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis that can help with weight loss and prevent obesity.

Inflammation

Probiotics help reduce inflammation and drive out many diseases, especially in the gut flora.

Depression And Anxiety

According to studies, probiotics like Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have helped reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Blood Cholesterol

Some probiotics have helped lower bad cholesterol levels.

Blood Pressure

Probiotics also have benefits when it comes to lowering or reduction of blood pressure.

Immune function

When you take probiotics, it is said that it will enhance your immune function and will help reduce the risk of infections like flu and colds.

Skin health

Probiotics will help and are useful when it comes to skin disorders such as rosacea and eczema. It can also reduce acne and pimples.

Side Effects Of Probiotics

If there are benefits of probiotics, anticipate that there are some side effects that you may encounter when you consume probiotics.

Probiotics are considered safe for most people, but if it is your first time taking or consuming it you may experience some side effects like gas and some abdominal discomfort. The side effects won’t be permanent as your condition will improve day by day, and your digestive system will get used to the new good bacteria inside your body.

However, some people have compromised immune systems like HIV, AIDS, and other conditions, consuming probiotics would lead to infections. Remember, if you have a medical condition, it is best to ask for a physician's consult just to be safe.

Is Probiotics Regulated?

In the United States, the regulation of probiotics is a little bit complex because it depends on the intended use of the product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the one who regulates it when it comes to being a food ingredient, drug or dietary supplement.

There are a lot of probiotics supplements in the market that are sold as a dietary supplement, and it doesn’t require FDA approval before they market it. It is why companies are allowed to make claims without FDA approval with regards to the product. However, the FDA doesn’t allow products to make any health claims without getting their consent.

FDA has stricter rules and requirements if a specific product wants to claim that their supplements are marketed as a treatment for a disease or a disorder. It includes research and clinical trials before it can be sold in the market.

Final Thoughts

final thoughts

Probiotics have a lot of benefits. I am a firm believer that good bacteria have a lot of benefits in our body especially our gut health. I take probiotics, and I make sure that it is included in my everyday eating habit. It gave me smoother digestion, and I feel like my metabolism increased because of the probiotics that I take.

You must maintain a healthy gut, but I would suggest that you shouldn’t take a probiotic supplement. I usually take food that is rich with probiotics because it is more natural and safe. There isn’t enough studies about probiotic supplements, although the FDA somewhat regulates it. I would not recommend you take a risk. If you want to take a supplement instead of eating food rich in probiotics, you must talk to your doctor, especially if you have an underlying condition.

Always take note of probiotics' benefits and side effects and think about if it is worth the shot. Maintaining your gut health by eating healthy with the combination of exercise will help improve your immune system and will give you a healthier gut.

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