Probiotics are our friend. According to the National Institutes of Health: “Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called the friendly bacteria or good bacteria.” Probiotics are believed to help regulate proper intestinal function and digestion.
I take Probiotics myself along with a few other supplements based on the recommendations of my doctor. Since 70% of our immune system resides in the digestive tract, I decided that adding the good bacteria would be beneficial to my overall health.
What Are Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria (good bacteria) present in the intestinal tract which help to improve the function of the intestines and protect against inflammation.
The Health Benefits of Probiotics
- Certain strains of probiotics have been helpful in treating diarrhea and gastroenteritis.
- Probiotics may be beneficial for brain function. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) probiotic bacteria may have the potential to change brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders.
- Some strains of Probiotics may be beneficial to weight-loss efforts by stabilizing blood sugar levels which helps to reduce cravings.
- According to a new study published in the journal Hypertension, people who consume probiotics tend to have lower blood pressures.
- Probiotics can help reduce inflammation.
- Probiotics may be effective in helping to treat ulcerative colitis.
- Probiotics can be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics Rich Foods
- Soft fermented cheeses (like Cheddar, Parmesan, Swiss, and Gouda)
- Cottage Cheese (those that are labeled “Live active cultures”)
If you don’t think you are getting enough probiotics from your diet, taking a daily supplement can be helpful. Probiotic supplements are sold in powders, pills, and liquid. Most probiotics supplements include two of the most used strains: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotics supplements can be purchased at your local supermarket, pharmacy or health food store as well as online. Read the labels and only purchase from well-established companies and manufacturers. Store your probiotics according to the package instructions and make sure to check the sell-by or expiration date.
If you are considering a probiotic dietary supplement, talk to your health care provider first. Your doctor will be able to determine if probiotics are right for you based on your medical history.
Disclaimer: All content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be be construed as medical advice.